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A Handful of Summers

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  8 reviews
A Handful of Summers is a cult classic. It's a delightfully uninhibited insider's account of tennis on the international circuit - both on and off the court - in the fifties and sixties, the glory days of Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, and Virginia Wade.

Forbes begins with his childhood on a farm in South Africa, where he learned to play tennis on a gravel court. His game takes

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Lyons Press (first published June 12th 1978)
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Jeff Kelleher
Is there any player on the tennis tour today who could write with as much luster and hilarity as Gordon Forbes did in this memoir of the 50s and 60s? None has appeared. Djokovic has a playful side. Agassi's ghostwritten memoir was gripping, but serious. Federer, Nadal, and Murray can deliver a polished courtside speech ("I knew he would be tough and I would have to play my best....I always love coming to Cincinnati").

The game itself has reached a velocity and intensity unimaginable in Forbes's t
Loved the fact this book was about an era before the tennis world was filled with superstars and their bulging bank balances. It transported me back to a time in recent history, when life seemed to be less complicated and more fun. Full of hilarious anecdotes about tennis champion Gordon Forbes's life and his career.
Merritt Phillips
My expectations were too high for this book. It is out of print and so I had to order it from a used book seller who then didn't have it so I had to order it from someone else. By the time I got it I was so excited to finally read it that I was a bit let down. In the first chapter the writing style is great as the author tells about growing up in South Africa and playing tennis. I did enjoy reading about how the tennis world functioned before it became big money, those were the days. Based on th ...more
This memoir is an interesting look into the early history and spirit of the game of tennis -- before it was all money and fame. Very refreshing. The personal antedotes were fun, but the endless lists of names of players left me thinking that my tennis education is lacking. Funny in places, bittersweet in others, and worth a read if you have more than a passing interest in the game.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
May 03, 2011 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Patrick McEnroe's Hardcourt Confidential
Once we got past the narrator's quest to lose his virginity — seriously, an irritating amount of time was devoted to a young boy's interest in girls and sex — this was an interesting tale of how things worked in the time before the Open era of tennis.
One of my favourite people in real life wrote this book, but that doesn't mean it's not good. An entertaining account of a young boy's life and the time before tennis was as commercialised as it is now.
Conor Cronin
A wonderfully written autobiographical account of the tennis world just as it began the so-called "Open era". Often immature, sometime chauvinist, but consistently honest and entertaining.
Funny, irreverent and totally entertaining.
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