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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke

4.46  ·  Rating Details ·  1,596 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, the biography of Robert Enke, the international footballer with the world at his feet who took his own life

Here, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend's life. On November 10,2009, the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was 32 years old.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Random House UK (first published September 2010)
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Mandi | No Apathy Allowed
By November 2009, after over a year of living in Germany (with a lifelong soccer fan), I was more or less pretty up-to-date with what was going on in the German soccer world. I certainly knew that Robert Enke was the star goalie for Hannover 96, which is mein Schatz's home team. His pint-sized soccer-obsessed godson in Hannover had even managed to have his photo taken with Enke, which was blown up and proudly hanging over the little one's bed. I also knew that Robert Enke was the leading contend ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it
A really excellent book and a much needed examination of depression. When Pep Guardiola recently took some time out of the game, morons like Colin Murray were joking about how could he suffer from stress...blah blah blah. Now I realise Murray is a twunt of the highest order but I still felt compelled to text him 'remember Enke and Speed you fool'. There is a total lack of understanding of depression as an illness and this book does a great job of addressing that, the obvious conclusion to the bo ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book, about a short life in sport, but much more about life than sport. Robert Enke committed suicide following a severe bout of depression, but it would be such a shame to let that define him, and this book sets out to define what came before the tragedy.
The author, a journalist and friend of Robert Enke, looks deeply, but never intrusively, into Enke's history to reveal the all too human side that may otherwise be missed when a celebrity takes his or her own life. I certainly never
Nov 05, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that's left its mark. Even though you know the ending, you just can't help hoping that there'll be a happy end. Whether you're a football (soccer) fan or not - this is a must-read. Extremely impressing and so unbelievably tragic. Not only does it open your eyes regarding depression, but also regarding how media and society treat those in the public eye and how we tend to turn a blind eye to the true problems of the people around us.

It has also changed the way I regard very certain footba
May 04, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
I'm not a big follower of German football, so I first heard about goalkeeper Robert Enke when I read news of his suicide. This biography had been in the planning before the truth of his underlying depression became apparent with that tragic moment. I thought the tone of this book was fantastically well pitched as a very informative tale of the effects of depression on one individual and his family. But he was also a remarkable footballer and his life and career are also recounted here too. It is ...more
Oct 26, 2010 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Würde nicht zufällig einer meiner Lieblingsspieler dort unter Vertrag stehen, wäre mir Hannover 96 wohl genauso egal wie der 1. FC Nürnberg oder Vfl Bochum… Ich war nie ein Robert Enke- Fan (auch wenn ich ihn geschätzt habe, für seine Torhüterqualitäten, für sein unglaublich sympathisches Auftreten in der Öffentlichkeit, die Ruhe und diese im Fußball so rah gesäte Eigenschaft, kein allzu großes Aufsehen um sich zu machen).
Trotz allem dem hat mich die Nachricht seines Todes unheimlich fassungslos
Just read it. It's well written, it takes you by the hand and slowly, slowly introduces you to the dark sides of a depressed mind. It's very tough at times - it's been for me, at least - but it also helped me understand. There are so many moments, situations I remember and now see them from another angle. At the same time, my general idea of Robert (and many of those close to him/not close to him) hasn't changed a bit. Meaning I still like/adore those I liked/adored before and I still despise th ...more
Darren O'Toole
Feb 11, 2014 Darren O'Toole rated it it was amazing
As hard-hitting a sports book as you could ever expect to find. Those who know the tragic story of Robert Enke would obviously know that this book was never going to be an uplifting affair, however I was still left unprepared for the final couple of chapters. Excellently written, you feel you want to share Robert's pain and tell him that it'll all be ok, only to know that the outcome is inevitable. A real insight into the suffering that those with mental illnesses have and highlights how the wor ...more
Jul 05, 2016 LaMaga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El Cancerbero está cerca.

Ronald Reng nos presenta un libro honesto, conmovedor y doloroso sobre la vida del ex arquero de la selección alemana Robert Enke, que sufría de depresión. La biografía también nos muestra como se desarrolla el mundo del fútbol en general. Este libro ayudará a las personas a entender qué es la depresión, el efecto que tiene sobre la vida cotidiana de la víctima y su familia y sus consecuencias devastadoras si no se busca ayuda.

Se asume que un deportista de alto rendimien
May 13, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deeply moving insight into the mind of severely depressive footballer. Having suffered from depression for 12 years some parts really struck a chord with me. A must read whether you suffer from depression or not. Even if you don't like football, read it. Depression needs to be understood and this book can only help it to be better understood by those who do not understand what it is like for the sufferer.

A talented goalkeeper, a life too short.

