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You Cannot Be Serious

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,821 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
John McEnroe stunned the tennis elite when he came out of nowhere to make the Wimbledon semifinals at the age of eighteen-and just a few years later, he was ranked number one in the world. "You Cannot Be Serious" is McEnroe at his most personal, a no-holds-barred examination of Johnny Mac, the kid from Queens, and his "wild ride" through the world of professional tennis at ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2002 by Berkley Books (first published 2002)
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Holly Cline
Aug 21, 2012 Holly Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, signed
Let's just say this is worth the read if you like tennis and/or John McEnroe. If not, it probably won't hold your interest. I appreciated that James Kaplan let John's voice shine through. Some of the extra exclamation points and short phrasing may not be very sophisticated as a writing style, but it sounds like John. So many autobiographies of celebrities lose that in trying to clean up the writing.

This book doesn't delve super deep into John's personal life. It's not some tell all, but I don't
Mikey B.
The McEnroe-Borg-Connors years were the apex of tennis viewing. These three very different individuals brought tennis to a much larger viewing audience. Their games and rivalries have – in my opinion – never been matched since. Men’s tennis has become too power-serve oriented – at least Women’s tennis has more rallies and somehow the shorter games can make for an interesting match.

As you would expect from a super-star and a number-one ranked player, Mr. McEnroe comes off as very self-centred – t
Paul Pessolano
Aug 19, 2015 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You Cannot Be Serious” by John McEnroe with James Kaplan, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Category – Autobiography Publication Date – June 10, 2002.

John McEnroe can arguably be considered the best tennis player of all time. He is also considered the bad boy of tennis for his considerable outbursts on the court. Say what you will but the sport of tennis has missed him and will never be the same without him. McEnroe dominated the tennis courts throughout the 1980’s. During this time he was able t
♥ Marlene♥
September 17.
Just finished it and I really enjoyed reading about all the tennis players back in the days. I was always rooting for McEnroe while my mom wanted Borg to win.
Never was a fan of Ivan Lendl. Interesting read. He is not as mean about Tatum as she was about him in her book.
I do think reading this what a miserable sod is this guy. He appears to be never happy. Not when he won, not when he was married. I wanted to read more about his life with Tatum, about his own drug use, and hers!. It
Sean Peters
Maybe I am a little bias in my opinion of McEnroe, as I have met him twice at Wimbledon, and he is Not a nice person, well unless their are cameras on him !

His book although interesting from a tennis point of view, showed to me he is not a sincere person.

Found the book a little hard work.
John Boettcher
This book was a mixed bag for me. I like Johnny Mac, especially when he is behind the mic. I don't especially care for his version of tennis, even though I love serve and vollyers. But I digress.

Everyone knows at this point that JM is an in your face sort of guy, he was hugely successful for a very long time and did things that alot of players didn't do, and pretty much worked his way up from nothing to being one of the most iconic figures in tennis, still even today. At the majors, players STI
Giles Knight
John McEnroe's serious starts on what has to be a very serious note indeed; in his Central Park New York apartment during 9-11 and I found I was thus gripped from the start.

You might imagine that a book on the life of a professional sportsman which starts in such fashion may be more a human story than the story of the sport and you'd be right.

