Review: West By West – Jerry West & Jonathan Coleman

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031605349X
ISBN-13: 978-0316053495
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Jerry West. A Legend of Basketball. He’s also a fellow native of West virginia. It was rather interesting reading his memoir, because I knew many of the areas he wrote about. The memoir is a no holds barred, raw, look into his life. From a poor childhood, in which he details getting used items for presents, in particular a used bike, to his father’s abusive behavior. Throughout the book, you can feel the pain he still carries from his lack of his father’s love. You can also feel the drive he had to succeed because of the abuse.

He also details a major pivoting point in his life, the death of his brother David, who was killed in the Korean War. David’s death it appears left him to more or less survive on his own, and that’s when he turned to basketball.

Basketball it seems was his saving grace, but also a point of obsessions with him. He also goes into great details about a lifetime of suffering from depression.

Throught the book he covers some of the big names in basketball, and gives insight into his relationship with them. Wilt Chamberlin, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Dr. J. And some of the legendary coaches and announcers.

He also goes through some of the more heartbreaking aspects of his friendships with these sports Icons. He talks about his love for Shaq, his feelings when he found out about Magic Johnson contracting HIV, and the death of Wilt Chamberlin, his former Olympic Coach, and others.

For the basketball fans out there, this is a great walk through 5 decades of basketball history. For the non-fans, it’s an interesting look into a man’s life. I’d definitely recommend it.

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About the Authors

Jerry West is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. After retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers in 1974, West went on to lead the team– first as a coach, and then as the general manager. He lives in California and West Virginia.
Jonathan Coleman is the bestselling author of Exit the Rainmaker, At Mother’s Request, and Long Way to Go. He is a former producer and correspondent with CBS News.He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book.  It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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