MY LIFE by Earvin 'Magic' Johnson


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 Magic's second autobiography, far richer than his first (Magic, 1983), for this one (written with Novak, coauthor of autobiographies of Nancy Reagan, Lee Iacocca, etc.) details not only the prestidigitation of the NBA's greatest point guard but also the stunning 1991 revelation of HIV infection that turned Johnson into a world celebrity. To get right to what everyone is waiting for, Magic talks candidly about his sexual promiscuity and his disease. Squelching rumors that he's gay, he declares that ``my pleasure was being with women''--droves of them. ``I was stupid not to take precautions,'' he says. The terrible weeks surrounding his November 7th retirement from basketball get day-by-day coverage, as he reels upon learning of his infection; is buoyed by the love of family, fellow athletes, and fans; and makes his dramatic appearance on Arsenio Hall. Magic raps George Bush for waffling on AIDS policy, and he pledges that ``I'm going all out to fight'' the disease. The poignancy of his new role is underscored by the amazing years that preceded it. Strict, loving parents and a childhood of nonstop basketball blossom into a decade of NBA greatness. The epiphanies tumble out: rise of the Laker dynasty, war with the Celtics, MVP award. The Magic carpet ride goes on after retirement: the 1992 All-Star Game, where Magic proved that HIV-positive and athletic brilliance can go together; the Olympic Dream Team. Even as the book goes to press, he ponders rejoining the NBA, but knows that his work is on a different court now: ``I started working for God's agenda. I believe He's got a mission for me--to help make society more aware, and to get people to care.'' Filled with energy and good will: a small miracle, given the circumstances, but just what one expects from Magic. A lock for a fast-break to the bestseller lists. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-679-41569-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1992


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