No Limits

  • by Michael Phelps, Alan Abrahamson
  • Narrated by Holter Graham, Michael Phelps
  • 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For years the world has followed his progress, from teen sensation in Sydney to bona fide phenom in Athens, and now as a living Olympic legend in Beijing with a peerless record of gold medals, more than any Olympic athlete throughout history. In No Limits, Michael Phelps - the greatest competitor we've seen since Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Lance Armstrong - will share with listeners the secrets to his remarkable success, from training to execution. Behind his tally of Olympic gold medals lies a consistent approach to competition, a determination to win, mental preparation, and a straightforward passion for his sport. One of his mottos is "Performance is Reality," and it typifies his attitude about swimming. No Limits goes behind the scenes to explore the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication that catapulted Phelps into the international spotlight.Phelps will share remarkable anecdotes about family, his coach, his passion for the sport, and the wisdom that he has gained from unexpected challenges and obstacles. Highlighting memorable races and valuable lessons from throughout his career, Phelps offers candid insight into the mind and experiences of a world champion. Phelps's success is imbued with the perspective of overcoming obstacles and doing whatever it takes to realize a dream. As his coach, Bob Bowman, says, Phelps has made a habit out of things other people aren't willing to do. No Limits will show listeners just how he does that, and will inspire anyone to follow their passion straight to the finish line.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thoughts of a champion

I really enjoyed this audio book but it took me a while to get used to the format. The chapters are headed with concepts like perseverance, courage and redemption and the authors use Phelps' various life-experiences and races to illustrate their points. Granted, a 23 year-old kid doesn't have the life experiences that a more mature athlete does, but Phelps has lived a very different life from the average 20-something. If you have set goals and then made sacrifices to meet them, you will enjoy this book. If you haven't, maybe you need to read it.

Be warned, it's not laid out in chronological order. The authors skip around a lot but this isn't Phelps' autobiography. It isn't "...then when I was 14, I tried out for the Sydney Olympics." There are a LOT of stats and figures and it is hard to keep them all straight, especially in an audio book. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the book, but I'm a swimmer and I'm used to numbers going round and round in my head. I plan to get the hardcover version so I can follow them more closely, particularly since this audible version is abridged. BTW, it's fun to find a particular race on YouTube and then watch it while listening to Michael (via Graham) narrate what is going on. (Oops, is that legal?)

Abrahamson did a good job of capturing the thoughts of the 23 year-old legend and Graham's voice work is excellent. Phelps himself narrates the introduction and the cadence and inflections are compatible with Graham's. It may be someone else's sentence structure and voice but you really hear Phelps shining through. I gave it four stars because really nothing besides "To Kill a Mockingbird" gets five from me. OK, maybe "Kite Runner."
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- Lisa

Insight in to an extraordinary athlete

What did you love best about No Limits?

I really enjoyed listening to this book and listened while I was on my long runs which inspired me to keep running. I loved how he built suspense (even though I knew the outcome in some of the races as I like many people, watched him swim) during the races and described what he was feeling in the pool, before he touched the wall, and after. I also liked that he addressed the not so positive events in his life and did not make excuses but told the story as well as the times his coach had to set him straight on occasion. He is not perfect, never claimed to be but accepts responsibility for his actions and honestly told his story. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars overall and for story, and instead rated 4 stars is because I wanted to know more about Michael as a person. He only touches on this when he talked about his interactions and how he felt about his teammates. I felt I understood who his coach was more than I did him. Which I was also curious about but wanted to more deeply understand what drives a person to be extraordinary.

What other book might you compare No Limits to and why?

Perhaps Dara Torres book "Age is Just a Number" which I'd read first (and love that Michael Phelps paid tribute to this amazing athlete by mentioning her a few times in his book) because both books are about extraordinary athletes, Olympic swimmers dedicated to their sport, and both changed the world of swimming. I am not a swimmer but because I enjoyed Dara's book so much I decided to read Michael's book and I'm glad I did. You don't have to be a swimmer or even an athlete to enjoy this book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were times that made me laugh especially when Michael described the reaction to the new "Razor" suit by certain swimmers. There were a few spots I really felt for him and his mom, and other times that made me laugh.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading inspirational memoirs even if you are not a swimmer. The book moves quickly and engaged me from the beginning. I found it inspiring.

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- Leslie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-09-2008
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio