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on October 24, 2016
Best wrestling bio ever. If you're looking for a good bio and you're a wrestling fan this is #1. Hitman is #2 but a distant #2 in my mind. This was written from the heart and it's easy to tell. Great read.
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on July 6, 2013
I was dying to read this book even if it was written a few years ago. I love wrestling and Foley is an icon.
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on October 17, 2015
Great read, captivating from the first to last page
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on February 13, 2013
This first autobiography of Mick Foley is wonderful. It explains the right side of the wrestling business and the worker side.
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on December 7, 2003
When I first picked this book up, I thought "there is no way I'm going to read a book this long about a professional wrestler." I began reading, however, and once started I couldn't stop. This is the story of Mick Foley, better known at various stages of his career as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind. Foley wrote the book himself, and did a spectacular job. In fact he writes much batter than most of the "ghostwriters" who pen celebrity autobiographies today. Foley has a style, in which he tells a well-crafted and compelling narrative while cracking jokes that one can't help but laugh at. This is, literally, a tale of blood, but for some reason it's a funny tale.

Behind all the glitz and glory of professional wrestling comes the sport's most unlikely hero: Mick Foley. With a less-than-stellar physique, Foley sometimes didn't have the visual appeal of other would-be wrestlers, and consequently had to work many times as hard for what he achieved. This book follows Foley during his fourteen year (I believe) career as Cactus Jack, from wrestling in small high schools to touring Africa to tangling himself in barbed-wire in Japan and earning the title "King of the Deathmatch." It also covers his stint as Dude Love in the WWE, and his most recent character, Mankind. Through it all Foley gave it his best, not being afraid to bleed even when only a few fans would see him. Foley was bruised, battered, beaten, cut open, torn up, blown up and otherwise abused during his climb to the top of the WCW, IWA, ECW, and WWE (which eventually happened in late 1998, when Foley won the world championship belt), but he gave it all for the sport he loved. Foley is an unlikely hero, but is nevertheless a good example of what hard work and determination can get you in life. After reading this book I'm compelled to agree with the masses: Foley is good.
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on August 8, 2000
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book was written. I suppose Mick Foley (aka Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mankind) benefited from this reader's low expectations. This is not just a book about professional wrestling, although we readers will get a healthy dose of it, but about the personal life of Mick Foley as well. The best part of the book is Foley's high school and college days. I've heard people say that you never read an autobiography of a loser. Only "great people" write autobiographies. Now, I am reluctant to call Foley a loser, however, he freely admits that he was not part of the in crowd. In high school language, Foley would be called a dork. He's goofy, has an obsession with male genetalia, rock music, professinal wrestling and women (which he has absolutly NO luck with). Furthermore he writes in a stream-of-consienceness style that indicates that he is fully aware of his less-than-stellar public standing, wishes he was more popular, yet accepts the fact that he is who he is. From the beginning, Foley establishes himself as a person who we can all identify with. His days as an independant (read: poorly paid, minor league) wrestler makes for interesting reading, as does his days in his first major organization, WCW, and as he wrestles for major promotions in Japan. However, as he moves into ECW and the WWF, Foley tends to assume that the reader is familiar with this time of his life and the wrestling fan sub-culture in general. This, actually is my biggest criticism of the book: Foley tends to assume that the reader has a previous knowledge of professional wrestling. This reader happens to know a good deal of it, but if Foley hoped to acheive his goal of having non-wrestling fans read the book and gain a respect for the work pro wreslters do, I imagine he will fall short because of the previously mentioned criticism. While Foley did succeed in raising the reputation of professional wrestlers in this reader's eyes (some of the "bumps" he and others take during matches for the entertainment of the fans is simply amazing), I believe others will become confused reading the book. In all, this easy-to-read autobiography is an excellent, entertaining and thought provoking work from a man whose line of work is generally not respected in society. This book is recommended.
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on January 5, 2000
I would consider myself a smart wrestling 'mark' as the jargon goes and view wrestling as a pure form of entertainment. Now when I first heard that Mick Foley was coming out with a book, I though 'neat' in passing. What impressed me more was that he wrote it himself, long-hand, while on tour and turned it in to be typed. But let's be real, how many people 1st thought a wrestler's book may be good? Or entertaining? Or logical?
Well this book is all of that and more! Mick Foley recounts his entire wrestling career from his first exposure to wrestling as a kid watching it on T.V. to finally winning the coveted WWF World Champion belt some 15+ years later.
His story is laced with amazing stories, great humor (he has a wonderful sense of wit), an inside perspective on the 'sport', and both little known and well known facts of the wrestling industry. He portrays himself not as an egotistical muscle head who has an action figure, but constantly proclaims he is baffled by his success. He will be the first one to state that he bombed some nights, that he was out of shape, and many things and decisions went wrong.