Jack Stevenson
Jun 26, 2013 Jack Stevenson rated it it was amazing
Because I have an incredibly short attention span, there are very few books I would describe as 'un-put-down-able.' This book was un-put-down-able. Despite the heart-wrenching subject matter, I read the first 100 pages, stopped for a cup of tea, read another 150, stopped for a sandwich, and then finished it. I lost a whole afternoon and a solid chunk of the evening to this book, but I didn't remotely care, because I felt like what I was reading was incredibly important, and I was right. There ar ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Brina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Ein allzu kurzes Leben" ist ein wahrlich interessantes Buch, dass dem Leser nochmal aufzeigt, wie besonders Robert Enke war.
Ein Buch, dass für Freunde und Familienangehörige des Robert Enkes Mut macht und sein Andenken verstärkt. Vor allem Menschen, die sich mit dem Thema Depressionen befasst haben, wird dieses Buch eine Hilfe sein.

Dieses Buch ist wahrlich nicht nur ein Buch für Fans, sondern für alle, die sich mit dem Thema Schicksal und interessante Menschen interessieren.

Robert Enke wird spä
Sophie robertson
Apr 23, 2014 Sophie robertson rated it liked it
Quite good but very definitely too cloying and sentimental.
May 13, 2016 Venky rated it really liked it
Shelves: bibliocase
On the 10th of November, 2009, thirty two year old Robert Enke positioned himself in front of a regional express train at a level crossing in Eilvese, Neustadt am Rubenberge. He was at the prime of his career as a seasoned goalkeeper and was the forerunner to represent Germany in the ensuing 2010 World Cup, ahead of the highly rated Rene Adler, Manuel Neuer and Tim Wiese. He also left behind a grief stricken wife and an adopted daughter. His suicide triggered shock waves among the world football ...more
Gerald Sinstadt
It is no surprise that Ronald Reng's account of the tragic life of Germany international goalkeeper, Robert Enke, won prizes. Judges of awards for sports books rarely encounter a work with the pretensions of A Life Too Short.

Enke had an ostensibly successful and enviable career. His dream was to Germany;s Number One, and he achieved it. But he was also a depressive. Eventually, it drove him to suicide.

Reng offers the reader two dis[ate stories which intertwine. There is the curious experience of
Thiago S.
Fui atras deste livro pela av. rating e por gostar de biografias de futebol. Aparentemente o caso Enke repercutiu muito mais no resto do mundo que aqui do Brasil, que vi apenas uma notinha interna falando de seu suicidio.. Peguei o mes gratis do kindle unlimited so pra ter acesso gratis a versao em espanhol. Porem, abandonei antes da metade, acho que nao sou o publico alvo desse livro. Verdade que o autor é bastante competente e consegue transmitir emoção (tristeza e angustia na maior parte do t ...more
Much more than another football book, this is really a brilliant, moving examination of depression in a man who happened to be a goalkeeper. In fact, the descriptions of the nature and effects of depression, particularly in chapter 12 and the final quarter of the book, are better than those in texts specifically for coaching or learning about depression.
Emily Hide
Jun 02, 2015 Emily Hide rated it it was amazing
I'm a depressive, which made me want to avoid this book originally; the reason I decided to read it was almost entirely based on an appreciation of Reng's writing. I'd read Matchdays and felt so endeared by Heinz Höher through Reng's writing (even through translation) that I thought I could read Reng's biography of another depressive and not feel patronised.
It's a hard book to read, but that shouldn't be a surprise. It's endearing, captivating, beautifully written and I never felt that the prob
Dan Lee
Jan 09, 2014 Dan Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Heartbreaking. Remarkably well-written - Reng tells Enke's story with respect and care, but without injecting his own feelings into the narrative. This is particularly impressive, as the author and the subject of the book were friends.
Jolieg G
Jul 23, 2014 Jolieg G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In het begin dacht ik "nee ... dit boek is niets voor mij" maar omdat het zoveel goede recensies heeft ben ik toch door gegaan met lezen.
Vond het erg aangrijpend en ook zo "intens" beschreven.
Wat moeilijk moet dit ook geweest zijn door zijn vrouw.
Triest hoe is het gegaan met hun eerste dochtertje... wat een intens verdriet.

