The Outsider: A Memoir
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The Outsider: A Memoir

3.19 of 5 stars 3.19  ·  rating details  ·  346 ratings  ·  86 reviews
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...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Harper
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My opinion of Jimmy Connors did not change after reading this. I wanted to like him and at times actually felt sorry for him. I came away with the thought that because someone is blunt and in your face, it does not necessarily mean they are honest. (He, in fact, boasts all through the book of his absolute honesty)

Tennis needed Connors like The Indy needs a wreck. I give him kudos for making the game interesting but grabbing his junk, demeaning the officials and foul language in a punk street lik...more
Douglas Perry
For Andre Agassi, tennis was famously about "the journey," about figuring out who he was and what he wanted -- and maybe, just maybe, growing up a little along the way.

No wonder Jimmy Connors, in his new memoir "The Outsider," calls Agassi "nothing but an act."

Because Connors doesn't believe anyone can change. You are who you are. There's no personal growth to be had, there's only pushing forward, trying harder.

Read the rest of the review
Virginia Albanese
Boring book with little human interest. But as Conners would say about my opinion "Who gives a shit and f...k off".
With Connors you get what you see. This book is no different. If you disliked Connors totally then you will not like this book. He disparages opponents, talks big and skips around a lot.

On the other hand, if you want to know what being a kid learning tennis, a pro playing all over the world and a retired sports figure is like then this is a good book.

Having been a big fan of tennis in the Connor's era and also living in St. Louis I was really interested in the story. It did not disappoint me at...more
After reading the first few chapters, then "cherry picking" around the book, using the index to guide me, I finally gave up and threw in the proverbial towel. Therefore, my "1 star" rating should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I always knew that Jimmy Connors, the former "bad boy" of tennis was a cocky, selfish brat, but, I didn't know that he was a vindictive jerk who spilled a decades held secret concerning his former fiancee and fellow tennis star, Chris Evert. The fact that he would...more
Rob Duford
Jimmy Connors was a childhood hero of mine. When I picked up tennis in the 7th grade I became addicted to watching him, McEnroe, Edberg, Becker, and Agassi bring tennis to the front page of the sports section.

This book is written just as though Jimmy were speaking. It's not always grammatically correct, but it sure does get the point across. He's vulnerable, humorous, and opinionated. I loved getting a front row seat to both his tennis and personal world.

I didn't want this book to end. I wish t...more
Overall, the book moved quickly and was easy to read. Despite its length I read it in about a week. He definitely lays bare his vices and indiscretions, along with those of some of his friends. I was on the fence about giving it three or four stars, and if I were more of a tennis fan I probably would have rated it higher. He gives a lot of good detail about his preparation and strategy.
he writes the way he played - straight at you. He was the seismic shift that brought the game to the boomer generation.

I wish he and Ashe hadn't had such a rocky relationship. They were both my tennis heroes. Ashe taught me how to act, court courtesy, sportsmanship
Connors showed me how to play your heart out. - Never quite, grind in out!
Steve Horton
This is a truncated review, as Goodreads ate my first one.

I was never a huge Connors fan, as I always favored Ashe, and they seemed destined for opposite axes. However, to say that tennis did not benefit from Connors participation is ludicrous. Connors plays his guts out every time he steps on the court. Not only an elite player, JC is a showman, and gives the fan their money's worth not out of disrespect to the game, but for the love of it.

To this day, Connors continues to promote the game at e...more
Karen & Gerard
I always enjoyed watching Jimmy Connors play tennis, so it was a no brainer that I would read his memoir called The Outsider. I especially liked reading about his young teen years and found his comments on his fellow players interesting. The part with his on-again, off-again relationship with Chris Evert was very good also.
(Gerard's review)
Barbara Hale
I gave this book 3 stars because it was like a train wreck and I just couldn't stop watching the carnage. This is definitely a no holds barred memoir and if you ever pissed off Jimmy Connors, you are probably mentioned in this book.
Great book. I could relate to so many of his experiences as I played during that era and was a ball girl for him and many others mentioned.
Marianne Fanning
Bit of a whiney-baby!!! He is definitely pompous and egotistical.
It was a good book for anyone who watched Jimmy Connors play tennis!!
He should just stick to tennis.
OK, this is by no means "literature," but that doesn't mean it wasn't entertaining. And, for tennis players (and fans) of a former era (particularly the 1970's and the 1980's), there are plenty of entertaining anecdotes, memories, and insights. I'm guessing that the editor/publisher strove mightily to let Connors maintain his voice throughout - it really does read/sound like you'd expect (for better or for worse). Unfortunately, it is what it is - a jock autobiography, with all of the pathologie...more
Eileen Granfors
Jimmy Connors was the proverbial bad boy of tennis. Although his profane words and sometimes vulgar antics on the court could be a distraction or comic relief, there is no doubting his talent with his T2000 racquet or the fire in his belly from childhood on.