McEnroe writes about his childhood and his father moving between jobs and succeeding in the American dream. He talks about early tennis clubs and early com
Jun 03, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johnny Mac!
Sort of... Not really. No, I take it back. Totally.
Either he`s a very persuasive man or his ghost writer is great. I`m going to look that up right now.
And I`m back and now that I`ve read about James Kaplan I feel vindicated.
I want to believe Mac wrote any of this book but what I think happened was he probably just spoke and Kaplan made it happen.
I love tennis and this book is as good as Agassi`s but I like Agassi more and I remember him. He was my era so I just dig him more.
However, M
Sep 21, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McEnroe was before my time but have always liked him as an analyst and found him interesting with his fiery playing style and passion for the game. He easily could have won 10-15 majors instead of just seven if he trained properly, had proper nutrition, and most importantly had a team around him. Or if he just played more Australian Opens! Would have been much different if he played in today's game. Also I wonder how many more matches he would have won if he could ever get out of his own head, h ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a lifelong fan of tennis I was looking forward to this book very much. While it was interesting to hear Mr. McEnroe's story in his own words, I felt like he was VERY selective with regard to what he chose to discuss. He was so brutally honest about all matters tennis and yet offered very little about his personal life. His marriage to Tatum O'Neal was barely even mentioned, which is surprising considering that they had 3 children together. I believe that if you are going to write an autobiogr ...more
Jul 27, 2008 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting to read that his father once walked onto the court and asked the umpire to disqualify his son for bad behaviour
Aug 18, 2007 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love me some Johnny Mac but this book was unreadable.
Lucy Lang
Sep 23, 2016 Lucy Lang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished this autobiography of John McEnroe, who was seeded number one for some years. This is a fast-paced memoir with razor-sharp wit throughout. I know that a ghost writer has worked with McEnroe to produce this bestseller, but you can still clearly hear the voice of John, as you race along from tournament to tournament, from the early days right up to when he made it as a big Tennis star. It was also interesting to learn about his turbulent relationship with Tatum O Neil and how ...more
Jean Book Worm
This book really kept me captivated and focused because of Mcenroe's honesty. He really gives out a lot of information of incidents in his life and it really makes you realize the kind of person he actually is. Hot tempered, stubborn and ambitious were three words that described him.
Personally, I never was a big fan of Mcenroe due to his attitude I've seen on television. However, I got an insight to his life and came to an understanding for his life.

Plot's Rating: 4/5
His life as a child was no
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his new role as TV commentator (and in his short-lived run as Davis Cup captain) McEnroe has tried to make the unlikely switch from tennis enfant terrible to tennis elder statesman. Judging by the welcome he has received from both the cognoscenti and the American public, it has been a largely successful transition.

This memoir of growing up (or not growing up) on the men's tour tracks the same course. Unfortunately, when shifted to the page, the reinvention produces a much more muddled result.
Chris Salisbury
This book is an autobiography about one of the best tenis players of all time, John macenroe. This book surprised me with it's honesty. Like many biographies, I am astounded at the detail with which people can look back and remember their lives. This one was education about the history of tennis in my lifetime, and it involves tennis players I was familiar with in the 70s and 80s.Also in this book Macenroe talks a lot about his truobles and his anger issues on the court. I loved when he talked a ...more
Sandra Danby
Aug 25, 2015 Sandra Danby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tennis
I’ve always had mixed feelings about John McEnroe. He’s a real Marmite personality for me, love him, hate him. I love his tennis, I hate his teenage antics, his arrogance, his language. But as he has matured, he’s grown on me. I’ve been lucky enough to see him play both as a youngster [queuing up as a student in the late ‘70s in those long lines outside the AELTC in Wimbledon at dawn] and in recent years as a senior on the Champions Tour, playing in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Albert ...more
Paul Darcy
Jan 09, 2012 Paul Darcy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
by John McEnroe with James Kaplan, published in 2002.

This autobiography of John McEnroe is titled after one of his famous outbursts on the tennis court. And yes, if you didn’t already know John was one of the all time best tennis players ever in the early eighties.

I’ve read where other reviews of this book which say he skims the surface of his life, never really digging deep down to reveal himself. I think I disagree with that. I mean how much do you really want to know?

He gives plenty of insigh
Dec 08, 2009 Raghu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the autobiography of John McEnroe, the tennis superstar of the late 1970s and early 1980s. McEnroe was the sublime, unorthodox genius with his tennis racket. He was also the most artistic player I have ever watched play the game to be at no.1. There are many other artistic players of the game but they hardly even get into the top 10. But McEnroe had no weaknesses in his game and had a fierce will to win and he made it to the top without losing any of his artistry along the way. That is w ...more
Oct 31, 2013 Vishal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Serious, by John McEnroe, was one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Throughout my days, I have read many autobiographies; however, none of the books revealed as many as details as Serious. John McEnroe starts the book with himself dropping off his children to school in New York. Then, he has a flashback that goes in a very clear, chronological order. The flashback begins with his childhood and how he grew up around tennis in his life. Playing at a young age in the city of Queens, New ...more
Dawn Buffham-Bates
Having been born the year Mr McEnroe hit the tennis scene, I vaguely remember his outbursts on court being repeated in the playground at school. I love tennis, watching it that is not playing it; well not seriously anyway!

