West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

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West by West (Autographed Copies) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
dougwashington More than 1 year ago
WEST BY WEST: My Charmed, Tormented Life, is a powerfully revealing work that puts a human face on the whole notion of "heroism." Reading it is like having Jerry West in the room, not the icon of the NBA but a real man who breathes and bleeds just like the rest of us. Each page is unbelievably personal...very compelling. Though filled with many first-hand accounts about other NBA greats and his life with the Lakers and much more, the real story is West's brave decision to tell the hard truth about himself. Took courage to write this book. An entertaining read, it's also an inspiration to all of us facing life's most difficult challenges. WEST BY WEST, in sharp contrast to typical egocentric celebrity, is by far the most authentic autobiography I've ever read. Doug Washington
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a basketball fan but enjoy reading about successful people and I am a fan of Jonathan Coleman's books. I think a basketball buff would get a lot out of this book but i found it difficult to follow - jumped around a lot. Also, I think his personal revelations lacked the depth and detail expected.
jules9swanson More than 1 year ago
Growing up as a basketball junkie, I first read about Jerry West as a kid in some old book pulled off my brothers' bookshelf. I tried to model my practice habits after his own, spending hours outside shooting all on my own. Even then I was fascinated by him, by his great drive. So I was glad to see this book come out. It's only now that I've read West by West that I understand what motivated him, at least in part. Jerry is very brave in writing the book and telling the honest details of his life and in sharing so many of his thought processes and emotions. An interesting man who thinks widely and deeply about many things-his childhood and family, the pain that fueled him, his career in basketball, happiness, nature, music, art, his relationships, friendships, his loyalty to people and places, education, race, spirituality, life and death-Jerry West looks back and explores his past (and present) candidly. As tough as his public façade may be, he shows that he has great compassion for others and a tender, fragile heart. He describes himself as a wounded boy/man who's continually asking questions, trying to learn and understand more and more about himself and the world. The book is often very sad, so much so that you can feel the depression he battles and understand his frustration in not being able to overcome it-though it does end with some measure of hope that he has begun to find peace in working through his past. Far more than a shallow tell-all autobiography by a former sports star. Jonathan Coleman, the author who wrote the book with Jerry West, did a great job of staying out of the way and keeping the book in Jerry's voice.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
Rating:   3 of 5 stars (okay) Review: Today in our celebrity-obsessed culture it can be forgotten that entertainers and athletes can be human too.  One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Jerry West, shows his humanity in this candid autobiography written with Jonathan Coleman.  He not only shares his flaws with readers, but also does not make excuses nor shows regret for how his life turned out. Nonetheless, West manages to put together a book that is equal parts basketball and personal revelations that will leave the reader in various emotional states. While he has been driven throughout his basketball career as both a player as for the Los Angeles Lakers and later as a coach and general manager for the Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, he reveals himself to be a person who has a hard time getting close to others, would succumb to depression and had a hard time dealing with the death of his brother, who was killed in action serving in the Korean War.   For readers who want to know a lot about his basketball career, there surprisingly was little mention of this by West in the book.  Yes, he does discuss the 1971-72 season when the Lakers won it all and some of the disappointment when the Lakers would often finish second to the Boston Celtics several years in the 1960’s.  He spends more time talking about his relationships with team owner Jerry Buss and the coaches (Phil Jackson) and players (especially Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant) during his time as the general manager of the Lakers.  This was a disappointment to me as I didn’t get to see West in his prime as a player, and I would have liked to learn more about that time in his life. He does spend an inordinate amount of time talking about his flaws – everything from the failure of his first marriage to his inability to get close to people. Of course, he talks about the abuse he suffered from his father and how he succumbed to some of the temptations that every professional athlete encounters. These passages can be depressing at times. This is not meant to be interpreted as West is feeling sorry for himself.  Rather, he is exposing himself for all to see.   Overall, this is an enormous undertaking for the man whose silhouette is the logo of the NBA.  It cannot be easy to bare one’s soul as West does in this book. However, the manner in which this is told is very choppy and does not flow very well.  Basketball fans who want to learn more about West’s career would do better to search elsewhere, but readers who want to delve into the mind of the man nicknamed “Mr. Logo” might enjoy this one.  Pace of the book:   Good overall.  While at times the book shifts back and forth between West’s basketball career and his personal life without following a timeline, it reads fairly well and at a good pace.  Because of the lack of a timeline, it feels choppy during some chapter. At times it also can be tough to read because the reader can feel West’s pain, but it doesn’t slow the book down. Do I recommend?   Yes, despite the lukewarm rating. Fans of the NBA or of West will certainly be interested in the book but readers who may not be sports fans but instead want to delve into the psyche of a driven man will also enjoy this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Depressing and poorly written i couldn't finish it, it jumps around geographically as well as historically, ick!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He meant res four.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh..." she trotted out
bleacherbum99 More than 1 year ago
Jerry West takes you from his days in the boonies of West Virginia to running the Lakers. A good, solid book with plenty of insight on the quiet West. I would have liked to had more insight on people like Wilt, Bill Russell and Oscar, though....good read.
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basile72 More than 1 year ago
Book title and author: ¿West by West,¿ By: Jerry West Title of review: West Review Number of stars (1 to 5): **** Introduction The Book, ¿West by West,¿ by Jerry West is a very well-written nice autobiography that can even be described as distressing, and gloomy. West is a West Virginia native who grew up in nearby Cheylan, WV. West is known as many different names, ¿Mr. Clutch,¿ ¿The logo,¿ and his least favorite, ¿Zeke from Cabin Creek.¿ He is actually the logo of the NBA (National Basketball League.) There is a side to West that most people don¿t know. Description and summary of main points West grew up in an abusive household that was not well to him. He practiced basketball for hours on end. He said, (once to his parents after eating a bowl of vegetable soup that had been leftovers from other nights before,) ¿I can¿t eat his anymore.¿ It¿s stated that his father took him out from under the bed a beat him so bad that his mother finally said, ¿Cecile your going to kill him.¿ West became a basketball phenom in high school. He was visited by multiple college coaches, but chose WVU (West Virginia University.) He led West Virginia to their only national championship game, they lost and he has never forgiven himself for any of those losses. After retiring, West struggled working for the Lakers, because of a troubled relationship with Phil Jackson. The most interesting, yet freighting part of the book is where Jerry was driving home from a game in his white Ferrari, and noticed he was being followed the car quickly sped away. A couple years later West was reading a book about the Manson family, when all of a sudden he stumbled upon a sentence on page 357, ¿ As we approached the white sports car Charlie turned to me, and said, pull up at the next light I¿m going to kill the driver. He often wondered if that was him. This book will take you through a journey of what seems as an exciting life, but you will quickly find out that it was very tough. Evaluation Jerry West star basketball player, lives a life covered by fame, the untold story of his personal life that was covered up by fame, the book is brutally honest and truly amazing, and for that I commend Mr. West. Conclusion: Fame really can cover up one¿s personal life. West beaten by his father, painful losses and many more. I recommend this book to all ages. Your final review The book taught me a lot, and I bet it was good for Mr. West to get it out there
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The_Paperback_Pursuer More than 1 year ago
Description: 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. Review: 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: Bounty's Out (4.5/5) ***I received this ARC from Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.