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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mick Foley: Master Storyteller!
I read "Hardcore Diaries" in just a few days. Once I started reading, I found it a very difficult book to put down. Mick Foley is a great story teller, and the stories he tells in this volume range from hilarious, thought provoking, entertaining, to down right moving. I particularly thought the chapters describing Mickey's discovery of church and the story of the...
Published on March 9, 2007 by Aaron J. Palmer

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed but OK
As books goes, this was, at best, OK. If you are a wrestling fan and are a true "mark" for Mr. Foley, this will be a great book. If you have read Mick's other biographies, this one is probably the worst of the three. Mick is definitely a storyteller but this book lacked many things, including a good hook, and a good way to keep the suspense going, as he did in his...
Published on April 8, 2007 by Steve Bisson


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mick Foley: Master Storyteller!, March 9, 2007
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This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
I read "Hardcore Diaries" in just a few days. Once I started reading, I found it a very difficult book to put down. Mick Foley is a great story teller, and the stories he tells in this volume range from hilarious, thought provoking, entertaining, to down right moving. I particularly thought the chapters describing Mickey's discovery of church and the story of the Afghan boy were very touching. Mick Foley clearly has a big heart, and its wonderful that he is so willing to share that in the book. I have read all of his other books except for "Scooter," (yes, I even read "Tietam Brown" and enjoyed it immensely) and this volume compares very favorably to his previous autobiographies.

From a wrestling point of view, the book is highly informative. It is exactly what Mick Foley said it would be: an inside look at WWE. That does not mean it is a comprehensive account of what happens backstage, but it really offers major insight--that I don't think is to be found elsewhere--on what goes into producing WWE's programming. It certainly paints a very interesting portrait of Vince McMahon.

I found it very interesting to read Mick Foley's commentary on his recent six-month run back in WWE. I had gradually drifted away from wrestling and WWE in particular for the past few years, but Foley's work in that period brought me back. I share his frustration that the work with Flair and Melina did not lead to more, but I hope it will in the future. It was just a very interesting experience reading Mick Foley's thoughts on these events that I've already seen unfold on WWE programming.

The bottom line: I came away from this book having even more respect and admiration for Mick Foley than I did before. If you are a wrestling fan, buy this book. If you enjoy a well told story, buy this book. It will challenge you to think and prove to be emotionally moving as well. And Mick, if you are reading this, your "mistake" made for a great book. Thank you for reawakening my passion for the very strange and unique business that is pro-wrestling.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed but OK, April 8, 2007
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This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
As books goes, this was, at best, OK. If you are a wrestling fan and are a true "mark" for Mr. Foley, this will be a great book. If you have read Mick's other biographies, this one is probably the worst of the three. Mick is definitely a storyteller but this book lacked many things, including a good hook, and a good way to keep the suspense going, as he did in his previous book.

It was predictable from beginning to end, which I found boring. I enjoyed hearing more about Mick's private life, including the great charity work that he does. His relationship with his family was also more descriptive in this biography. The stories are uneven, Mick going off on tangents at times before coming back to the story he originally started, something that I did not note as much in his previous books.

Overall, good for wrestling fans, otherwise very predictable and poorly written. Finally, a tip: do not note all the typos and mistakes in the book or you'll find it difficult to pay attention to the biography. Note to WWE: get another proof reader!!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A VERY SHORT EMOTIONAL JOURNEY, March 7, 2007
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
Mick Foley is making a comeback. Whether or not it's a successful one is debatable. Although this seems to be the main theme throughout the course of Hardcore Diaries, ironically enough, the same can also be said for the book itself. In the oversaturated genre of wrestling autobiographies, Foley took a huge gamble on this one. It definitely pales in comparison to his first two best sellers Have a Nice Day and Foley is Good in terms of content and subject matter. What Hardcore Diaries does offer that the others have not is an expansive look into the mind of Mick Foley from around 2001 up till now. Because Hardcore Diaries spans only a short amount of time into the life of Mick Foley, another thing this autobiography offers that the other two have not is emotion, and lots of it. As with his wrestling career, Foley was not and never will be a polished, technically sound individual. But what he lacks for in mechanics, Foley more than makes up for in raw, human emotion, and his ability to make his audience feel it.

At the start, the book goes into great detail about the backstage politics of the WWE. Foley comes up this blockbuster idea/storyline that he feels will catapult him into the ranks of wrestling immortality. The storyline will also help push other wrestlers in the company into potential future main eventers. He manages to sell his idea to head honcho Vince McMahon and all is good. Towards the end of the book, Foley finds out that his plans have been unceremoniously squashed and he is left with a difficult decision to make. He is on his way out the door to leave the WWE forever when Vince McMahon offers a compromise. Foley hesitantly accepts the offer but the compromise puts Foley under enormous pressure. In order for the revised storyline to be a successful one, Foley knows he must take his badly beaten and battered body to a whole new level of brutality. That's not the problem though. Later, Foley discovers a whole new problem. Somewhere down the road, Foley lost his passion for the wrestling business and he only has a few short weeks to regain it and turn it into one last memorable performance in which no one will ever forget.

