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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book on a storied career
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...
Published on April 8, 2008 by Michael Atamian

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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hitman's "Cartoon World" was way too black and white.
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...
Published on February 10, 2009 by Amazon Customer


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book on a storied career, April 8, 2008
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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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Amazing Book, November 10, 2007
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently Executed!, April 17, 2008
By 
J. Young (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
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. If you watch video footage of his fans' reception of him and the so-called "great matches" he's referring to, you'll see that he isn't bluffing at all. Indeed, many of his fans adored him a great deal and he did have many great matches.

Personally, I found it surprising that Bret Hart reveals so many of his most personal experiences, such as drug use and infidelity, which he discusses very openly. In fact, he seems rather comfortable recounting all the various strip clubs he attended and all the women he's slept with (while still married). I couldn't help but to feel sorry for his ex-wife, who I'm sure has been through hell. And although he does express a small degree of regret and shame over his actions, for the most part, he's not too apologetic. If anything, there are instances where he actually excuses and justifies some of his old immoral conduct, which caught me off guard. But regardless, like him or not, you have to give him credit for being so sincere, instead of sugar-coating his lifestyle and exhilarating his self-image. This, in my opinion, is what makes this autobiography so genuine.

I highly recommend it.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hitman's "Cartoon World" was way too black and white., February 10, 2009
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.

While this is an entertaining read, I hope the readers don't take every word as the gospel truth. I am not a Shawn Micheals mark, I swear. I just think that Bret's "Cartoon" is in black and white, while I would paint him more in shades of gray. He was a womanizer. He seems to have some homophobia issues. He seemed to forget on a daily basis that while he was a talented wrestler Vince and Bischoff couldn't always base their entire companies around him. He doesn't seem to want to solve problems within his family, writing some very vile things about all of them except poor Owen. He is always the victim and it is always someone else's fault.

For Hart fans, this is a Bible. For wrestling fans, this is an eye-opening personal account from one of the best technicians in the business. I would recommend this book to them. For non-wrestling fans, I would suggest you steer clear. Hart's life is too wrapped up in the names and faces of the business and you will likely be bored and confused.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye Opener In Certain Ways, December 26, 2007
By 
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. Hart's story seems to coincide better with the documentary "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows," whereas HBK and Vince's seems to contradict themselves at one time or another. This book's last one hundred and fifty pages or so is one big downer. Hart gets screwed by Vince, has a falling out with several family members (their fault, not his), is misused in WCW, Owen/Pillman/Davey Boy all pass away and Hart suffers two concussions, resulting in a stroke that will mean the end of his career forever. There are more than a few times in which I could feel myself growing sadder for what Hart had to go through. To say the least, these last hundred pages were a very emotional read.

After finishing the book, I find my love for the modern WWE to be a little tarnished. It is almost as if I have lost respect for some of the business. Hart makes so many good points that wrestling died a long time ago to make room for a more dramatic, less kid friendly business. My last true hope now is that Hart does a book tour in America so that one day I can shake his hand again.

This book reminded me exactly why I looked up to him so much as a child.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Standard for Wrestling Books, November 10, 2007
By 
Quite Simply this book may be the best there is, the best there was, and maybe the best there ever will be about a man's journey through the crazy world of Pro Wrestling. There are stories filled with Humor(Though if you are expecting something like Mick Foley's Book look elsewhere), Sadness, and Hardship. Bret is very open and honest about the world he lived in, and pulls no punches when talking about the drinking, drugs, and Affairs that went on in his life. You'll also get a close look with people that shared his journey along the way, Tom Billington(Dynamite Kid),Davey Boy Smith and members of the Hart Family. I cannot reccomend this book strongly enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History as taught by Bret Hart, October 31, 2008
In this massive wrestling autobiography, Bret Hart took 7 years to compose this 550+ page tome, chronicling his life and his role in the wrestling business. I found this text could be broken into a couple of attitude categories.

The first is the humble section in which Bret Hart tells of his early life and growing up in the Hart household among a dozen siblings, breaking into the business, and the struggling days of Stampede Wrestling. He talks of his friendships with the regular wrestlers from the territory such as Big Daddy Sika, Andre the Giant, Abdullah the Butcher and into his fledgeling beginnings with Tom 'Dynamite Kid' Billington, his brothers, Bad News Allen, Cuban Assassin and others. It is very heartfelt and, shall I say, realistic in that he quickly falls in love with the business and its perks. He then gets picked up by the WWF as part of a deal Stu Hart makes in selling Stampede.

