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The Outsider: A Memoir | [Jimmy Connors]

The Outsider: A Memoir

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Bruno_Brazil 05-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Outstanding!"

    This was my first audio book, and I got hooked! Congratulations for either the writer and the narrator. I loved the french accent and the #$&%$&% dirty words...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Kjar USA 02-16-15
    Nolan Kjar USA 02-16-15

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    "Good"

    Not as good as Agassi's and McEnroe's book, but better then Sampras's. I'd recommend to anybody that loves the legends of tennis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelena 02-02-15
    Nelena 02-02-15
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    "There is a Reason for irreverence"
    If you could sum up The Outsider in three words, what would they be?

    Reason my family loved watching Connors so much, Now revealed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Honesty, insight to stuff we all watched on the court, mostly thrilled sometimes offended, always getting what we wanted! My parents taught me that to live in a bubble would be to miss what life is all about!! Jimmy Connors was the thrilling enigma we all watched together as a family to cheer and learn. Muhammed Ali was the same.Great stuff Jimmy!


    Which character – as performed by Rich Orlow – was your favorite?

    His french rendition of an overly "Relaxed" Yannick Noah, talking to Jimmy before an exhibition match.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laughed, cried, remembered my father who passed, and all the moments we had to share because we both cheered Jimmy Connors


    Any additional comments?

    Just great to revisit, and see the perpetuation of great characters like Jimmy Connors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-26-14
    David 08-26-14
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    "Old School Tennis"
    Where does The Outsider rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a solid book if you are a tennis fan and remember Connors, McEnroe, et al. from the 70s and 80s.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is interesting to contrast Andre Agassi's childhood (as told by him in his book) with Jimmy Connor's. Andre hated tennis, Jimmy loved it. It is clear from Jimmy's story that he truly loved the game, loved to play it any chance he got, and that is ultimately what drove him to success.


    Which character – as performed by Rich Orlow – was your favorite?

    Orlow is convincing as Connors.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I thought the first half of the book was great; surprisingly, things slowed down and gets a little boring as Jimmy gets more and more famous. Probably because he didn't want to do a "tell all" and reveal too many stories about other players and his own exploits off the court. But the stories he does tell are revealing.


    Any additional comments?

    It's an easy read, and although Jimmy doesn't put his life out there 100%, he puts enough to keep it interesting and insightful. Recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeffrey 03-13-14
    jeffrey 03-13-14 Member Since 2014

    Father of three with no time to actually read, but also a former history teacher and current attorney with a long commute-I love audiobooks.

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    "Worthwhile--but shoulda had Conners reading it"
    Would you listen to The Outsider again? Why?

    Yes--interesting insight from a legend


    What did you like best about this story?

    He goes into everything--the good, the bad and the ugly


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Rich Orlow?

    Maybe


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    As with most biographies, especially of famous people who you've heard speak, it would be much better had Conners read it himself

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. S. John 03-13-14
    J. S. John 03-13-14

    Enjoy mostly non fiction and the occasional thriller.

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    "Thoroughly entertaining"
    Any additional comments?

    If you grew up or are familiar with the Connors, Borg, McEnroe era you will not be disappointed. Hearing his side of things actually made me a Connors fan whereas I grew up siding with McEnroe and his temper tantrums. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 02-03-14
    Nolan Malone Hawai'i 02-03-14 Member Since 2015

    Books have always been an escape for me: initially from my studies, now from too much work. A good story is my favorite remedy.

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    "More humility than bravado"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barboza Muscat, Oman 01-26-14
    Barboza Muscat, Oman 01-26-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Insight"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 09-13-13
    Carolyn Proctorville, OH, United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2009

    70 year old grandmother of 2 teenagers. Still working in real estate appraisal field, live in OH and SC - spend time listening & traveling.

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    "Better than I expected"
    Where does The Outsider rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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).


    What other book might you compare The Outsider to and why?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Rich Orlow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    A few "choice" words but fairly clean all-in-all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerold Seattle, WA 08-25-13
    Jerold Seattle, WA 08-25-13 Member Since 2009
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    "THE Competitor"
    Would you listen to The Outsider again? Why?

    Yes, I would. Jimmy is an interesting person and for me as a sports fan his love of tennis shows.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Outsider?

    His harsh childhood !


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If possible I would have enjoyed doing so.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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