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Welcome to My World
In a memoir as candid and unconventional as Johnny Weir himself, the three-time U.S. National Champion figure skater who electrified the 2010 Winter Olympics shares his glamorous, gritty, heartbreaking, hopeful, and just plain fabulous life story. How does a boy from rural Pennsylvania become an all-American original style icon on the ice and off, adored by fans around the world, and hailed as “The Lady Gaga of skating” (Salon.com)? The answers are here, in his invigorating and thoroughly entertaining chronicle of the emergence of his natural talents for skating and horseback riding; the physically and emotionally grinding path to becoming a champion; a family who sacrificed everything to support his passions; an ability to rise again after the most devastating defeats and never look back; an appreciation of style (from his mom) and self-discipline (that would be from his dad); and a fearless confidence to say whatever’s on his mind.
Because when you’re Johnny Weir, you don’t worry about what other people think. You let everyone else worry about that for you.
Welcome to his world.
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||January 11, 2011|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 50 reviews|
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40 of 44 found the following review helpful:
refreshingly honest and engagingJan 09, 2011
This is the autobiography of figure skater Johnny Weir. Or, as he calls it, his 'quarter century memoir.' People tend to have very strong opinions on Johnny, and I'm no exception. I adore him. Far from being the attention whore drama queen (well okay, he has bits of that in him but really, only bits) that the media would have you believe he is, he is actually articulate, thoughtful, witty, and honest. This all comes through in the book, especially the honesty. Everyone who knew about this book expected him to tear into the skating world and he certainly doesn't sugar coat the rigidity, bias, and corruption of the USFSA. Some of the stories he tells say a lot about just what counts when it comes to scoring in the figure skating world. Hint: it's not always all about how well you skate. Just as importantly, Johnny pulls absolutely no punches when talking about his own behavior. He had one year especially in which he was a complete nightmare and he completely owns up to it, acknowledging when his own immaturity was his undoing, and how difficult a road he had coming back from that. Much has been made of his 'coming out' in the book, though Johnny himself says he doesn't remember ever being in the closet. To my mind, he's right. He's never pretended to be anything other than who he is, and he didn't need to define himself to the world via a cover story in the Advocate...Johnny's always known exactly who he is. And he doesn't particularly care what anyone thinks of that. It's a wonderful read and I hope that anyone who is dubious about Johnny or knows him only through the insulting lens of mainstream media will pick up this book and give it a read with an open mind.
45 of 52 found the following review helpful:
Johnny doesn't disappoint his fansJan 08, 2011
By Mama Zebra
First of all, I admit that I'm a huge fan of Johnny's and have been since I first heard of him while living in Delaware back in 2005 or so. I cried like a baby watching his long skate at the Olympics, and cut out a newspaper pic of him in his final pose at the end of that program because it both energized me and broke my heart at the same time. So I'm not exactly unbiased, but if you're interested in reading the book, you're probably not either.
What shines through for me in this book is someone who is at peace with himself and who knows himself to his core. It hasn't been easy to be Johnny Weir, and if you're a fan you already know that. But Johnny's combination of incredible artistry with steel toughness is rare and unusual in this world, and for me it keeps me coming back for more. Part of me hopes that he will do something outrageous and unexpected like skate for Russia in the next Winter Olympics, just as a final "kiss my ass" to the US Skating Federation, which has treated him so shamefully, but as long as Johnny is at peace with himself, I suppose it doesn't really matter. That long program, Fallen Angel, stands on its own as the most remarkable performance on ice that I've ever seen. The book is entertaining, fascinating, well written, and never boring- just like Johnny. As the mom of 3 very individual children myself, I applaud his parents for never stifling Johnny and raising such a remarkable person. I will keep watching - his TV show, his public appearances, any more writing he might do, and one can only hope, more performances on the ice. Bravo!
17 of 19 found the following review helpful:
Love him--the book, not so much.Jan 18, 2011
By Tracy R.
Let me state right out that I love figure skating, and I adore Johnny Weir. He's an amazing athlete and a heck of a showman, and he always keeps you wondering what he's going to say or do next.
That said, I wasn't crazy about his book, which I bought the day I learned it was available. Simply put, I wanted more, and I thought there were gaping holes in places that a good editor with even a minor knowledge of his career should have caught--but didn't.
