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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2003
I am a huge WWE fan, and have devoured most of the autobiographies that have been published over the course of the last four or five years. If you know anything about the wrestling business, you'd know that the memoirs of Steve Austin promise great things. The neck injury suffered at the hands of the usually dependable Owen Hart in 1997, an insight into the cutthroat environment of the backstage political minefield of the WWE locker room, the controversial 'walk-out' of 2002 - by rights, Austin's book should have been the most explosive wrestling-based book of all time, the WWE's answer to Roy Keane's autobiography.
In reality, Austin's book is a by-the-numbers account of his life and career, too often shying away from the total honesty that made Mick Foley's two non-fiction books such wonderful reads. Wrestling fans know Austin has axes to grind (and he has never been one to hold his tongue in interviews), but for some reason, he seems loath to straight shoot on any subject, which makes his book very frustrating for a die-hard fanatic to read. In addition, Austin is very careful - his woeful marriage record aside - to cast himself in a bad light. Although his book is not as delusional as Hulk Hogan's effort last year, Austin's unwillingness to look at some of his own mistakes (and here I refer to his own political games within the WWE, particularly in 1999 and 2002) leaves 'clued up' readers slightly non-plussed.
Having said that, the book does provide a nice insight into the wrestling business, and no doubt would seem eye opening to somebody who has not read Mick Foley's work. The book's strongest points are when Austin gives the rundown on his thoughts and feelings during his recent matches, which is always intriguing and interesting. For these reasons alone, it is worth reading.
The biggest problem of all is that Austin's own rich character is lost among the workman-like prose of his co-writer, and this is what seperates his book from Mick Foley's. Foley stumbled upon a fertile mind, and untapped writing talent, and this - combined with his own, unadulterated voice - made 'Have a Nice Day' and 'Foley is Good' such amazing reading experiences. Whatever honesty in Austin's voice is suffocated by the 'ghost' moulding his life into a palatable whole, alienating the readers from perhaps the one WWE superstar we have come to know better than any other.
It could have been so much more.
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on 29 November 2003
I've been a professional wrestling fan for the past ten years, many of which were spent following the career of the Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin. If you yourself are in the same position, or even if you're new to the world of wrestling, I strongly recommend this book. I bought a copy earlier this week (regards to Amazon for the fast deilvary) and was so impressed I felt it right to come here and spread the word. There are so many things this book will teach you about the life of Steve Williams. I mean life. Steve talks about his childhood, his parental issues, his love life, his money struggles and more interestingly his wrestling career. If this isn't convincing enough for you, buy the book and read it for yourself. You will be glad you did.
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on 25 February 2004
Steve Austin has been a hero of mine for over a decade, and I have been longing for him to write a book of his life ever since Mick Foley released his Autobiography. Foley's books are good but Austin's would be a lot better wouldn't it? I mean after all he is the biggest star in professional wrestling history and no one has made as much money for the business as he has. Going from a small time $100 a night wrestler in the Texas Territory in the late 80's to the Multi-Million Dollar a year Stone Cold Steve Austin of the WWE would be a story Disney would have had a hard time scripting.
Sadly this book just doesn't meet the expectations. For a start this book is not written by Steve Austin. It is actually Narrated in part by Steve Austin but the actual writting is done by Jim 'J.R.' Ross and Dennis Brent (A Ghost Writer). This sadly means that some of Austin's own character and personality is missing from certain parts of the book.
Another problem for the book is that it does tend to skip over great periods of time in his career, his stints in WCW and ECW only filled about a dozen pages. This was surprising to me seeing as Austin had been a multi-time Television Champion, Tag Team Champion and United States Champion in WCW, yet he makes out his time in WCW was unsuccessful and unproductive. Okay his treatment by WCW at the end of his tenure there, could explain his reason for not wanting to talk too much about it, but still he did have some good moments in WCW.
The book does pickup when he hits the WWE and mentions his early days as the 'Ringmaster' and his own decision to re-design his character and gimmick to try and make a success of himself, borrowing elements from a well known serial killer and being given the great name 'Stone Cold' by his then English Wife he began to revolutionise the wrestling business. Though in some areas the Ghost Writer and J.R. can be picked out easily by incorrect dates and quotes, which slightly ruin things. Austin's King of the Ring 96 promo against Jake the Snake Roberts was what started his leap to the top of the business, a promo any wrestling fan can recite word for word, yet somehow in this book it's incorrect.
Austin's brutal honesty can be seen in certain areas in the book, certainly the chapter about the Late Owen Hart, in which Austin still holds a grudge for the injury inflicted on him at Summerslam 97 by Owen who for such a skilled wrestler made a such a dangerous mistake that not only did it take Austin out of wrestling for several months, it would later cost him a year on the shelf after surgery to repair the damage to his neck and then in 2003 he would be forced to retire because of the injury from that Intercontinental Title match in 97. Austin is clearly very angry about the incident and doesn't seem to have any feelings about Owen's death. Austin never once pays any sort of tribute to Owen, something the other WWE Superstars have done in their books.
