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On Tennis Audiobook

On Tennis: Five Essays

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Publisher's Summary

David Foster Wallace's extraordinary writing on tennis, collected for the first time in an exclusive audio-original edition.

A "long-time rabid fan of tennis" and a regionally ranked tennis player in his youth, David Foster Wallace wrote about the game like no one else. On Tennis presents David Foster Wallace's five essays on the sport, published between 1990 and 2006, which have been hailed as some of the greatest and most innovative sports writing of our time.

This lively and entertaining collection begins with Wallace's own experience as a prodigious tennis player ("Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley"). He also challenges the sports memoir genre ("How Tracy Austen Broke My Heart"), takes us to the US Open ("Democracy and Commerce at the U.S. Open"), and profiles two of the world's greatest tennis players ("Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff About Choice, Freedom, Limitation, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness" and "Federer Both Flesh and Not"). With infectious enthusiasm and enormous heart, Wallace's writing shows us the beauty, complexity, and brilliance of the game he loved best.

©2014 David Foster Wallace (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (73 )
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  •  
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 06-05-16
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 06-05-16 Member Since 2011

    My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain

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    "A must have for tennis enthusiasts"

    David Wallace was a master of his trade. I will venture that practically anyone will enjoy this book of five essays. I've read through it multiple times now and it's always entertaining. If you like tennis you will surely find this book to be a favorite. If you ever picked up "Infinite Jest" and weren't enthralled (as some of his fans are) don't worry, this is well written nonfiction essays, and it's a very engaging read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 01-27-17
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 01-27-17

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspiration, though, is contagious, and multiform"

    One of the benefits of this book is it allowed me to read some of my favorite David Foster Wallace essays (on Tennis) and introduced me to several I had somehow missed. This small collection (138 pages) contains the following essays:

    1. Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley - aka "Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornados: A Midwestern Boyhood" in Harpers (December 1991)
    2.How Tracy Austin Broke my Heart - Originally Published in Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
    3. Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff About Choice, Freedom, Limitation, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness - AKA "The String Theory" in Esquire (Sep 17, 2008)
    4. Democracy and Commerce at the U.S. Open - Tennis Magazine (September 1996)
    5. Federer Both Flesh and Nott - AKA "Roger Federer as Religious Experience" in New York Times, (August 20, 1996)

    Anyway, I still love DFW. And loved rereading most of them and am still amazed at DFW's ability to infuse his writing with passion, maths, and somehow translate the kinetic beauty of Tennis specifically, but sports also into the written word. I hate to overplay it, but sometimes I feel the same way with DFW talking about Tennis as I felt when I read Tolstoy talking about God or Melville or Conrad about the Sea. His writing at moments when he is talking about trigonometry, athletic achievement, and velocity, becomes both flesh and light. One of my favorite lines, I think it may have been from the second essay about Tracy Austin, he talks about Michael Jordan "hanging in midair like a Chagall bride". Perfect.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 03-24-17
    Anthony 03-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic performance"

    Footnotes aren't distracting, as I feared that they might be. Highest marks to the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BG California, USA 02-12-17
    BG California, USA 02-12-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Enjoyed the book for the most part"

    It's an excellent book on the subject of tennis. I just didn't enjoy this constant digression to footnotes and wasted effort and snarkiness of the chapter on us open organisation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Dayal Old Bridge, NJ USA 01-20-17
    S. Dayal Old Bridge, NJ USA 01-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great Bill Gates recommendation"

    Did learn a bit more about tennis organization and player quirks and finer points about why the greats are attain and maintain their amazing abilities but I mostly enjoyed the book just for its narration style and the stories David Foster Wallace has woven. Definitely a unputdownable book narrated wonderfully by Robert Petkoff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Love to Read 09-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Totally f#$#*!$ awesome."

    Well worth your time if you love life. Well done in every way, content and performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Christopher Alt phoenix, az USA 06-27-16
    Christopher Alt phoenix, az USA 06-27-16
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    "Read This Book"
    Where does On Tennis rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best so far. But to be honest I've only read (listened) to three.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author is my favorite character because he is both informative, entertaining, and insightful. Okay, that's three, but still, it's a treat of a book for anyone remotely interested in tennis.


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

    The narrator rocks.


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

    Laugh out loud funny. And often.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lakeside2chill 09-22-15
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    "'Ok'"

    He used a lot of footnotes which don't translate well into an audiobook. It felt like every couple of sentences the narrator would have to say, "footnote..." Which was very annoying. I didn't appreciate how he put down some tennis players on how they looked, as if they could help it. I'm glad audible has a return policy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Friedman Delmar, NY USA 08-06-15
    Michael Friedman Delmar, NY USA 08-06-15 Member Since 2014

    Bubikon

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    "A great writer at his best"

    One of America's greatest, a fine tennis player as a young man whose prose and observations make this among the best sports books of American literature. Not since Halberstam's The Amateurs has a short book so beautifully illuminated a sport that it actually transcends sport itself. Wallace never intended these articles to be accumulated in an audiobook, but we are all the better for the efforts of Hatchette Book Group.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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