Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review #58 - Ben Cousins: My Life Story by Ben Cousins

Ben Cousins has one of the most extraordinary stories in Australian sport. 

As a player he is among the greatest of his generation - a former captain of the West Coast Eagles, a Brownlow medalist, a premiership winner - but he's as well-known for what he's done off the football field as on it. Ben is a self-confessed drug addict, whose binges on drugs such as cocaine, ice and crack would last for days. But what makes Ben's story so truly remarkable is that the two sides of his life - the captaincy, the grand finals, the Brownlow, the accolades, and the frenzy of the drug scene - existed at the same time, side by side. 

Ben's book tells his incredible story: how a boy with a loving family, huge talent, relentless determination and an immense zest for living slipped into a double life, and what that has meant for him, his family and his friends. It's also an account of his battles to beat his addiction, and his fight to keep playing football - a struggle that saw him stage an inspirational two-year comeback with Richmond after a period in which drugs nearly killed both him and his career. 

Written with a complete and often searing honesty, Ben gives us the whole story that lies behind the headlines. 

My Rating: 4/5

The main reason I wanted to read this book was to get his side of the story. I knew that the media would only print negative stuff about him, and I was interested to hear the truth. 

I bought this book for my brother for his birthday last year, as he is a West Coast Eagles fan and has idolized Ben Cousins all his life. He has yet to read it, so I decided I would. 

As a Dockers fan myself, I didn't expect my opinion on him to change, which it didn't.

It did surprise me to learn how deeply he got involved in drugs, and also how long he was involved in them for.

This book gives you a real insight into what life is like being addicted to drugs, and how drugs can destroy your life. It is also about beating the addiction and making a comeback against all the odds. 

There were parts in the book that I thought were skimmed over, but the balance between the footy and the off-field matters were done perfectly.

I actually quite enjoyed reading this book, and finished it fairly quickly. 

I would recommend this book for any footy fan, not just Richmond/West Coast fans, as this book is about something a lot more important than footy.


  1. Thanks, very interesting! Starting it tonight...

  2. I enjoyed this book much more than I expected to. It didn't matter that I really don't have a clue about Australian Rules football - the book didn't get bogged down in playing that game - it was just a rather astonishingly frank story of a young man's life.

  3. I'm addicted to roast pork. It goes back to when I was eight and we could finally afford to buy such luxuries. Maybe I could write a book on my struggles to fit into size 32 pants. Or how my addiction to pork made working in the middle east a never-ending torment? Seriously. In the light of recent events, read this book for what it is. Fantasy. Self indulgent, self entitled rubbish. David Hasselhoffs book runs rings around this.