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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling Paperback – November 4, 2009

302 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hart's account of his professional wrestling career is almost literally blow-by-blow, with detailed descriptions of the choreography of many of his most prominent matches in the former World Wrestling Foundation and the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling. (And, yes, he freely admits that the outcomes are determined in advance, while the wrestlers work out the actual moves for themselves.) To hear him tell it, everybody hailed him as the best damn worker in the business, a storyteller with the comparative artistry of a De Niro. But the manipulative schemes of WWF head Vince McMahon (and several of his colleagues) kept Hart from reaching his full potential as a champion until injuries sidelined him for good. The memoir goes deep into Hart's family history—his father was one of the pioneers of the Canadian pro wrestling circuit, and his brothers and brothers-in-law followed him into the business. Wrestling fans will eat up all the backstage drama, but even those who don't care for the shows should be impressed by Hart's meticulous eye for telling detail—the bittersweet story that results is simultaneously a celebration and an exposé. 32 pages of photos. (Oct. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"The best wrestling book there is, the best wrestling book there was and maybe even the best wrestling book there ever will be" The Sun "Packed with drugs, sex, vicious family in-fighting and tales of life on the road ... Hart names names and lays it all bare in his own words'" The Globe and Mail "A legend!" The Rock "Bret Hart still makes me believe that wrestling is good" Hulk Hogan "Amazingly detailed and meticulously crafted ... Hitman will stand the test of time as one of the definitive wrestling biographies" Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (November 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446545287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446545280
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bret Sergeant Hart (born July 2, 1957) is a Canadian on-screen personality, author, actor and retired professional and amateur wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), making appearances on its Raw brand. Throughout his career in the United States he has wrestled under the persona of Bret "Hit Man" Hart.

Hart held thirty-one championships in various promotions during his professional wrestling career, and is recognised by WWE as a seven-time World Champion.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michael Atamian on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Bret's autobiography more than any other wrestling book, including both of Foley's books. His life story is interesting, and one gets a real insight into the Hart family as a whole (it is NOT a pretty sight, either) as well as Bret and his career. I always enjoyed the Hitman character, and while Bret himself has a little bit of an ego, he really details his faults as well as his high points. He still has a lot of bitterness over how his career ended, and the current day players (HHH and HBK, notably) but that's not entirely unjustified. All in all though, I found this to be a really entertaining read and highly recommend it to any wrestling fan.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. Young on April 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book blew away my expectations. Having read many of Bret Hart's articles in the Calgary Sun, I already knew that the "Excellence of Execution" is one who writes with sincerity. However, when I purchased this autobiography, I didn't expect him to be this brutally honest! And that's a good thing.

There is no question about it, this is an R rated book (if there is such thing), which, needless to say, is not suitable for children. Wild stories of sex, drugs, and violence are casually narrated all throughout the book. However, to be fair, this autobiography has much more substance than just a series of wild tales. Bret tells us a great deal about the Hart family, the feuds they had, the good times and bad times they shared. He writes about his childhood and early years working for his father's famous Stampede Wrestling promotion in Calgary. From there he takes us oversees to countries like Puerto Rico and Japan where he nonchalantly recounts some bizarre stories that range from prostitution to narcotics. Some of Hart's recollections are quite funny, actually. However, by the end of the book, it's the tragedies that stand out.

Of course, Hart also elaborates on his illustrious career in the WWE where he became famous, and tells us about the friends he's made, the countries he's travelled to, the contracts he signed, his business relationship with WWE guru, Vince McMahon, and a whole lot more. Because of his many accomplishments in the ring, which he proudly writes about, I think certain readers will interpret that as being arrogant or narcissistic, especially when he writes about the loyalty of his fans and the many great matches he's had. Granted, when you look at it at face value it does appear like he's bragging about himself. But that's not the case.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By True to the Sport on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I got this book shipped in from Canada because I couldn't wait and I'm thrilled to say that it is THEE best "wrestling biography" out there. It blows Michaels', Flair's and Foley's outta the water (and Foley's is a best seller). I got it earlier this week and am done with it. Bret's account of matches, oversea's tours, backstage politics and his bitter rivalry with Shawn Michaels are very well written. To read about all the sorrow and grief he encountered from Owen's death to his father's death will bring any wrestling fan to the brink of tears if not fully shed.

I cannot stress how phenominal this biography is. Bret tells it like it is because the WWE didn't have their hands in it. I love how he has stayed loyal to himself just like he did his fans all those years. BUY THIS BOOK!
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Morgan on February 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Everyone but his beloved parents, Owen, and a few wrestlers were all liars and opportunists in Bret's "Cartoon World". That's what I took away from this autobiographical account of an interesting wrestlers life. While The Hitman seems to want to tell it like it is, I have to wonder how much of the truth is really in his writing?

His feuds with his wife are mostly left unexplained, with at least a dozen "Julie was about to leave me again" type statements without much reason or insight besides the business being hard on them. Did she know about his affairs? Was there other personal reasons she wanted to leave? Bret never says. It might make HIM look like the bad guy for once.

Bret skims over most anything that would paint him in a bad light. He takes no credit for the mid-90's WWE decline, which he was a big part of. He makes one passing mention about people 'lying' and saying he was "difficult to work with". I can see their point, from all the times he was in Vince or Bischoff's office complaining or being insecure. He may have been in the right about a number of these issues, but when the NwO or The Clique were running the show, instead of adapting to the realities of the business Bret chose to rebel and sulk.

The last few chapters of the book are the most baffling to me, and make me worry for Bret. After Owen's wrongful-death suit is settled in the last few chapters he skims over the death of his father, his own stroke, a barely spoken-of second marriage, and leaves the reader wondering if he has really ever been able to move on. He is literally still blasting Triple-H and Shawn on the last two pages of his life story before talking about walking away with his head held high.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Boizot on December 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of wrestling since the very first Wrestlemania. I considered myself at one time to be a huge, die hard fan of the WWF. To this day, I've been to over twenty five house shows, live events and pay per views. One of the greatest memories I have as a child is shaking hands with Bret "Hitman" Hart, a man that to this day remains as a person that I greatly admire and look up to. When I first heard that he was writing a book, I was excited.

The book itself is fantastic. Like other reviews on this page, I have also read a lot of wrestling books ranging from The Rock to Batista, but nobody quite captures the spirit of the business like Hart. He chronicles his career from Stampede Wrestling to the end of his career in the WCW. He goes into great detail about how his one vice on the road was women, and that women may have saved him from the drugs and alcohol that plagued the locker room. All the details in the book about how seriously he took his job as a role model reminded me just what I saw in Hart as a child. Hart goes to great lengths to glorify the good old days of wrestling, previous to the Attitude Era of WWE, when wrestlers told the story with their bodies. I watch the WWE today, and yet after reading this book, it made me long for the days of Randy Savage, The British Bulldog and Rowdy Roddy Piper. It would not surprise me at all to hear if many other people felt nostalgic after reading this.

The most interesting parts of the book come from, of course, the Montreal Screwjob and after. I have heard Shawn Michael's part of the story, and even though I am also a huge fan of HBK, I know that Hart's side of things makes the most sense.
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