The cover of OPEN: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi’s, has to be one of the best covers of 2009.
It stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it.
OPEN. HONEST. TRUE.
But also – HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN.
A face like that could not lie. I had to believe every word written within.
I was once President of France.
Yes, Mr Agassi.
Do you think I’m lying?
No, Mr Agassi.
Can you run down to the corner store for me? I need… now listen carefully… Two tins of tennis balls, Gatorade, Methamphetamine and a copy of Sports Illustrated. Got that? I don’t have my wallet. Can you pay? I’ll pay you back.
Yes, Mr Agassi.
Unfortunately, Andre’s admission that he took drugs while playing tennis was forgotten once the Tiger Woods story broke.
Before we moved on we needed to add a new entry in the Guinness World Records.
I can believe that Tiger could continue to play top-notch golf whilst having his innumerable flings – golf is barely a sport – but it is almost unbelievable that Andre could play tennis, run down every ball as he was famed for doing, whilst using illicit drugs.
I mean Roger Federer is good, but he’s not that good.
Andre Agassi’s version of events makes for compelling reading – and having read it, I now get disappointed watching the Australian Open; for when the tennis is over, I want the cameras to follow the athletes down the tunnel to see what they get up to off the court!
But the only way I can do that is to keep reading…
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.