Unfortunately, the rest of Hardcore Diaries is more or less, filler. This is Foley's biggest problem as an author. He does a great job in captivating us with compelling and dramatic buildup on one page. Then on the next page, he goes into great detail about meeting Katie Curric, George Steinbrenner, his favorite porn star, and the children he sponsors in Asia. It's all interesting material to say the least, but none of it makes chronological sense. The book goes back and forth in time with no apparent reason and this significantly hurts maintaining the suspense that Foley intended for his readers to have. Perhaps if Foley spent more time on his transitions and less time apologizing for switching verbs to past and present tense, the emotional impact that Foley intended to hammer home would be felt throughout, instead of in short spurts.

Even if you're not a wrestling fan, Hardcore Diaries makes for an enjoyable read. Foley is one of the best conversational writers and his unique brand of sarcastic humor is virtually unmatched in the literary world. If you are wrestling fan and you're looking for an in-depth look into the behind the scenes chaos that circulates within the wrestling world, than I recommend Mick Foley's first two best sellers Have a Nice Day and Foley is Good. In terms of space allocated to Foley's involvement with the WWE, Hardcore Diaries only offers us brief, albeit in-depth, moments of Zen. However, if you're into the Rocky Balboa-like come from behind, do-whatever-it-takes to recapture your past success and turn it into one last hurrah of triumph and glory, than you will, beyond a shadow of doubt...be disappointed. Why? Because Hardcore Diaries is mostly just that - a colorful collection of journal entries into the life of one Mick Foley.

The reason why I recommend Hardcore Diaries is because it's uniquely different from Foley's first two autobiographies. It falls into it's own unique genre. The question we must ask ourselves is why we have any interest in diaries in the first place? They don't have a sound plot; most don't even make chronological sense. What most diaries do possess however, are great degrees of symbolism, frustration, emotion, and passion. Unfortunately, the one thing that no hardcore diary or any diary of that matter will ever possess... is any semblance of a happy ending.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well..., April 7, 2007
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
The book itself followed no real pattern, Mick was definitely all over the place. As another reviewer had stated, I didn't like how he really kept all focus away from the WWE product itself...and as far as him really calling out Vince, I didn't see it. If Vince was upset over anything "controversial" Mick may have said, then he is definitely an oversensitive individual. The book was about as controversial as an episode of The Golden Girls.

I do believe Mick does believe the myth that he's more important than he is, though an undoubted legend who had a wonderful career, I believe Mick feels he is on the same plane as Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan, when that truly is not the case. I'll never knock Mick's work, as I enjoyed it, but he falls just short of that level, at least in my eyes.

Still, it's a good read, worth the $14 purchase and I was entertained enough to feel that I got my money's worth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On Par With the Other Foley Autobiographies, March 24, 2007
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This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
The Hardcore Diaries is a natural extension of the other two Foley books. He fills in some of the gaps left by the other books' autobiographical material and also brings readers up to speed with his life as of Summer 2006. The book also brings additional insights to the reader in the sense that it describes how an upper-division talent like Foley pitches storylines to Vince McMahon, as well as how the WWE creative team functions as an extension of McMahon. Readers also receive insight on Mick's philanthropic endeavors, which seems to me to be worth reading because it really establishes Foley as more than a wrestler-turned-author; rather, he is a man who knows what to do with his fame. Is this book too pro-McMahon? Perhaps. Does Foley seem to toot his own horn in many places? Yes indeed, but this books is still a great quick read and will add to your knowledge of professional wrestling.

Just to clear things up--another reviewer falsely claimed that Foley makes no mention of Al Snow. He actually makes tried and true Al Snow jokes on pages 31, 67, 69, 136, and 140, just to name a few. Foley also takes comic shots at Test too, but I didn't bother to note the pages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Winston Churchill had three... why not Foley?, October 15, 2007
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
Foley dishes out another autobiography for us to read, but unlike the previous two, this one was made in the era of the WWE's uncontested dominance of Sports Entertainment, and there is a noticeable downturn in mood on Foley's part.

