West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

Jerry West, with Jonathan Coleman. Little, Brown, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-05349-5
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A pressure-embracing superstar with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1960s and 1970s, West (called “Mr. Clutch”) was so revered that the NBA used his silhouette for its famed logo. After a legendary Hall of Fame playing career, West became the Lakers’ general manager, helping to assemble squads that won eight world championships in the 1980s and 2000s. Such lofty accomplishments did little to abate a self-destructive competitive spirit and crippling bouts of depression, the results of a miserable childhood in West Virginia. West’s beloved older brother, David, was killed in the Korean War; their father regularly beat the skinny, younger, West, inspiring a murderous, unforgiving hatred. “And the real enemy is myself, “ writes West, in this candid and self-reflecting autobiography. That willingness to share, however, extends little beyond his tortured soul, as he holds back in detailing his occasionally tense relationships with coaches like Phil Jackson and Pat Riley and storied players such as Kobe Bryant (who declined to be interviewed for the book). West’s reluctance to detail his dealings with others coupled with the authors’ anecdotal style lead to a lack of perspective and narrative heft that doesn’t befit the rich, complex life of such an iconic sports figure. 16 pages color photos, 14 b&w photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61113-370-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-19420-4
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-316-19616-1
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-316-05350-1
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