A sports bio is not literary fiction. It is a way to tell the world about the pressures of a sport, the regimen, the other players, and often, the burn-out. In this way, THE OUTSIDER is a typical sports bio/memoir. Jimmy doesn't mince words a...more
Lucy Hannigan
Jimmy is just a couple of years older than me and as I teenager I loved watching tennis (not playing--I tried one time while I was visiting my cousin at a small college in southern Utah and my serve went into the next court and hit some guy on his behind--embarrassing to say the least). I was an Arthur Ashe fan...and then Bjorn Borg hit the courts! But I digress...

As a teen, I was not a Connors fan. His game was good, but I thought his shenanigans on the court were generally disgusting and total...more
This was a gift....although I'm a Connors fan, I'm not sure I would have sought it out. That said, I enjoyed the book. It starts off with a bang, but then slows down significantly; it took me awhile to really get into it. It appears to be written from an extremely honest perspective. You could definitely classify this as a "tell-all", and there are some people, primarily other tennis players, who will not like what Jimmy says. The editing falls off a bit in the final quarter of the book. The sto...more
Jimmy Connors is a jackass and an asshole and he knows it. He even revels in it to a certain extent. And most importantly, to him anyway, he is not sorry for being am asshole, for competing hard. That's the theme of this book, perhaps even the theme of Connors' life. It's not, however, enough theme to sustain the entirety of the volume.

I found this unsatisfying as a book and as a sports bio. As a book, Connors' ghost writer should have been better. Adverbs abound abundantly and with redundantne...more
Never cared one way or the other about Conners when he was playong; thought McEnroe was a jerk, spoiled brat etc.
When I saw an interview on TV with Conners, when the book came out, thought I would read it.
I am glad I did. Undoubtedly the editing by David Hirshey, previously a sports writer for the New York Daily News, proved to be the icing on the cake. A sweet, funny jounery, with just the right amount of bragging, and an abundance of appreciation for those who helped Jimmy through it all.
Didn't finish this one. I really enjoy reading biographies but seemed to me that he needed a better editor or ghost writer to help him with this. It didn't keep my interest and I abandoned it. Might go back at a later time but doubtful.

I was hoping this was going to be a read like Andre Agassi's book, Open. It wasn't.
I read this book because Andre Agassi's 'Open' left me wanting more tennis. It's an unfair comparison because Agassi had an amazing ghost writer and a really interesting life - if tormented and troubled is more interesting than the Hollywood lifestyle that is. Interestingly Connors seems to always see himself as the guy coming up from the rough end of town, but he's rubbing elbows with the rich and famous from pretty much the beginning of his career - and book. His ego makes it difficult to alwa...more
If you were a tennis fan in 1991, you were glued to the television watching Jimmy Connors try to do the impossible - win the U.S. Open at the age of 39! After beating Aaron Krickstein, he was treated to a 20,000 person chorus singing Happy Birthday while the tennis world wondered if he could finish his career with one last Grand Slam victory! This is Jimmy Connors' story in his own words - the good, the bad, and the ugly. He was no one's poster boy for good behavior, but he brought his own uniqu...more
Allie Smith
Very interesting. Fans of tennis will love this book (and you probably should be a fan - there's a lot of court talk). I loved to learn more about the glory days of tennis. A little self-serving at times, but always entertaining.
Interesting to read Jimmy's perspective. I was at some of the tournaments he played and saw him give all he had. He was the best of his time. The t2000 gave my tennis credibility. Thank you, Jimmy.
Carolyn Avila Tice
If you love tennis, this is a good read. I fell in love with tennis in the mid-late 80's when Jimmy and the old guard (Lendle, MacEnroe, Evert, Navritalova) where on their way out to Becker, Edberg, Graff. I appreciated him then but it's great to get the history (from his point of view) of the beginnings of tennis to the masses. To read about other greats (Nastasie, Geuralitis, Borg and MacEnroe), some of which I had the privalege to see play gave me a renewed appreciation of them and the sport....more
I liked the first quarter of the book (about Jimmy's youth, his family, learning to play tennis), and I liked the last part (the sad stuff about growing old, having family members die, etc.). But the middle two quarters were dull. Connors touched on all sorts of interesting issues (his relationship with Chris Evert, how he almost ruined his own marriage, his own gambling problems, people's perceptions of his mom, drug use by some in the sport); but there was little depth or feeling in his accoun...more
I used a T2000 for years. I even used a T3000 for a year or so. I was a huge fan of Connors. But, this book is just an unforced error. It seems like it was written by Jimmy with absolutely no help, including no proofreading nor editing help. There are dozens of inconsistencies and walking around in a circle. There are a half-dozen glaring mistakes around stating facts, including a few that contradict each other within a couple of pages.

Aside from that, the writing is, I don't know, folksy? Bad?...more
As a huge tennis fan, I enjoyed this book. Connors is from an era of tennis that is long-gone and his memoir gives a peek into that tennis world that is drastically different than that of a present day tennis pro. I found the contrasts very interesting. I admire Connors work ethic and what he gave to the game of tennis. I respect his need to set the record straight on controversial issues. This isn't a deep, soulful or even inspirational read and I would not recommend it to anyone who isn't a te...more
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