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My Pink Gas Mask Paperback – 9 May 2012
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I am a born Fighter. My earliest memories are the first five years of my life in the war-torn, bomb-ravaged Welsh hills. Brutality was a way of life. Bareknuckle fistfights with mountain gypsies, brawls with tough Welsh Miners on the Colliery Slag Heaps, and boxing in rough fairground booths honed my fighting spirit and paved the way for countless titles as a Professional Wrestler--from the Lightweight Champion of Wales to the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. Join me for the start of my fast, bumpy ride of a lifetime!
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I thought I would check this book out to read how his career began and his start around the UK. As you can imagine, with this being the first installment of his autobiography it has little mention of wrestling until the end, instead it focuses on his childhood in Wales up to the age of 16, focuing heavily on his relationship with his family. The positive about this book is the detail he goes into with regards to how his life was developing and the characters who shaped him. The negative I would say about the book is that there is quite a bit of information that is irrelevant to the arc of the story, this is probably due to the fact that the book is self written and published with no edit to refine the story and keep it moving along at a steady pace. That said I still found it very entertaining even though every now and then it stalls a little, particularly the information about his father's war time activities, it does turn into a bit of a history lesson, but this can be excused as it is obvious that Adrian has a love of military history.
After book one I am looking forward to getting into book two, which begins with his move to London to seek out his career as a pro wrestler.
Overall a good book, bit slow in places, you will have to stick it out through some points, but it is worth it in the end.
This is a great book on pre and post war Wales, and a little boy growing up. A little boy with a very vivid imagination, and a thurst for adventure.
I will agree that the tales of Adrian's father are rather long, but I feel they deserve a place, not just in this book but in history.
It's difficult to say who I would reccomend this book to, as I would say there is something here for everybody.
The book is reminiscent of David Nobbs 'Life and Times of Henry Pratt' and Michael Green's 'The Boy who Shot Down an Airship', it covers Adrian's early life in Brynmawr during and after WW2 until he leaves for London when he's 16. It probably won't be of much interest to casual wrestling fans but people who would find it enjoyable would be put of by the title and cover and because it's a wrestlers autobiography.
I had a personal interest in the book as my grandfather was born in Brynmawr (his cousin was married to Adrian's aunt) and also left to go to London, although about 25 years before Adrian did.
My mother (70) and great-aunt (93) also both enjoyed the book.
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