Jimmy Connors is a working-man's hero, a people's champion who could tear the cover off a tennis ball, just as he tore the cover off the country-club gentility of his sport. A renegade from the wrong side of the tracks, Connors broke the rules with a radically aggressive style of play and bad-boy antics that turned his matches into prizefights. In 1974 alone, he won 95 out of 99 matches, all of them while wearing the same white shorts he washed in the sink of his hotel bathrooms. Though he lived the rock star life away from tennis, his enduring dedication to his craft earned him eight Grand Slam singles titles and kept him among the top ten best players in the world for sixteen straight years - five at number one.
In The Outsider, Connors tells the complete, uncensored story of his life and career, setting the record straight about his formidable mother, Gloria; his very public romance with America's sweetheart Chris Evert; his famous opponents, including Björn Borg, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Ivan Lendl, and Rod Laver; his irrepressible co-conspirators Ilie Nastase and Vitas Gerulaitis; and his young nemesis Andre Agassi. Connors reveals how his issues with obsessive-compulsive disorder, dyslexia, gambling, and women at various times threatened to derail his career and his long-lasting marriage to Playboy Playmate Patti McGuire.
Presiding over an era that saw tennis attract a new breed of passionate fans - from cops to tycoons - Connors transformed the game forever with his two-handed backhand, his two-fisted lifestyle, and his epic rivalries.
The Outsider is a grand slam of a memoir written by a man once again at the top of his game - as feisty, unvarnished, and defiant as ever.
©2013 Jimmy Connors (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Books have always been an escape for me: initially from studies, now from over-working. A good story-teller will always get my attention.
Anyone who is familiar with the persona of Jimmy Connors on the court will likely be curious to know whether that was the real him or simply a PR stunt. By the end of the book, I concluded that (like most things in life) the answer is somewhere in-between. Connors readily admits to much of the hijinks that many of us witnessed in the 1970s and 80s, but provides some fairly raw admissions of poor decisions and actions. However, peppered in-between are several endearing accounts of the relationships that launched his career and/or accompanied him along the way. Truth is, I wasn't sure of the sincerity part until later in the book, when Mr. Connors spent a considerable amount of time acknowledging all those folks who'd supported him during his heyday: his fellow players, his family, even his dogs. I don't think an ego-maniac would devote so much attention to praising others (and admitting to his own failures) if there wasn't a healthy dose of sincerity and humility in there somewhere. Color me impressed.
Gave a good insight of a champion. I could see the effort that goes into making a champion. Also he loved his journey unlike Andre Agassi which is also inspiring.
70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.
Not being a big tennis fan, I was surprised that the book held my attention and made me want to see what would happen next. It's probably as good as any of the biographies I've listened to (with the exception of Rob Lowe's).
It reminded me alot of Joe Namath's biography as it chronologically told about the events professionally and personally and how each coincided and affected the other. Professional successes and failures influenced personal behavior and personel events affected professional performance levels, etc. Also told about physical injuries and how they affected life long after the career was ended.
No, but he was fantastic. I often forgot I wasn't listening to Jimmy Connors telling his life story. There was humor and self-deprecation, there was sincerity when dealing with personal conflicts and losses, there was anger when injustices were inflicted. He told the story as if it were his own. Very impressive!
Well, I didn't cry but I did laugh a little. Connors has a good sense of humor and his antidotes about other famous tennis players, family members and even his own problems were told with self-deprecating humor. I found myself liking Connors and wishing I had watched him play more.
A few "choice" words but fairly clean all-in-all.
Yes, I would. Jimmy is an interesting person and for me as a sports fan his love of tennis shows.
His harsh childhood !
If possible I would have enjoyed doing so.
I enjoyed his lack of commentary regarding Andre Agassi since he made a big point in his book we all understand he believes Connors is a big jerk.
I was moved by his frankness regarding his close friendships with Vitas Gerulaitis and Ilie Nastase.
He does love tennis.
Getting a real inside look into the stories of Connor career and life.
Connors of course. Beyond that, maybe Nastase.
Rich Orlow was excellent. I was disappointed at first that the author didn't read the book but after about five minute, Mr. Orlow make you forget it is not Jimmy Connors. He sounds like a cross between Connors and Charlie Sheen.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the game of Tennis. I never played competitive Tennis and I found the story and history interesting. That history has helped me appreciate the game more today.
I liked how Jimmy wrote the story which is conversational. I imagine myself sitting down in a bar asking questions of Jimmy and he telling me about his life. I enjoyed that very much.
An honest life.
I understand Jimmy Connors much more after reading this book. He is honest and unapologetic which is great in an autobiography. I read Open by Agassi and enjoyed that book as well but what this book has that Open didn't is the history of the game and how the game was played and developed and Jimmy did a great job giving me that history.
Detailed 70's-80's History.
I learned so much about what led up to the Open Era and how big tennis was in the US during Jimmy's fame! I wish I would have been more into tennis when the US seemed to dominate the men's singles!
I have not listened to any other Rich Orlow performances, but I thought at times that "Jimmy Connors" was actually the speaker! I was definitely focused!
No extreme reactions to this book.
I guess we'll have to wait for Jimmy's next book to find out what he is going to do next!
Great listen. The only thing that could have made it better is if Connors narrated it. You'll hear the whole story, from East St. Louis to #1. Particularly interesting to me was how Connors told of the influence of his mother and grandmother. Most entertaining were his tales of mischief with "Nasty."
I loved Jimmy Connors as a player, but found him less likable as a person after listening to this. Contrast the story with Andre Agassi's, who I grew to like more.........left me a bit disappointed.
Players were Personalities!
For me , this book brought back so many memories of my youth and my brief career in Tennis....the Nastase stories were awesome!
No I have not....He does a good job, but I kind of wish Jimmy would have narrated.
The birth of his son Brett.....You can really tell he loves his family....
I wish I could go back in time ...these stories were so great, and flashed me back to a time when players had personality other than their clothing.....
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