Unbreakable: Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2023
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O’Sullivan is candid when detailing the struggles with which both “Snooker Ronnie” and the tea-loving, scone-scoffing “Ordinary Ronnie” have contended. He writes about how both his parents were imprisoned while he was still a teenager, his own time as a distant father and his spell in rehab. This rationalist, therapeutic approach – which he owes to his time with the psychiatrist Steve Peters – is also evident in O’Sullivan’s treatment of his iconic sporting moments, such as his tightly contested World Championship semi-final against John Higgins in 2022, which O’Sullivan won, going on to claim his seventh title. Unbreakable provides a fascinating insight into the fortitude and fragility of an elite sportsperson’s mind. In his second autobiography, Ronnie O’Sullivan describes his biggest challenge: “To become someone I could look at in the mirror and not turn away from.” Such vulnerability might not be what you’d expect to hear from a snooker legend. But Unbreakable adds to a growing subgenre of sports media that goes beyond surface-level accounts of an athlete’s career highs, instead focusing on the psychological tolls of elite sport and daily life – and how they often overlap. Now, though, he is able to separate his snooker life from his other interests, and the balance has helped him love the sport again.
Unfortunately for Francisco Garcia, last year the BBC ran a documentary and a podcast series revisiting the case, and so there is little in We All Go into the Dark that feels truly new: reclaiming the stories of the victims; the 1996 exhumation of the suspect John McInnes for DNA testing (spoiler: it wasn’t him); the possibility that Bible John was actually the serial killer Peter Tobin (a theory here discredited by the detective who caught Tobin). Most interesting are Garcia’s interviews with those directly involved in the case over the decades – crime reporters, detectives, a pathologist – and the underlying social history of how bogeymen come to be.
At 47, he’s been at the top of his game for longer than many of his peers. Yet it wasn’t an easy start for the former ‘bad boy’ of snooker, given his family history (his father was jailed for murder when O’Sullivan was 16) and his battles with drugs, alcohol and depression. The Tom he’s referring to is sports journalist and co-writer Tom Fordyce, and Ronnie admitted their love of running helped to build the bond before sitting down to write.
I love the game,” Ronnie reiterated. “I phoned Steve up about six months ago, I said, ‘Steve, you're ahead of me in the game, but I’d just like to just cross-reference where I am. Am I doing alright, because sometimes I've switched off from it's all about the wins to I just love the game. Is that wrong?’ Reading this is like watching an O'Sullivan break: hypnotic, dazzling and impossible to tear yourself away from.' - STEPHEN FRY Frank Adamson, my first coach, for not spending more time with him in his later years. I feel bad about that.UK: Rishi Sunak hosts talks with Kamala Harris, vice-president of the US, at No 10, followed by a private dinner; Harris also delivers a policy speech on the future of AI at the US embassy in London; Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, speaks at the annual conference of the King’s Fund, a health think tank; start of Movember, the moustache-growing charity event held during November each year to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Perspective. I used to zoom in and it would be all catastrophic, now I zoom out and get a bit of perspective. He said: “That was the deal breaker for me, like writing a book I just had to trust, he knew what he was doing.
He praised the Belgian, saying: “I thought Luca was unbelievable. You talk about talent – [in football] you look at someone who does things with the ball and you think: ‘How does he do that?’ And Luca is that player. I got falsely accused of a kidnapping when I was 17 or 18. It was scary: they took me and my mate in separately, strip-searched me, took my car away for forensics, put me in a white paper suit. I was like: “What’s going on here?”
First night reviews
Besides quite a few laughs, many readers will find recognition, reassurance, remedy and revelation in O'Sullivan's candid story. I highly recommend it.' - THE TIMES The deaths of innumerable indigenous Americans from infections brought by the first European colonists left the newcomers short of cheap labour, he notes, Purchasing a book may earn the NS a commission from Bookshop.org, who support independent bookshops