Comments: 15
Thank you for reading this so i don't have to!
BrokenTune 5 months ago
You're welcome, I guess? Were you going to read this?
I have a passing interest in tennis biography, so I might have picked it up at some point. Now I know I can avoid it.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Are there any that you would recommend? I could do with a good tennis book now that this one turned out to be so infuriating.
The last two I have any memory of (and I think my reviews are on this site) are Andre Agassi's "Open" and Jimmy Connors' "The Outsider: a Memoir", both ghost-written autobiographies. I seem to have found them both quite interesting but not enthralling. Apparently my main beef with the Agassi book was that the ghost writer didn't persuade me I was hearing anything in Agassi's voice, while with Connors, although there were good stories, I didn't much care for the man, either going in or coming out of the book. However, if you want an unfiltered first-hand account of the whole evolution of the professional tennis scene, from the point of view of someone who did *not* like the setup, that's the one. I do keep meaning to see if I can find a decent book about Federer, but there are so many titles, and they are so obviously rubbish aimed at the fan market, that I keep putting it off. That's about it, sorry. (Now, if you ever get interested in figure skating biography, have I got a list for you! :) )
BrokenTune 5 months ago
I read both Open and The Outsider, and had the same issue with Open. Tho, I'd sooner recommend Open than The Outsider as I don't care for Connors stories either.

As for fan biographies, ... I tend to steer clear.

I'm not a figure skating enthusiast but I'm intrigued. What's on your list of recommendations?
Moonlight Reader 5 months ago
There is nothing that is more fun to read than a devastating review by a really smart person. This was a blast.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Thank you. *blushes* Sometimes the only satisfaction to be had from a book is to be able to take it apart. I wish the book had been better, tho. I may need to calm myself down with another Lady Trent adventure.
Moonlight Reader 5 months ago
I just reviewed the 4th one - best one yet in my estimation!
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Yes. I saw and am excited to learn more about Lady Trent's growth as a character. I liked the first one but there was something about it (I can't put my finger on it) that made me love it less than I thought I would. It might be just a case of needing to get into the setting more...
Moonlight Reader 5 months ago
I feel like they just keep getting better.
BrokenTune 5 months ago
Great. I've just downloaded book 2 and am just off to read it.
Murder by Death 5 months ago
Well, that comment about Adidas and the inference he made about Germans was appalling - I can't believe someone in the editing process didn't smack him for even thinking about putting that on paper.

But... I have to say, he's not entirely wrong about Australia. He's half wrong, as his comment about the lack of "peppery cross-influence" is such utter bullshit, it implies he's never actually *been* to Australia. To wit: as of 2001, Melbourne had the largest Greek community outside of Greece. Italian was the second most spoken language in the home and according to 2016 data, #9 in the list of Italian citizens living abroad. There were so many different ethnic groups in Australia during the 50's and 60's, Australia's first national soccer program's teams were based around migrant-ethnic groups including Croatian, Greek, Macedonian and Italian. Adelaide and South Australia were settled by German immigrants. And it goes without saying that the UK is significantly represented, as is India and China.

When MT and I have our friends over, he's oftentimes only 1 of 2 Aussies in a group of 8 with the rest of us representing England, Wales, Argentina, China and the US.

However, Australians will be the first to admit that their unofficial national dogma *is* informality, and they are inordinately excited about 'barbies' and they drink a LOT. And they are an awful lot like Americans - but they're an awful lot like Brits too. In fact, I'm pretty sure if you squished a Brit and a Yank together you'd end up with an Aussie, looking for a beer and a snag (sausage). :D

All this to say he got the important stuff wrong, but sort of nailed the less important stuff (although I've NEVER seen white knee socks and shorts).
BrokenTune 5 months ago
There were more comments that were appalling but at some point I needed to stop copying...

The comments about Australia were mild but I just did not need the regurgitation of national stereotyping (whether on point or not) in this book, particularly when this was in the opening chapter which should have been about the Aussie Open rather than about Bodo validating whatever cliches there are.

It was just a weak execution of what could have been an interesting bit of Australian tennis history.

Like I said, there were other sections that issues with. From his claim that Wimbledon was "irrelevant" as no one plays on grass anymore to him constantly referring to women players as "the gals".

About the Wimbledon claim, if Wimbledon is irrelevant because no one focuses on grass court skills anymore, then surely clay courts should suffer the same assessment. But of course, no mention of the French Open... (And don't get me started on the fact that you can use a serve and volley game on any court, it just happens to be most useful on grass...).

At one point he referred to a player as "pasta-packer" simply because he liked a particular Italian restaurant in NYC. Whether the player actually was fond on a carbo rich diet is never discussed...
It was stupid things like this that made the book pretty awful because you never knew what was a fact and what was just Bodo's conjecture of a fact.
Murder by Death 5 months ago
Fair enough - it sounds like he wasn't actually going for a factual book so much as an outlet for his egotistically pompous opinions and narrow outlook. If he got the cultural mix of AU wrong, which is so blatantly obvious to anyone who has ever been here, and is so easily verified by googling, I can only imagine how much more grievous his other errors were.