Then he re-counts some of his greatest matches (and not so great) in detail. What is amazing is his dedication to his fans and to the sport he really loves, and how much his body has been in jeapordy over the years. To all those that believe wrestling is not a sport and is scripted, they fail to take into account that this man has had hundreds of stiches, a broken nose, a missing ear, knocked out teeth, concusions, numerous dislocations, MRI's, X-rays, etc. Other traditional sports atheletes would have buckled much earlier and made much more money than Mick. He did this all for our entertainment!
Mick Foley is also a family man. Like the late Owen Hart, you can see that Mick Foley puts his role as a father and husband at the top of his priorities. Constantly speaking of his lovely wife and his children.
Lastly, with his humor and accolades to other wrestlers aside, he has one of the best closing lines in any autobiography.
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on February 18, 2000
I have noticed that a lot of the other reviewers have given this book five stars, and I must admit I almost did too. But five stars is a 'perfect' mark, and although I enjoyed reading this book a lot, I would not say it was perfect. I feel that reviewers - myself included - give products the full five stars far too easily.
This book follows the career of Mick Foley, otherwise known as Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack, from late high school to the point where he first captured the ultimate prize in wrestling, the WWF championship. His journey to superstardom was long and hard, and Mick sustained some horrific injuries, but he overcame all the obstacles and acheived his dream. Mick Foley is Tanacity Personified and this book shows just how much effort it can take to become a professional wrestler. This book is very funny and very well written, I never got bored reading it and would almost certainly read it again.
Although this book would be a good read for people not familiar with the world of wrestling, the book is cleary aimed at wrestling fans. You have to have watched a fair ammount wrestling to understand what a 'Tombstone Piledriver' is or to understand Mick Foley's relationship with Al Snow.
Another minor flaw in my oppinion is the lack of information about Mick's relationship with the Undertaker, with whom Mick competed in the infamous 'Hell in a cell' match, or with his tag team partner Glenn Jacobs - a.k.a. Kane.
None of these flaws are very big, just enough to reduce my rating to four stars.
Initially I thought this book was written a bit too soon because Mick Foley's career was by no means over when the book was released. Now, however, I think the timescale is pretty much perfect. The point where Mick won the WWF title was the right place to finish. If you write a book about acheiving a goal, continuing after the point where you achive that goal is pointless. This is a book about acheiving every wrestlers ultimate goal, so winning the world title belt is the perfect place to finish.
This is an excellent book and I would recommend it to wresling fans. To non-fans I would still recommend this if the concept of the book appeals to you.
This is an excellent autobiography, and a great achievement by Mick Foley. Given the courage and tanacity that Mick has shown I almost feel guilty for not giving it five stars.
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on June 24, 2000
That's the quickest, most efficient way I can sum up Mick Foleys' book. I have read it all the way through three times already, and have gotten to the point where I don't even keep a bookmark in it anymore, I just open it up and start enjoying it. Absolutely my favorite book to read when there's nothing to do. Foley's stories are downright hilarious, and they are written with such a style that makes it enjoyable to the utmost extent! Hilarious anecdotes, metaphors, one-liners, and "Al Snow" jokes are peppered about the book and make it so enjoyable to read. I'll never forget the story of Jake "The Snake" Robert's "potent potpurri" in the hotel room, or the ribs that Foley and Steve Austin pulled on Dallas Page that made him so mad he erupted in a naked, cookie-tossing outrage!
Foley really goes in-depth here, as well. I feel like I know the man...I feel like I've known him for years, and I'm only 18! His tales are brutal, heart-warming, sickening, laughable, horrifying, and touching, and he interweaves them with the greatest of ease. This book made me appreciate Mick Foley for who his is, and not just for the characters he portrays.
Mick, if you ever happen upon this review, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this book and bringing me endless joy. This book is like a gift that keeps on giving; I could read it a thousand times over and it would still be a pleasure. Just thinking about the time spent writing this book to provide readers with sheer pleasure makes me appreciate Mick more than any author in the world.
Thanks, Mick.
- John
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on January 1, 2001
I'm not truly a wrestling fan, but my friends recommended this book to me, so I decided to give it a shot. Honestly, it was pretty darn good. Granted, it's not going to win the Pulitzer, but it's got to be one of the most original and well-written biographies I've ever read.
This book chronicles one of the most unique individuals in wrestling's history. He wasn't the best athlete and he wasn't the best looking guy either. He only had to things going for him - his persistence and his uncanny ability of take punishment.
Not only does it describe Foley's wrestling career, it delves deeply in his family and personal life, and describes the profession that is wrestling from a unique and accurate view. Often, the audience only sees wrestling as entertainment, but Foley exposes it as a full-fledged business, with employees and decisions, with economic implications for each show.
What is most memorable about this book is Foley's descriptions of some of his most gruesome matches. From getting slammed into razor wire and explosives, to tearing off half his ear, he captured my interest and instilled in me some respect for professional wrestlers.
The one complaint I have is that Foley kept describing match after match. This paperback is over 700 pages long, and it could have been cut somewhat. At about pages 300-500, the book becomes tedious and almost repetitve as he describes numerous wrestling contests that really didn't differ from other ones he describes.
Wrestling fans will love it to death, and non-wrestling will not be disappointed.
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