A Life Too Short: The ...
Ronald Reng
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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke

4.51 of 5 stars 4.51  ·  rating details  ·  869 ratings  ·  82 reviews


Why does an international footballer with the world at his feet decide to take his own life?

On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty-two years old and a devoted husband and f...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by Vintage Digital (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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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
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
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.

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
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
Jack Stevenson
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
"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...more
Sophie robertson
Quite good but very definitely too cloying and sentimental.
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
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.
Dan Lee
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
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...more
Andy Mackenzie
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 Br...more
Rui Miguel
Um verdadeiro murro no estômago.
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
Jeroen Schwartz
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...more
Trev Twinem
"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
Das Buch, dass Robert Enke selbst schreiben wollte.

Das Buch, dass sein Leben auf so .. wunderbar ehrliche Art und Weise Revue passieren lässt, mit allen Höhen und jeder Menge Tiefen.

Robert Enke war ein Ausnahmetalent im Fussball, so manch einem ist er ein Begriff und welcher doch ganz anders war, als man ihn "gekannt" hat.

Schon mit 20 wurde er in den Kader des legendären FC Barcelona berufen, war jedoch keine 5 Jahre später schon fast wieder ein vergessenes Talent.

Privat wie beruflich erlebte e...more
Das Buch, dass Robert Enke selbst schreiben wollte.
Das Buch, dass sein Leben auf so .. wunderbar ehrliche Art und Weise Revue passieren lässt, mit allen Höhen und jeder Menge Tiefen.
Robert Enke war ein Ausnahmetalent im Fussball, so manch einem ist er ein Begriff und welcher doch ganz anders war, als man ihn "gekannt" hat.
Schon mit 20 wurde er in den Kader des legendären FC Barcelona berufen, war jedoch keine 5 Jahre später schon fast wieder ein vergessenes Talent.
Privat wie beruflich erlebte...more
Eugene Lim
I first saw the news on Soccernet. Robert Enke jumps in front of a train, aged 32. It was a really shocking moment for soccer and for sport. I had heard his name before, but I wasn’t familiar with German football players in general. Of course, time dilutes things. Life had to go on, and I paid no further heed to the tragic news.

That was back in 2009.

Today, I finished reading A Life Too Short – The Tragedy of Robert Enke, written by Enke’s friend Ronald Reng. It was a deeply personal and immensel...more
Cailin Deery
Mar 05, 2013 Cailin Deery rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cailin by: Rhodri
A Life Too Short is the biography of Robert Enke, the German goalkeeper who committed suicide in November 2009. Enke suffered from crippling depression, sometimes triggered by his extreme anxiety, other times by smaller triggers (a flippant comment; an omission; a hesitation in goal) or larger ones (his 2-year-old daughter Lara's death; the indecision to precede and regret to follow new contracts he signed with Benfica, Barcelona, Fenerbahçe, and teams in the Bundesliga). For 6 years Enke suffer...more
Dave Evans
This award winning book explains what drove a top sportsman to kill himself at the age of 32.
Robert Enke was Germany's number 1 and had kept goal for leading European clubs like Benfica and Barcelona.
His friend, Ronald Reng, charts Robert's highs and his disastrous lows. An obsessive perfectionist Enke would beat himself up for days if he thought his mistakes had contributed to a defeat.
Reng movingly describes how Enke battled against depression - his story held particular resonance for me as a...more
Es ist lange her, dass ich mir für ein Buch so sehr ein Happy End gewünscht habe wie für dieses. Was natürlich ziemlich sinnlos ist, jeder weiß, wie es ausgeht...

Sehr, sehr gut geschrieben, man versteht zumindest ansatzweise, was "Depression" bedeutet (oder bedeuten kann), gleichzeitig kommen so viele Emotionen rüber und mir ging es zumindest so, dass ich ziemlich mitgelitten habe, wenn wieder eine düstere Stelle im Leben kam.

Trotzdem fühlt man bei den positiven Augenblicken genau so mit, und ic...more
Keith Salmon
Ever wondered about mental health? Ever wondered about why sports stars make mistakes? Ever wondered how brittle life is? Do you ever wonder why people take their lives and think they are selfish? If you do read this book it is truly amazing, a view from close to someone who looked like he had it all but was on the edge from a young age. He rose to the top of the football profession was destined for World Cup duty with one of the biggest and best teams in the world but couldn't cope.

I dare anyon...more
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