Being the widest gap between biographies yet (Foley is Good was a year and a half after Have a Nice Day), you'd expect Mick would have a lot to say about the changes in the WWE since that time, but all he says about the WWE stems from his own experiences, from 2004 and 2006, while the rest is overly sentimental stories about his making friends with terminally ill children or disabled teens, and making twenty five visits to Walter Reid Medical center in Washington D.C.,

Test jokes and Al Snow jokes are at a minimum, and most of his stories have to do with his non-wrestling endeavours, and otherwise random ramblings which go on and on about the same thing, such as his radio interview of Christy Canyon and random subject hopping, from saying a great line in a promo, to complaining about his daughter's Little League game, and how the coach kept yelling at the girls, and urging them to steal bases. Astonishingly, even from Foley, it gets tiring. If you're not bored by baseball (of which there are plenty of references), chances are you might get bored by his ramblings about meeting ice skaters, signing autographs and sending notes to people during his Middle East stay, his son Mickey's panic in singing in the church choir. It just gets exhausting after a while, knowing that Foley has little, if anything, to really say, and his backstage stories in the WWE are very dismal and dreary.

The WWE Backstage stories: Mick is definitely less harsh on the WWE than many critics, but at the very least he acknowledges the decline in quality over the years, the coddling of largely untalented wrestlers who happen to be friends with Vince or the crew or be second-generation stars, and the cutthroat backstage atmosphere, with Vince largely distrusting anything that isn't WWE-created and WWE-approved.

Foley continuously tells us of the hell in just getting his ECW One Night Stand angle pushed properly, to a point where he loses interest in the wrestling business. He portrays Vince as largely unappreciative of ECW, not bothering to dig into their video archive and push Tommy Dreamer or Terry Funk, preferring to pimp the crap out of the "New" and "Improved" (otherwise known as spayed and neutered) D-Generation X as much as possible. There's even a point where Vince thinks Terry Funk isn't main event-quality, or that he can't even wrestle anymore because of his age (note: Funk and McMahon are about the same age).

Foley's promos, from the bad ones to the ones he loves, are largely rambling, uninspired, and a faint shell of the ones he did in ECW, WWF, and others. He even largely ripped off an earlier ECW promo involving his double-entendre talk of his loving, intimate relationship with a steel chair (implying it were a woman), in another recent promo.

While his charm is still at work, some of his jokes are good, and some of his stories hold the same flair and dynamicism of his previous books, you mostly feel a largely dull, uninspired tone to the whole of this book. The highlights of his diary entries appear to be his own knee problems, inability to put on a wrestling spectacle as in his past, and the WWE Creative Team working as hard as possible to thwart every idea Foley comes up with, to a point where, at the insistence of Raven and Jeff Jarrett, he decides to go to TNA, and informs Vince of this decision---to which Vince immediately leaves him two or three messages on his answering machine, and meets with him, urging him to stay.

I suppose Foley's injuries, and the state of the WWE these days, is the inevitable byproduct of this autobiography. I urge Foley... don't write a fourth autobiography. Not because we hate you, but because we want to remember the happier times, from the first two autobiographies.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good Foley Book..but not a great one, April 22, 2007
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
I liked the book...it was very complete..but I wish would have more things..like DX, ECW..., I really like the part that he talk about ROH and the possibility of him joining TNA..I didn't know that one....But overall is a good book about WWE and the booking decision..something a fan don't want to miss it..
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Hardcore Letdown, June 8, 2007
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Hardcover)
I have read everything (even the fiction) by Mr. Foley and have not been disappointed in the past - I was least thrilled with The Hardcore Diaries. The book really seems to go nowhere and jumps around in regards to topics as much as Kendrick and London on Smackdown. Although there is some quality information within this text, you really have to want to appreciate it to get anything out of it.

I feel that Foley is a little pompous at times and pats himself on the back quite a bit in this volume - reminiscent of a late 1980's Barry Horowitz in the ring. He never fails to mention, on countless occasions, how he does such and such for no pay and how this makes him a better person - obviously Mick, thats a no brainer. If anyone is donating time and energy to charities and fund raisers then yes, they are good people - but I do not need to hear about it throughout the entire book. There is nothing "Hardcore" about going on and on about rubbing elbows with celebrities and politicians all the while talking ones self up to the brink of nausea.

That may be a little below the belt but if you take out all the hob-nobbing, elbow rubbing and good will bombardment the wrestling context of this book is slim. Foley talks about himself in the context that you would think he was his biggest fan. Hardcore legend or not, I have the utmost respect for everything Foley has done and continues to do in and out of the ring - it just does not translate well into an interesting read as compared to his Foley is Good and Have a Nice Day.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip it, April 1, 2009
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80s, seeing every major current star and the ones starting to retire (Flair/Savage), in their primes.

Mick became a favorite of mine when he returned with the Mankind gimmick. I knew him as Cactus Jack, but didn't remember him being that special on the microphone or in the ring at that time. I do have Have a Nice Day and enjoyed it 100%. I missed the rest of the books as life got in the way, kids, marriage, divorce, marriage etc..

Now that life has settled back down for me, I stumbled across this book at a major bookstore on a bargain table. Though I still watch wrestling with our son, I'm not as much into it as I used to be, which I think is understandable.

