View Full Version : John McEnroe vs. Michael Chang: Battle of the Books

David I.
02-19-2004, 12:18 AM
Both Mac and Chang released autobiographies last year. So how do they stack up? Mac weighs in at twice the size of Chang but in my opinon they both have the same amount of readable pages. Mac, with his huge ego seems to have written most of his book himself and the result is a poorly written book with plenty of drivel, badly organized and hard to find the juicy good stuff. Chang's is well written, well organized with his religious chapters clearly labeled so you can easily avoid them.

They both have interesting accounts of thier early days coming up the ranks and Chang's opening chapter about winning the French Open at 17 is riveting. Mac reveals the dirt on life on the tour and his candid self-centered approach is refreshing in the beginning, then gets tiresome. In the end its a draw - 3 out of 5 stars.

02-19-2004, 08:26 PM

On a serious note (yes, I CAN be serious), I've read both books and enjoyed both immensely as I've always loved watching both of these players play during their primes.

I loved the parts in the Chang book when he talked about how both Sampras and Agassi used to stay at the Chang house during tournaments and how Sampras used to travel with the "Chang-gang" and how he really didn't appreciate Mrs. Chang's chinese cooking. :o

In the Mac book, I loved the sections about how he, Borg, and Gerulaitis used to party it up at discos (e.g., Studio 54, etc.) in NYC and elsewhere. He really was good friends with both Borg and Gerulaitis, although you couldn't really tell from their matches. Mac also had the greatest of respect for Borg and the greatest of disrespect for guys like Connors and Gilbert. 8)

02-20-2004, 04:42 AM
I read Mac's book, but not Chang's. Mac's book was okay-not great. One thing you realize from Mac's book is how incredibly poorly he dealt with being #1 in the world. He just could not cope...A good example for up-and-coming ranked players-how NOT to behave.

Chang's book, I understand, is published by Thomas Nelson, a publisher that made it's reputation selling bibles, and even today is mainly known as a publisher of religious books. Chang's a born again Christian, and a book review I read said that he discusses his faith in depth in his book. For me, that's enough information to not go near Chang's book, unless I run short of toilet paper.

02-20-2004, 11:28 AM
Phil - I read the Chang book a while a ago but I don't recall all that much in there that discussed religion extensively, perhaps a little or maybe those are the parts I selectively chose to forget. Most of the book talks about how he grew up playing tennis - how and where he learned, his junior days with Sampras and Agassi, how he beat Courier at the Nationals to gain entry into the U.S. Open at age 15, and what he was thinking through each of his rounds at the '89 French Open when he became the youngest ever to win it.
Also some tidbits about Carl getting Prince to make the Longbody racquet.

Of course, Chang's book is not as scintillating as McEnroe's, and less controversial just due to the difference in their personalities and lifestyles. Yes, Chang does admit he's a virgin in the book. Whereas, McEnroe was all about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Both books provided good insight into the pro tour and what goes through the mind of a champion before, during, and after a match.

05-29-2004, 07:34 PM
chang's book was the most boring novel i have ever read.

05-29-2004, 08:31 PM
Yes, Chang does admit he's a virgin in the book.


05-29-2004, 09:46 PM
chang's book was the most boring novel i have ever read.

That's because it wasn't a "novel". It was an autobiography. Novels are fiction and you would expect fiction to be much more exciting and interesting than most people's real lives. Chang's life is no exception.