Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open has sparked scorn from fellow athletes because of the Wimbledon champ’s admitted loathing of the game, his crystal meth use, and the fact that his mullet was fake. The crystal cover close-up is tres Scavulo.

But the real headline from Open is Agassi’s prose prowess, crafted by J. R. Moehringer, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Tender Bar. Whoever is serving the literary style in the book, it is a manic page-turner.

The opening passages present a rakish play-by-play of Agassi’s nail-biter at the 2006 U.S. Open; the scene reminds you of the chariot race in Ben-Hur. He then exorcises all of his demons that got him to this point. Agassi’s lost youth saga is the stuff of rebellious American anti-heroes.

High-stakes tennis aside, suddenly the reader is up close and personal in Agassi’s lifelong dramas that have crushed his emotions as hard as his sport is crushing his body. The book features lots of male locker-room bonding with the tennis boys. For celebheads – Babs comes off classy, Brooke self-absorbed (although she did get him to shave his head) and Steffi Graf, who he married and with whom he is raising two children, an earthly goddess. 

Andre is not chasing grand slams anymore since he won all four and Olympic gold.  The 9th grade dropout (his dad wanted him to go pro) founded the Agassi Prep school in Vegas, it is obvious this book is intended to be more than a sports celeb confessional.

For net fans, Agassi writes tennis like a ’40s fight reporter, you can smell the success and failure from inside the arena.