I take the book home and start reading. Disappointment would be an understatement. I'm not a scholarly writer or person, so it isn't about amateur writing level or anything like that. I like the fact that Mick doesn't try to be the next Issac Asimov or Ayn Rand. His first book was one of those you could just sit back and enjoy, it probably isn't making you any smarter or improving your culture awareness, but hey, it was fun to read.

Where this book fails is first in the title, Hardcore, to a wrestling fan that means chairs, tables, ECW in Philly, Funk, Sheik and so on. I don't know if Mick is trying to be clever with the title that the stories within are more hardcore than wrestling is, but either way, you audience, Mick, is wrestling fans. Like the Rock used to say, "Know your role".

The book has a few wrestling stories here and there. It also has numerous mentions of how Katie Couric held his baby and how incredible it was to be on her show. I work in the daytime so I had to look her up, not kidding. Had no clue who she was. So Mick, here are the wrestling fans, ask them if they think Mick Foley, the hardcore legend, the icon, the man who flew off the cell is a bigger star than Katie Couric is. See what I mean? It is to the point that I wanted to reach into the book and smack Mick across the head, "You're a huge star, Mick!" Maybe he is using that part to show that he is still the "every man"?

Either way, it is annoying. Then he continues this by talking about all the charities he works with and how he met former baseball players and Olympic competitors. I don't care Mick. I really don't. I help build houses through my company for poor families, but I'm not writing a book about it.

So there Mick, a pat on your back. You made millions of dollars and now you share some of it and some of your time with people less fortunate than you.

The wrestling stories are scattered about. Including the same focus on Ric Flair and how Flair hates him, so what if he talked about you in his book, you talked about him first you big crybaby.

Seriously, my mood by the end of the book was to go find Mick and throw him off a cell, hoping it would knock some sense back into him.

Audience: Wrestling fans, blood loving, violence loving, fighting, kicking and wrasslin' loving fans, not someone who think Katie is a bigger star than Foley. Failed there.

Stories: Less than half are about wrestling, book written by a wrestler, with 50% of the stories about what a saint he is. Failed there.

Sorry Mick, you'll always be a favorite, but I no longer think you are America's best kept secret in storytellers. I'll put this book under my Cactus Jack shirt in the closet, so no one will read it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably would have been better served as blog entries, May 6, 2009
This review is from: The Hardcore Diaries (Paperback)
I hate writing negative reviews on Amazon. I especially hate writing a negative review about a product that I know somebody put a lot of time and energy into (plus I know how hard writing something interesting can be). Adding to my frustration here is the fact I like Mick Foley the entertainer - he is a wrestler who has given me countless great memories in the ring and he truly seems like a nice guy who is devoted to his family. That being said, this book fails to recapture the magic his first two autobiographies had and, even worse, was torture to finish.

The basic premise of The Hardcore Diaries is a good one. Mick Foley came up with a wrestling angle (storyline) and this book was to be written in diary fashion documenting Mick's thoughts as the angle played out in the WWE. I believe this could make for an exceptionally compelling read for wrestling and non-wrestling fans a like, if done right. Especially when being written by a brilliant man who is a very gifted writer. There is a major problem right away though - the storyline only takes about 6 weeks from start to finish. Even with production meetings before each show, there is only so much Foley can write about. Compounding the issue, Foley wasn't traveling day-to-day with the WWE at this point so his "backstage" stories are going to be limited. To fill 300 pages or so, filler is going to be needed (in this case, lots and lots and lots and lots of filler).

So we get pages upon pages dedicated to Mick's family, meeting Katie Couric, rubber chicken dinners, visiting sick children and veterans, softball and little league games, church, etc... Making matters even worse is the fact that it's not even in diary fashion - we start jumping years at a time. By about the midway point I couldn't even remember the stupid angle this book was supposed to be about in the first place. By the end, I was seriously telling myself that the book is going in the "later" pile if he tells one more story about visiting a veteran's hospital. It's really hard to completely blame Mick here though - there is just not enough meat on the bone with this one wrestling storyline to fill-up an entire book and we already have two other books on Foley, so his fresh stories are going to be very limited.

That's not to say this book doesn't have its pluses. When he does concentrate on the "here-and-now" entries it is a very good read. His proposed wrestling storyline gets changed so much by the WWE, and to read about his frustrations to this is interesting and really adds a human element to him. Even when he is talking about the family in these parts things don't seem so contrived since the events are happening in "real time" so to speak.

Overall, this book is only a must buy for die-hard Foley fans who want to know everything about him. Causal fans of the guy or non-wrestling fans should pick-up his first two autobiographies - those are great reads.
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The Hardcore Diaries
The Hardcore Diaries by Mick Foley (Paperback - April 1, 2008)
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