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Levels of the Game

149 pages, 1979



85 books

It begins with the ball rising into the air for the initial serve and ends with the final point. McPhee, in examining the backgrounds and attitudes which have moulded the players' games, provides a brilliant, stroke-by-stroke description of a tennis match between Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner, which took place at Forest Hills in 1968.

The Power of Observation

In Levels of the Game, John McPhee shows us the importance of keen observation. He meticulously details every move in a tennis match, teaching us to pay attention to the smallest details. This can be applied in our daily lives - by observing more, we can understand and learn more.

Understanding People

McPhee doesn't just focus on the game, he also explores the personalities of the players. He shows us that understanding people, their motivations and their backgrounds can give us a deeper insight into their actions. This is a valuable lesson for our interactions with others.

The Importance of Strategy

The book highlights the strategic thinking that goes into every tennis match. It's not just about physical skill, but also about outsmarting your opponent. This can be a great lesson for us in our personal and professional lives - strategy can often be the key to success.

The Role of Pressure

McPhee shows us how pressure can affect performance. In high-stakes situations, even the best players can crack. This can help us understand our own reactions to stress and pressure, and find ways to manage it better.

The Beauty of Sports Writing

Levels of the Game is a great example of sports writing at its best. McPhee's detailed descriptions and deep understanding of the game make it a compelling read. If you're a fan of sports or good writing, you should definitely check out this book.


Quotes 3

Levels of the Game is a masterclass in sports writing. It's a must-read for any tennis enthusiast.

Roger FedererRoger Federer - Professional Tennis Player

John McPhee's Levels of the Game is a timeless piece of literature that transcends the sport it covers.

Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell - Author, Journalist

Levels of the Game is a profound exploration of the human condition through the lens of tennis.

David Foster WallaceDavid Foster Wallace - Novelist, Essayist
Roger FedererMalcolm GladwellDavid Foster Wallace


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Samin Nosrat

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Daniel Pink

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Stephen Dubner

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Tim Ferriss

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Levels of the Game found in libraries

51 books

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