FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. An illustrated chronicle of the life and career of a seemingly deranged World Wrestling Federation superstar discusses his three different personalities and traces the history of his incredible rise to popularity.
Frankly, this literary critic didn't expect Mick Foley's memoir of his life as Mankind (and his other wrestling personas, Cactus Jack and Dude Love) to hit No. 1 on Amazon.com's hardcover nonfiction bestseller list in its first literary bout. The cover is cluttered and confusing, and do we really need 500-plus pages of Foley's boasts? Yes. Foley gives his all for his calling, and he burns to tell his adventures. Take the famous tale of how he lost most of his ear (the bloody result is depicted in the 16-page color-photo section). It was in his 1994 bouts with Vader (Leon White): after getting a broken nose, a dislocated jaw, and 21 stitches in the first match, Foley did his "hangman" routine, wherein he catches his neck between the second and third ropes and spins them into a twist. "The end result is the illusion of a man being hanged by his neck while his body kicks and writhes in an attempt to get out... the man actually is hanging by his neck and the body really does kick and writhe in an attempt to get out." Unfortunately, in the prior match, Too Cold Scorpio had had the officials tighten the ropes, so Foley tore off his ear to avoid death by strangulation, like "a fox that chews off its paw to escape a trap." Foley also wrestles on 10,000-thumbtack mats with barbwire ropes and C-4 explosives, and earns the ultimate compliment: "The fans really like the way you bleed." Many fans also like the way his gory story reads. --Tim Appelo