A fan's-eye-view of one of tennis' most notorious stars.
The greatest sports stars characterize their times. They also help to tell us who we are. John McEnroe, at his best and worst, encapsulated the story of the eighties. His improvised quest for tennis perfection and his inability to find a way to grow up dramatized the volatile self-absorption of a generation. His matches were open therapy sessions and they allowed us all to be armchair shrinks.
Tim Adams sets out to explore what it might have meant to be John McEnroe during those times and to define exactly what it is we want from our sporting heroes: how we require them to play out our own dramas; how the best of them provide an intensity that we can measure our own lives by.
Talking to McEnroe, his friends and rivals, and drawing on a range of references, Tim Adams presents a book that is both a portrait of the most colourful player ever to pick up a racket and an original study of the idea of sporting obsession.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Terrific...On one level, it's about the author's fascination with a tennis player. But it's much more than this; it's a book about how the world has changed in our lifetime" -- William Leith * New Statesman * "A beautiful little book" * Daily Express * "Tim Adams is one of the best of our new sportswriters" * Observer * "Inspiringly in touch with what McEnroe was and what he meant" -- Giles Smith * Daily Telegraph *