Reading Mr McEnroe's auto biography about his rise to fame and fortune, having grown up in the district of Queens, near to Flushing Meadows, a great place to be for a head start in the world of tennis. Throughout the book McEnroe talks mostly about his tennis, and you begin to
Lucy Montgomery
Dec 18, 2012 Lucy Montgomery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am working through a number of tennis autobiographies and found John McEnroe's You Cannot Be Serious one of the most entertaining. I always liked him as a player and believe he is by far the best TV tennis commentator.
His book is like a long conversation -- fairly succinct and introspective, but without any instances of TMI (unlike some other player books). The reader can certainly hear McEnroe's voice, with both the ego and self-deprication. He acknowledges his failings and regrets but witho
David Kopec
Aug 09, 2013 David Kopec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest and Entertaining

The greatest asset of Mr. McEnroe's autobiography is the author's (sometimes brutal) honesty regarding both himself and the characters/events surrounding his rise to fame. Sure, it is clear at times that McEnroe is concealing some juicy details about his personal life, but it is not fair to expect admissions about everything! What McEnroe does share proves to be very revealing about both the pro-tennis tour and his celebrity lifestyle.

Ultimately this book will appeal to fa
John McEnroe's autobiography is an entertaining and insightful look into the life of one of the most greatest tennis players of all time. I don't know much about tennis, so I probably did not fully appreciate all of the descriptions of his matches and the struggle he had to get to and stay on top in such a competitive world. But I did appreciate how honest he was about what was going on inside his head and behind the scenes during the course of his career. There were times that I felt he was a b ...more
Andrea Prete
Caro John sei stato e rimarrai sempre un mito. Tuttavia mi aspettavo qualcosa in più da questa biografia, a volte sembra un po' trattenuta a volte il tuo smisurato ego costruisce degli alibi un po' fragili specialmente quando parli di incontri di tennis. Ti do atto di aver fatto comunque enormi progressi. E comunque l'unico talento paragonabile a te è Roger Federer quindi chapeau al tennis incarnato è fatto uomo
Feb 04, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
started 25 Nov 2011; flying through it so far this weekend, already finished a 1/3 of it; accidentally deleted it; then re-found it; very entertaining

downloaded as a torrent; read on my Kindle; deleted from computer; then accidentally deleted from Kindle; re-found via a connect at the Burgomeister forum
Conor O'mahony
May 05, 2015 Conor O'mahony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best autobiography I have read in yeas. I had thought McEnroe and Connors hated each other and that Borg and McEnroe had nothing in common off the court. I was wrong. Really interesting and honest account of tennis in the golden era before Federer, Nadal and Djokovic took it to the highest level.
Dec 29, 2013 Jaycob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty psyched to read about John McEnroe playing on some of the same tennis courts I played on in high school. But enough about that.

You either hate Johnny Mac or you love him. I'm in the love him camp. I've always enjoyed hearing what he has to say, even when I disagree with it. His book won't change any opinions on him, but it's a fun read if you're a fan. It's mostly behind the scenes stories through his life and career, but nothing too gossipy. He's fairly respectful of those involved
Gigi Faggella
Jun 09, 2016 Gigi Faggella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una simpatica biografia del tennista più sregolato del circuito. Forse ha fatto molta scena, come dice lui nel libro, o forse gli è venuto spontaneo e non ci crede nemmeno lui a ciò che ha raccontato...
Dec 26, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read and an enjoyable one when you can remember a lot of what McEnroe is talking about. The Wimbledon finals with Borg, Britain in the eighties, what it is to be a hot headed American Superbrat! I wish he'd dished the dirt a bit more though - what was Vitas and Bjorn getting up to with their groupies, for instance? Saying that, his book was a bit more straighttalking than most - not many would call Madonna the most career driven women he'd ever met. He also comes across as quite a decent ...more
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Intriguing idea. 1 3 May 13, 2013 01:51AM  
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John McEnroe is a American former world professional tennis player. He grew up in Queens, NY and began playing tennis at age 8. McEnroe is often rated as the greatest in the sport. He is also well known for his on court behavior that got him in trouble with tennis authorities and umpires.

McEnroe is also an expert tennis commentator and occasionally makes guests appearances in TV shows. He was marr
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“when you’re young, you feel invulnerable. I don’t feel invulnerable anymore.” 1 likes
“The Open era had brought personalities into the game, and personality was generating media exposure, which was generating more money, which in turn guaranteed more media exposure - which in turn drove in even more money. Where money and publicity meet, there’s always excitement, but good behavior is rarely a part of the mix. Manners are the operating rules of more stable systems.” 1 likes
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