Austin also talks brutally about the hazards of the wrestling business and the toll it takes on the performers. He talks in length about his friend Brian Pillman and his tragic death. He talks about his own brush with death prior to Wrestlemania XIX, due to months of neglecting and mistreating his body. Austin makes it perfectly clear he hates the role alcohol, drugs and prescription medication play in wrestling and how excellent performers are ruined because of addictions. He also says that Brian Pillman's death made so much of an impression on his life that he now tries to help anyone he sees with some sort of addiction, to make them see sense and get help.
The one area of the book I was looking forward to reading was the famous 2002 Walk-out and his Seperation from Wife Debra. He talks about the walk-out but claims for 'Legal Reasons' he can't discuss what happened with Debra. I thought this book was called the Stone Cold Truth but he seems to only want to talk about subjects that put him in a good light. Mick Foley was at least more honest and talked about his good and bad points. Austin seems to forget his negatives.
The book is still very good, better then a lot of the Wrestling Autobiographies like Chyna's, Rock's and Kurt Angle's for example, but it can't touch either of Mick Foley's. Austin has just left so much out of his life story and his refusal to mention the dark and negative aspects of his life is a slap to his faithful fans like myself. If you want this book, I would suggest looking around for the Signed Edition, it is a bit more expensive but it is worth it for Stone Cold's Signature on the first page and the certificate of authenticity.
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on 12 November 2003
Brilliant book which I couldnt put down! Great insight into Stone Colds injury troubles and bumps and bruises that he's taken along the way in the ring and in his personal life.
Great reading about Steves opinion on Vince and interesting reading about the incident with Owen. Only down side is I dont think the books not long enough and a lot more could have been put in!
Apart from that I highly recommend it! Any wrestling fans gonna love it!
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on 13 November 2015
Given how outspoken Steve Austin is, I was hoping for something that was a bit more of a shocker! There was a lot he couldn't say (particularly about THAT story with his ex-wife) and I did feel he played the diplomatic card a bit much at times. However, pretty well written, an easy read and interesting all the same.
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on 30 December 2003
This is a brilliant book. Steve Williams tells his life like it happened! He doesn't pull any punches. He gives an in depth detailed account of his rise throught the ranks of the WWE and also a detailed account about what he thinks of Eric Bischoff and the rest of the old WCW! Steve also talks emotional about his three failed marriages and what a great man he thinks Vince McMahon is. At the end of most of the chapters there is a pararagraph by eith his Mum, Step-Farther or J.R. This book is a must for all wrestling fans or fans of Autobiographies in general!
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on 1 May 2012
Having read other wrestler's biographies like Bret Hart and Mick Foley and I'm sorry to say that Steve Austin's book is only average. My main gripe is that throughout a good portion of the book it feels like he's keeping you at arms length and not letting you get to know the real 'Stone Cold'. I did enjoy it but I wasn't gripped like I was with Mick Foleys book where you felt he was honest and open all the way through.

You can understand why he has been such a success as he has a determination and work ethic that can only be admired. Also His compassion and loyalty to his close friends and family is an example to be followed and the injuries that he's overcome show his strong mentality and the willingness to fight back against insurmountable odds.

I would recommend this book to only hardcore wrestling fans.
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on 3 February 2004
Considering this is the book every WWE & Wrestling fan had waited years to read, i felt somewhat letdown with the finished product. Any Steve Austin/Williams fan will love it, thus this review won't matter one bit. However, any (Wrestling) fan will realise that there are too many holes in his story for this to be considered anything above an average piece of work. His WCW days are hardly mentioned and you can sense it's just a big rush to get to the part to where Steve Williams finally signs with WWE. I read the book within 24 hours which indicated to me that whilst its a great read, you don't want to put the book down because you will keep telling yourself 'Surely it will get better in a few pages time'. Steve Austin is a Wresting legend, and he tells it like it is. 100% truth and pulls no punches. Yet he's no author and that is plainly obvious. I'm still waiting for a Wrestlers autobiography to challenge the near perfect work Mick Foley has produced. Verdict: Average.........and that's the stone cold truth!
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on 1 September 2012
When you compare this book with other wrestling autobiographies such as Mick Foley or the Hitman, it seems that Stone Cold pulls his punches. There are no great anecdotes, nothing really new that most fans wouldnt have known a long time ago and in all honesty, not worth the money. spend the extra and buy the HBK one.
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on 4 February 2014
I thought this was an awesome read. Probably more a three and a half star than a four, but more deserving of a four than a three. I felt the first quarter seemed to drag a bit, probably more impatient to read about his career to care much for his upbringing, but in retrospect he was very open, and I feel you get to know him a lot more as Steve Williams because of it, there are also quite a few laughs to get out of it. Other than Debra, due to the constraints placed by court, he talks very openly and candidly about his failed relationships, as well as his experience of almost starving while starting out in Memphis, which also expose him far more as the man behind Stone Cold. I would've liked a little more on some of the guys backstage, it seems like there are quite a few names he avoids. His recounting also tends to be a little scattered in places, with him repeating himself a little in places, which can drag a little. If you're looking for a big reveal of all the politics and skeletons of the attitude era, you won't find it here. If you're curious as to who the man behind the TV personality is, and are interested to find out a lot of things you probably didn't know about his wrestling career before WWE, then this is your book!
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