De verhalen over het voetbal horen er volgens mij gewoon bij... dat was zijn werk en daardoor kwam hij ook in de problemen.
Door hier niet al te diep op in te gaan mis je de re
Josh Marcus
Nov 06, 2014 Josh Marcus rated it it was amazing
Being both a football fan and a victim of depression, it seemed appropriate that I read this.
Reng does a brilliant job of describing Enke's depression. He also shows us the unremarkable story of a man and his family whose lives are interrupted by this serious disease. Footballers are normal people - that everyone knows - but maybe we don't appreciate what normal people are. The enjoyment I get on Saturdays from watching Man U being embarrassed, is something I've had to grapple with. These are pe
Andy Mackenzie
Jan 24, 2013 Andy Mackenzie rated it it was amazing
Enlightening,harrowing and beautifuly written. If you're not a football fan don't be put off from reading as this is so much more than a sports book.
High Wycombe Library
A tragic tale of a football talent lost due to his own demons, Ronald Reng looks at the life of Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, from his talented youth career before travelling around the world, before reaching success both in the league and internationally. However, this story does not have a happy ending, and it’s emotional rollercoaster is very worthy of the awards this title won. ^OJ

If you liked A Life Too Short why not try:
Between The Sticks by Alan Hodgkinson
Thinking Outside The Box by B
Nov 11, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
German version.
Deze biografie vertelt het wedervaren van Robert Enke, doelman van Hannover 96 en de Duitse nationale ploeg, die op 33-jarige leeftijd zelfmoord pleegt. De man leed onder depressies die het gevolg kunnen geweest zijn van de voortdurende angst om te presteren en om geen fouten te maken. Alhoewel het een voetbalboek is, is het toch ook veel meer dan dat. Een realistisch beeld van een hard leven.
Maar dit had beter kunnen geschreven worden. Reng is duidelijk een sportjournalist en hee
Rui Miguel
Jan 02, 2013 Rui Miguel rated it it was amazing
Um verdadeiro murro no estômago.
Aug 14, 2014 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2014
It's been a long time since a book has resonated so deeply with me. I suffer from depression and anxiety, and Robert's story really makes it clear that 'suffer' is exactly the right word. It helped me to read about his thoughts and feelings, helped me to understand my own. I am hoping it will help me to be even more open about the illness,and then in turn the people around me will be able to understand me, and it, more. I also came away from this book with a greater understanding of football - a ...more
Sep 14, 2014 DW rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because it was about a German footballer and the World Cup had just ended. The book answered many of my questions about life as a professional footballer (What do they do all day? (train) Is it weird to be the substitute goalie who never plays any games? (not unless you were expecting to be the one playing) How do players from different countries even communicate? (the foreigners learn the language, but at one point the goalkeeping coach had to have Robert go first in all t ...more
Sep 26, 2014 ... rated it really liked it
قيمت الكتاب لكن تهربت لفترة من كتابة مراجعة عنه..بصراحة ما اعرف كيف اصفه واعطيه قدره من الإعجاب..غير اعتيادي..كل الأمور في قصة روبرت اينكه غير اعتيادية,خلف الأبواب المغلقة لكل شخص اسرار سوداء لا يفصح عنها..كبشر نملك القدرة العجبية على توجيه الانتقادات والشتائم لكل شخص يقف امامنا لكن من ينظر لذاته وسلبياتها قبل سلبيات الأخرين هم نادرين..روبرت اينكه هرب من كل ما يعانيه بإقترافه للإنتحار هربا من شكوك الناس وسخريتهم عنه لو كشف عيوبه وإكتئابه..دائما ننظر للرياضين والرياضة على انها مهنة العمر مع الأمو ...more
Jeroen Schwartz
Oct 16, 2014 Jeroen Schwartz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zweet
Een voetbalboek, een bestseller zoals over onze Gijp en Andy, maar dan gelukkig heel anders - hoe tragisch ook de aanleiding.
Hoewel er veel op het boek valt aan te merken, nam het door Ronald Reng opgetekende verhaal mij gaandeweg in een houdgreep.
De worsteling van Robert Enke wordt invoelbaar, net als de spanning in de stadions en de atmosfeer in de kleedkamers. Reng schets het beeld van een bovenmatig talentvolle doelman en een deemoedige man, met oog en hart voor mensen en dieren. Een perfect
Trev Twinem
Nov 15, 2013 Trev Twinem rated it really liked it
"People wondered why he saw everything in such a negative way, why he couldn't pull himself together. They didn't understand that he was powerless in the face of it. He could no longer control it. His brain function was altered; synapses inside his head seemed to be blocked. He found it hard to concentrate from day to day" This is such a depressing and yet a very important book to read as it deals with depression and the effect it has on the everyday life of the sufferer and his family. I have r ...more
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Ronald Reng is a German sports journalist and author. Of his books, two have been translated to English and both of them have been honored with book awards in the UK.

The Keeper of Dreams, the story of the German non-league goalkeeper Lars Leese who ended up playing for Barnsley Football Club in the Premier League, won the Sports Book of the Year Award in 2004. It was the first foreign book to ach
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