Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review # 35: West By West- My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman

      West By West is the autobiography of L.A. Lakers All-Star Jerry West. The autobiography is a detailed account of Jerry's entire life from his birth in WV in 1938, to his experience in the 1960 Rome Olympics, even his years as a L.A. Laker and a coach/adviser; and everything in-between.
      Let me begin by saying that I have never been a fan of basketball, not of any sport in particular, but when I read the pre-release for this book I felt compelled to request a copy. I do love a good autobiography, one written by the person themselves always seems more authentic than one pieced together by a secondary source. But when I began reading West By West, I immediately noted how genuine it was. It wasn't just another look at a celebrity's career and faux pas, but a completely honest and compelling look at Jerry West, the real man behind all of the celebrity/sports star persona. As Jonathan Coleman writes,"this was an opportunity to peel back the onion, layer by layer, to try and get at, by whatever means necessary, the riddle and enigma that Jerry West had always represented to me..." At this, both Jerry and Jonathan succeeded. The personal feel of every account is apparent; from the abuse Jerry suffered as a child, to the death of the brother he looked up to, the wins and losses both on and off the court, and the struggle with his own inner demons. As for the writing style, it emotes highly and goes perfectly with the content. I may not be a sports fan, but after reading West By West, I feel like I know Jerry West personally, his life, his career, and his hardships. Amazing autobiography, not just for the sports oriented.

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

***I received this ARC from Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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