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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling Hardcover – 16 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc (16 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307355667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307355669
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

One of pro wrestling's biggest stars tells it like it was, with an obscene amount of detail.Few are better qualified than Hart to relate the story of how a family-friendly, locally oriented sport run by curmudgeonly promoters was steamrollered by the Hulk Hogan - fueled WWF marketing machine. Likely the most popular wrestler to ever come from Canada, the author grew up in Calgary, one of many sons of wrestling promoter Stu Hart, whose televised bouts were staples for decades. The Hart family basement passed into legend as "the dungeon," a place where Stu put top wrestlers through his grueling moves. The author's loving depiction of his cranky, painfully honest, perpetually broke father is a high point of this bloated memoir. Hart also vividly depicts the threadbare but thrilling family business he grew up in, with its road trips in crowded vans, meager pay, clownish ring antics and solid sense of brotherhood. But in 1983, hungry New York promoter Vince McMahon Jr. started televising his matches in other promoters' territories, necessitating a 1983 gathering in Las Vegas that Hart compares to "a meeting of Mafia dons protecting their turf." With the coming of the louder, meaner WWF, he laments, "something uniquely vaudevillian was lost forever." Nonetheless, it was only after Hart joined McMahon that he became an international star. McMahon's steroid-pumped musclemen were often not even wrestlers, the author admits, but since it was the only game in town he soldiered on, reaping millions in the process. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of the text focuses on Hart's fights with the untrustworthy McMahon and squabbles with siblings, rendering much of the book a tiresome bore.Excessive score settling smothers a pungent account of wrestling's changing of the guard. (Kirkus Reviews)

Book Description

The international bestseller by 'the living legend of wrestling' - The Sun --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A. Thomas on 22 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a First Edition from Canada. It cost me a few quid but it is simply the best wrestling book ever written. A first hand account of what life is like on the road for a wrestler.

You will laugh, you will cry and some of it you will be shocked by. Has some great stories from Bret's time wrestling for his Dad in Canada. His time in the WWE (indepth look at the famous screwjob). To his time in WCW and after his retirement.

If you are a wrestling fan then this is a must read book. Still worth a read though to learn about a Canadian Hero. Overall a great insight to a wrestling legand.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Pike on 24 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
While I was growing up in the eighties and early nineties Bret Hart was a real hero to me. I loved his style and his physique and even at that young age I think I appreciated his character as a hard worker who always gave his best and earned every win he got. However, due to my interest in wrestling gradually waning over the years it wasn't until recently that I saw the Hitman documentary "Wrestling With Shadows".

This was a real eye opener to me on the whole 'Montreal Screwjob' scenario that I had only really heard of in passing before, and as a result when I learned that Bret's open and honest autobiography was about to be released I ordered it straight away, and I must say that this book is fascinating.

Early on the book seems like an extremely honest but somewhat by-the-numbers wrestling autobiography, in which Bret describes starting out with his brothers and later Jim Neidhart, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, and he is very open about the drugs and sex and real violence that followed them around throughout their early tours.

The antics described in much of the first half of the book will shock and quite possibly appall some readers, and certainly shattered a few of my childhood illusions, but Bret still comes across as a good guy trying to do his best in a world full of temptations (and I believe him). The real beauty of the chronicling of Bret's fledging career though comes in the foreshadowing of world famous events down the line, such as early encounters with Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels, and Bret's lovingly written memories of his late brother Owen, all of which make sure that you can't help but keep reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Tuckett on 7 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like Bret Hart or not,this is a compulsive read from the early days in Canada in his father's promotions to Japan and climbing the ladder in the then W.W,F. to the debacle of W.C.W. This is one of the best biographies I have read.Blisteringly honest with funny,sad and tragic memories.Do yourself a favour and buy this book.You will not be dissapointed.The original draft was double the size of the finished book. More to come perhaps?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronan Smith on 14 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bret Hart's long-awaited autobiography, Hitman, is undoubtedly the best book ever written about wrestling. For those of you unfamiliar with professional wrestling, Bret Hart was one of its biggest stars in the nineties, capturing five WWF (now WWE) world titles amongst others. His career spanned almost a quarter of a century, he became one of Canada's most famous sons and he toured the world doing what he was always destined to do.

Bret was born into wrestling. His father, Stu, was a famous promoter who ran Stampede Wrestling in Canada and trained a number of famous wrestling stars. One of 12 children, Bret, like most of his siblings, quickly found himself entwined in the business.

Although Bret reached the top of his profession and enjoyed fame and riches beyond his dreams, he endured some tragic events during that time, most notably the death of his brother, Owen, in an accident at a WWF pay-per-view.

In fact, Hart's book is tinged with sadness as, chapter by chapter, more and more of the book's characters fall victim to the grim reaper - thanks, in many cases, to the over-whelming effect of the lifestyles they led in a bid for glory in the ring.

Hart's book is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional wrestling, told with an honesty and frankness that earns my respect.

If you like wrestling, then this book is a must-read. If you watched The Wrestler and are curious about what life as a wrestler is really like, then again you must read this book. At 592 pages, it's a long read but I would gladly have read another 592 pages. Some events are glossed over (the controversial death of Chris Benoit only gets a mention) and, like most autobiographies, it really only gets going when Bret hits the big time, but Hitman is one of the must-read autobiographies of 2009. An instant classic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Downes on 3 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is devestatingly good from start to finish. As "modern fans" of wrestling, we know that wrestling isn't "real", but most of us realise that the action in them rings still hurts and costs the wrestlers. You just have no idea how much. This book will take you on a heart wrenching journey to a point where can begin to understand just how much the wrestling industry takes from people year in, year out.

Every word of this tale is well thought out and to the point. You feel the pain, the joy, everything that Bret Hart has lived through.

Few wrestling books can claim to be great, and none have ever come close to Mick Foleys first autobiograhpy "have a nice day". That is untill now.
Quite simply, the best wrestling book there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.
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