A book to remember - Jimmy White's Autobiography

00:05:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

You thought I've given up writing, didn't you? Oh, come on admit it, there's not point in saying no, when we all think it :-)) Well, I haven't and I still have one big love (snooker that is), although I've been neglecting it for some time now, due to my horrible job that has taken over my life. Grrrr!!!

Putting that aside, what do you know? It's almost 2013. We all survived December 21st, most of us that is, so raise up your glass and drink up for we have a brand new year ahead of us, full of promises of hearth, wealth and other stuff we crave for. I know I crave for a trip to Sheffield, but we'll talk about that some other time.

Now, what I was trying to say is that instead of wishing you all a happy new year and all that crap that we say to each other on this day, I decided to share with you a bit of my experience after reading Jimmy White's book "Behind the White Ball".

I know it's not a new book, since it's been on the market since 1999 or something like that, but I've just got the chance to read it sooooo I thought I put down a word or two about it.
I apologise in advance for those of you who read it and lost interest in reading my post suddenly. Oh come on, read on ... I might have some great insight about it .... neaah, or maybe just a little bit. You never know :-))

Now getting serious. What I really like about this book is the fact that is almost snooker-free. I know, how on earth could I like something like that, right? Well, the funny thing is that it's snooker-free because it's about Jimmy and ... Jimmy and snooker are an item, so you can't really separate the two of them and make two different stories, one about the man and one about the sport he’s playing. You just can’t.

Unlike other players, Jimmy proves to be the same person on and off the table. So if you see him making mistakes at the table or doing something crazy, is only because that's him. That's the real him, that's what he does in his day-by-day life.

So you see, is like snooker and Jimmy don't just co-exist, they just ARE together, forming a package that for so many years has entertained us, made us cry, made us laugh, made us angry, made us smile and so on. You can't buy stuff like that, I must say.

The way this book was written, and bare with me that I don't know if he had a ghost-writer for it, and even if he had, I have the belief that he just wrote the pieces Jimmy dictate it to him, because you can almost hear his voice though the lines ... so where was I? Oh yeah the way this book is written is just brilliant for I found myself laughing in the metro (I took the book with me while getting to work) more than once.

The style is simple, so honest and so transparent it's impossible not to fell in love with it. I know autobiographies tend to be boring, but this is not one of them. It’s refreshing and it's bloody awesome!

The funny stories about his rebel years, the sad stories about his brother, or the fact that he had cancer, about the fights with his wife Maureen, about how he missed tournaments due to multiple hangovers, all these make him human (we all tend to see a sportsman as some kind of God) and cool.

And I love the fact that even though he has a genuine respect for players that have a consistency, respect and a high discipline for the sport (like Steve Davis for example, who Jimmy calls "Saint Steve"), he admits he likes the way he is, the way he plays. Maybe it looks chaotic for some, but for him it's the real deal, because it comes from within, for inside his soul.

You won't hear White going on and on about how passionate is he about snooker and how much he adores this sport, but you can spot this in every line. It's impossible not to. It's an easiness that catches your eye so quickly and doesn't let go until you finish the book.

And after you finish the book you have a warm and cosy feeling created by the fact that you just read about a top class champion and yet you feel you witnessed a story told by an old friend from school. That’s how sincere and real this book is.

Away from the victories and the defeats, away from the dramas and the moments of intense happiness, lies a man, a simple man, a genuine "People's champion" who inspires you to never stop chasing your dreams and gives you hope that if you’re talented and you believe in yourself (a thing that he himself failed to do sometimes) you can achieve your goals no matter what they are.

So, on that note I would like to end this piece and recommend you to read this book if you haven't done it yet, for it is a book to remember and to cherish.

Happy New Year everyone! Lots of love x