The second phase is Hart's journey through the mediocre rise of his character in the early days of his WWF career. Hart reminisces of his world travels and his infidelities, early drug use, and the beginnings of the Hart Foundation. We begin to get his opinions on established wrestlers and the up-and-comers. He then makes a statement about how the world champion belt holder tends to become tyrannical, demanding, and power hungry, often stepping on or ignoring the talent while never wanting to willingly relinquish his hold. Bret Hart claims this never happened to him but through his own words you can see the switch between Humble Bret and Arrogant Bret. Now, in his opinion, he's one of the only few good workers in the business and he always came up with great matches no matter who he had to work with. Hart also gives big breaks to new guys and claims to do whatever is right or good for the job and put anyone over that needs to be. He portrays himself as a savior for the business and without him, wrestling's popularity may not have climbed so high or developed such stars. He speaks highly of many incoming wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Demolition, and Curt Hennig, while beginning his down views of the likes of Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Ultimate Warrior whom he claims are non-workers and power hungry players. This era starts pretty much after he is given the title and runs through, you guessed it, the Montreal screwjob.

The third attitude portion of this book begins the transformation from Arrogant Bret to Vengeful Angry Bret. It starts with Shawn Michaels' rise to superstardom and becomes full force with the Montreal screwjob. Enough has been written about that incident so I won't speak of it. From here, Bret falls out with McMahon and his now WWE. Hart heads to WCW to join former WWE employees and finds life to be miserable, unprofessional, and the storylines fall to the ridiculous as well as titles meaning nothing. He becomes angrier about the business and his career of bumps is finally starting to take its toll on his body. Then the news of Owen's death arrives. Bret covers this in an emotional chapter which coincides with his career ending Goldberg-kick-to-the-head. He handles these events admirably although Angry Bret still vies for contention in his dealings with the aftermath of Owen's death not only with Vince & the WWE but moreso with the bickering amongst his own siblings on who stands to cash in on this horrific event.

Finally we come to the end of Bret's career, marriage, and ultra-fame. Bret has been seeing doctors about his Goldberg-inflicted concussion and suffers his stroke which wraps up his career. There's a final switch here back to the Humble Bret but infused with it is a strong Days of Glory Bret in which he begins to come to terms with so many things that didn't go so well in his career and life. He becomes truly admirable not for his fame and profession but rather how he begins to accept certain events that not only altered his career but helped to develop the man he is now. While not everything/one is forgiven, Bret has quit looking back and now awaits the rest of his life, strong and reliant. Who knows, we may even see him do a guest spot or two in the future.

Any fan of Bret Hart is going to love this book. This is definitely one of the best wrestling books published so even through some high-and-mighty, his bouts of infidelity, and some woe-is-me moments, Bret Hitman Hart stands high amongst his peers and should be proud of these memoirs that will bring further enjoyment to fans and the general public alike. Absolutely worth reading even with a higher price tag.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I respect Bret., March 11, 2008
By 
R. E. D. "Critical Darling" (Lakewood, CO United States) - See all my reviews
After the first two Mick Foley books, this is the best wrestler autobiography I have read. I have always been a fan of Bret's in ring performance, but I always looked at him as a man that lived his character, to his detriment. However, after reading this book I have a new understanding of the man. Simply put, one of the things Bret wanted throughout his career was respect from the business and in all to many cases he didn't receive that respect that should have been given to him. After endless problems with his some of his family, promoters and many wrestlers, it looks like the only people in his life than never caused him anguish were the fans. And this explains why he always gave his best in the ring for them.

This book is full of great stories of the early days of Bret's career, such as growing up in Hart House, working for Calgary Stampede and breaking in with the WWF. To many tragic stories such as the jealousy many of his siblings had for him, the Montreal Screwjob and the sad death of Owen Hart. After reading this book I began to get a clearer picture of just how ruthless the wrestling business is.

Highly recommended
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Buy Just One Wrestling Book, Buy This One!!!, March 6, 2008
The book lives up to it's hype and really gives the inside info fans love to hear about.

Bret details his home life growing up in a wrestling family up to the end of his marriage and his stroke that effectively ended his career. He deals with the drug use in the business, including his own steroid use, the infidelity and other issues associated with the tough lives these men lead.

His tales from the road and the locker room really make the book as it gives you a true read of who the wrestlers really are. The "good" guys we saw on tv weren't always the hero in reality and the "bad" guys were actually the nicest men. Having met some of the villains in California in the late 70s, that was the case as they couldn't have been more gracious wherein the heroes thought they should be worshipped and that the fans owed them everything...
Anyway, Bret Hart's book gives the true stories on these men and I don't want to spoil anything.

Overall, I give it 5 stars because I couldn't give it 10.. almost 600 pages with many pictures, this book belongs in your personal library if you are a wrestling fan!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Powerful Story From A Survivor, December 11, 2007
This memoir is perhaps the finest penned by a former superstar in the industry. It has a strong feel of Bret Hart attempting to release the personal and professional emotional tensions he has carried for so many years.

Hart is candid and honest about himself, his family and the industry; he does not use the nearly 600 pages to end grudges that started in the locker room. And while it is bringing needed focus back on his legendary career, it also finds Hart meeting fans in cities he last appeared in so many years ago as a wrestler; he is currently on a successful book-signing tour in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The industry should have never become a cartoon world, where the real pain oftentimes cuts through the body and soul. Hart is a survivor and his words truly tells the real story of the decline and fall of professional wrestling.
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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling
Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart (Paperback - November 4, 2009)
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