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A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This funny, insightful and compulsively readable autobiography by professional wrestling superstar Lion Heart Jericho matches fellow wrestler Mick Foley's bestselling Have a Nice Day! Jericho reached international stardom after joining the media juggernaut World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly WWF) in 1999, but this book neglects his many accomplishments since then, such as his legendary same-night defeat of wrestling powerhouses the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin to become the WWE's first undisputed heavyweight champion. Instead, Jericho recounts the fascinating story of his early years—in effect, a short history of world wrestling trends since 1960—from his brutal early training in his native Canada through finally being invited to join the WWE. Jericho ignores or glosses over controversial topics like steroid use, preferring to keep things light and cheery. His hilarious and detailed descriptions of his many bouts, especially his 1995 calling card match in Japan before 10,000 fans, will leave readers hoping for a sequel. (Oct. 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'So charming and funny is Chris Jericho's journey from body-slammingly painful naivety to worldly wrestling champ, that his memoirs will leave cynics finding time for a private read.' GQ --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044669861X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446698610
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I became a fan of Jericho when he started showing flashes of turning into a heel with his post-match tantrum following a loss. I could see he had the charisma and talent to make it into a big time superstar. Then he came out with the Monday Night Jericho t-shirt (which I was unable to afford back in the day) and the Ralphus angle, I totally started to love the guy.

For the life of me, I could never figure out why WCW never gave him the chance to be the guy.

Jericho's "A Lion's Tale" explains the backstage politics of WCW and how WCW almost killed his passion for wrestling. Jericho should have known that WCW was bad news when Bischoff called him to fly to Atlanta to sign a contract, while only a few hours later, booker Kevin Sullivan called Jericho to tell him he needs to come in for a try-out, not knowing he was already on his way to sign a contract!

But this book is not all about WCW, in fact, WCW doesn't even come until page 320ish, and there is 410 pages in the book. The last 20 pages or so of the book is about him joining the WWF (he calls it the WWF, not WWE, so I will be referring it as WWF too).

The book starts brilliantly with the countdown to the new millennium.... actually, sort of. The book ends the same way, but on a higher note.

The whole idea of Jericho's book is how he developed a dream to be one of the best wrestlers ever in Vince McMahon's WWF.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, there's now a new book wrestling fans can honestly recommend to non-wrestling fans about wrestling. That makes 2, you know what the other one is.
I'm not generally a laugh-out-loud kind of guy (my hero, Lance Storm, is in this a lot since he was in the same variation of the dungeon class with CJ. There's a few good stories there alone). I was laughing constantly.
This is very much Jericho. There's another guy who gets credit for something, but it seems strictly organizational. This is also a good example of a religous person being able to acknowledge their faith without being preachy (and while swearing like a mo-fo about living the rockstar lifestyle).
The book also has some great flow, it doesn't come across as just a series of anecdotes (this was probably that other guys job).
Al Snow fans will be glad to know that somebody finally gets a couple of good shots in at Foley in a book people will actually read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you notice that so many wrestling autobiographies are published by the WWE it makes you wonder how much is real and how much is 21st century kayfabe?

Chris Jericho's book is not published by the WWE and I'd like to think he was more honest in his story and while I think he is truly a decent guy with a good form of self deprecating humor, I always got the feeling while reading this book, that maybe he was worried about burning bridges?

He laughs and makes fun of himself, going from his late in life loss of virginity to how he was almost murdered in Mexico by a femme fatal and her boyfriend who suckered him into going someplace and then robbing him at gun point and leaving him there.

He talks of his days working at the Hart dungeon with people like Lance Storm and Chris Benoit. His work in small time promotions in Canada and parts of the US.

The time he spent in WCW with people like Eric Bischoff who thought he was too small to be a champion and his subsequent time in the WWE where he did become champion.

He talks of his time Japan and Mexico, and while I belive he is honest to a degree, we never really hear of the bad things that he must have known about but has refused to discuss.

This book was written and published at a time that Jericho was out of wrestling and he gives the reader the impression that at least when this book was being written, he was done with the business and had moved onto other things and was now a husband and father.

Still I was not surprised when he returned to the WWE not too long after this book was published and I think his omission of anything nasty pointing that way was intentional. He talks about the death of Owen Hart, but does not really come down on the WWE.
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Format: Hardcover
Chris Jericho is one of the most charismatic and talented wrestling superstars of the recent era. During his recent two year hiatus from the ring, he took the time to put down in his memoirs and story down in book form for the world to follow. For a shocking change of pace, there is actually a contender to Mick Foley's first two autobiographies(Have a Nice Day & Foley is Good) for king of the professional wrestling autobiography, the book that spawned dozens upon dozens of other autobiographies in a genre previously empty, primarily due to the existence of Kayfabe(Professional Wrestling's code of Secrecy).

A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex, written by Jericho himself with Peter Thomas Fornatale credited as a collaborator, is one of the few books of any genre to make me read it from beginning to end and become annoyed when I was interrupted from my reading time, a rare breed of book indeed with good pacing and few spots that drag on and on. Jericho keeps you reading with much of the flair of his microphone work in the ring- good solid content with a witty one liner here and there to catch you off guard.

A Lion's Tale follows Jericho from the less than humble beginnings of being a Sports star's son in the form of New York Ranger Ted Irvine all the way to to Jericho's WWE debut in August of 1999 where the Lionheart moniker ended and the Y2J moniker began. Along the way, Jericho gives you entertaining insights into the road of the international wrestler, all while showing that he's quite possibly a bigger nerd than us all, drawing pictures of himself as tag team champions with Owen Hart in high school.

His story goes from being in a Training Camp with the Legendary Hart family. Well one Hart who shows up once then hands it off to some other guy.
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