THE GOOD: I disagree with the poor reviews Johnny got for grammar and style. He writes in his own singular voice, and humans generally don't speak in perfectly constructed, grammatically impeccable sentences. I thought his writing was engaging and his personality came through on every page. I loved reading about his relationship with his mother and how she supported him from the earliest years of his career through his coming out and beyond. The story of what happened when he first put on skates is amazing. And I had no idea that skating's "bad boy" is actually a highly disciplined person who goes to bed at 10 pm and shows up on time for training without fail. His love for Russia--and her elite skating coaches--is also fascinating and makes for fun reading.
THE NOT-SO-GOOD: Yes, I wanted more gossip and insider information--a lot more. Then again, I want to see Johnny in the Sochi Olympics more, so I'm willing to forgive the book for that. (Just hope he really tells all in his next "quarter-century memoir.") But my real issues with this book take me back to those "plot" holes (for lack of a better term) I mentioned at the start. Again, a good editor should have caught these and pushed Johnny to fill them in--he's an athlete, not a writer!
Some examples: His career started taking off just when it started to become almost mandatory that a male skater do a quad jump instead of a triple if he wanted to win a competition. On one page, Johnny is just doing triples, and on the next, he's suddenly got a quad. I would have loved to know the story there. ... He says on one page that he hated it when people called him "Johnny" and then doesn't really explain why he's stuck with that name. Yes, his first coach refused to call him John, but one would think he could have stopped the public from doing so. ... He calls Michael Weiss "classless" on one page, but we never get any explanation as to why. (Yes, I'm DYING to know that story!) ... He barely speaks about the supposed enmity between himself and Evan Lysacek, except to admit to "trash-talking" him on one page. Why did he trash talk Evan? Is the media right about their bitter rivalry, or is it blown out of proportion? I would have thought he would have explained this somehow, and perhaps addressed the trash talking--not just ignored it. ... The Russian/Canadian scandal happened and the skating scoring system changed as a result while he was competing, and yet there's scarcely a mention of the system changing and how it affected his skating. (OK, that was a really nerdy one. I'll stop there.)
In the end, I appreciated the behind-the-scenes look at his beginnings as a skater, his clashes with the USFSA, and his amazing relationship with a very supportive set of parents, particularly his mother. The glimpses into his romantic relationships were sweet and surprising, as well. But some of the big questions about him that I had going into the book are questions that I still haven't had answered. Long story short, if you're looking for major insights into the figure skating world and a number of the personalities therein, go elsewhere. If you're a huge Johnny Weir fan, there's plenty here for you to enjoy, even if it leaves you wanting more.
12 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Great Read - Minor DisappointmentJan 13, 2011
By Barbara A. Breuer
Johnny Weir's book is an easy read...I read it in less than a day's time. One thing I noticed right away is that his editor fell short and there were many typographical and grammatical errors throughout.
I would have preferred a bit more on his childhood and young life. The reader is pretty much treated to one short chapter on the young Johnny Weir. I also would have preferred a larger picture section. The four pages shown consisted of mostly photos I had already seen.
My disappointment lies in the fact that he dished a lot less than I thought he would, based upon the initial hype. I expected a tell-all in its complete form, but it was very mild. He even treated the USFSA with a little bit of kid gloves, but I would expect that if he ever wants to compete again.
However, the good part of the book is that he gives the reader insight into his personality and the choices which he made. He shares with the reader some hard lessons he has learned and some parts of the book are emotionally jarring. He really bares his soul when he wants to; however, other parts he glosses over.
This book is pretty much what I expected. I expected an entertaining memoir, which I got. I did not expect a piece of classic literature.
I recommend this book to fans of Johnny and non-fans alike. You may find out some things you never knew or realize some of your assumptions about the man are wrong.
24 of 29 found the following review helpful:
See into the SOUL of JohnnyJan 09, 2011
By Nat Max
I have been a figure skating fan for over 20 years and in recent year Johnny Weir has been my favorite skater. I love how much personality he has and how is is always himself. I found the book very enlightening as to what makes Johnny, well Johnny. I have to say that it was much more serious than I had anticipated, but that's not a bad thing. There are funny parts, but you can tell that he takes his skating and artistry very seriously. I laugh, I cried, I loved it and am rereading it again!
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