I just finished reading “Unbreakable” , Ronnie’s latest book, and I loved it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect TBH. I was afraid that there would be a lot in there that we, the fans who followed Ronnie’s career for years, already know. And, in a way there is, but the book still surprised me, agreeably.
In fact, this is not a sequel to the two previous autobiographies, it’s not an autobiography at all actually. It will not take you through what happened to Ronnie over the last ten years, nor will it it tell you what he won during the last decade, when or who he beat. It’s not that kind of book at all.
The book has 13 chapters, not counting the prologue and epilogue. Each chapter has a distinctive theme and, actually, you can read them independently, in no particular order. Each is about one subject that is important to Ronnie, as a person and or as a snooker player. I each, Ronnie reflects – in a very personal way – on why and how this particular theme is important to him, how it has impacted his life and changed him as a person. Here are some of the themes he reflects on: The Crucible (the venue, no the event), Snooker and his love for it, Being a child prodigy, Practice, his “Lost Years”, Accepting his addictions, Anxiety, what it takes to be a Winner, Family, Relationship with his children (with regrets and pride), his first and his latest World Championships …
It’s a – at times emotional – narration/reflection written at the first person. It’s easy to read and, at the same time, I often found myself thinking “Wait … I may want to read this again, tomorrow”. It’s a habit of mine, a few hours after reading something, to try and gather/structure my thoughts about what I did read and if I find it difficult, it’s usually a sign that I didn’t fully “absorb” all the layers of the story or message.
The part about the 2022 World final really touched me. A friend of mine, who is a psychologist, told me this right after Ronnie’s 2022 World Championship win: “Now we can’t ask anything more from Ronnie.”. And that’s exactly how Ronnie felt as well in that moment: that he had given it absolutely everything he had in him and that he didn’t feel able to do it ever again.
The book is dedicated to Laila, but if you hope to read anything about their relationship or their private life … you won’t find it in there.
A few day ago, this was shared on TikTok.
And it’s exactly what you’d expect from the man who wrote that book … an ordinary bloke, both blessed and cursed with an exceptional talent that made him a star… a star who just wants to enjoy an ordinary life and simple pleasures.
4 thoughts on ““Unbreakable” – a personal review”
Dear Monique, now that I just finished “Unbreakable” I have to say I’m more than surprised about this wonderful book. After reading both of Ronnie’s previous biographies and before ordering this new one I thought, well, there’s not so much new, so he probably might talk about the same things as before, but meanwhile many years passed by and maybe he now sees it with a bit of another assessment or out of another point of view. Oh how wrong I was. For with this new book there was quite another purpose, with lots of new very interesting issues. And not only that it’s written in a very enjoyable style but most notably incredibly candid and straightforward. Every single chapter ist really worthwile reading, no matter if its about snooker, or running, or personal issues. Amazing. I’m sure I’m gonna read this book again, maybe in another order of the chapters.
Hope you’re well, Monique. All the best for you.
Ute from Germany
Thank you for the feedback Ute. I felt exactly the same about it. It was a very nice surprise and very refreshing.
“…,both blessed and cursed with an exceptional talent…”
Great line, Monique.
Thanks for sharing your review, Monique. I, too, had worried that the book would simply cover similar ground to what has already been covered in Ronnie’s previous books and interviews, so it’s nice to hear that you didn’t feel that way about what you read.
I was hoping he would talk about the 2014 World Final, 2020 World Semi-final, and 2022 World Final, but it sounds like perhaps he only included the latter.
I agree with the sentiment that we can’t reasonably ask anything else from Ronnie, now that he has tied Stephen Hendry’s Crucible record. He has given more of himself over the past few years to passing Hendry’s records than we could have asked for, and I’m grateful to him for doing so at least partly for his fans.