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Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother's Murder, John du Pont's Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold Hardcover – November 18, 2014
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Praise for Foxcatcher
"In this disturbing, heartfelt memoir, the life of champion wrestler Schultz plays out against the backdrop of his brother's murder in 1996 at the hands of John du Pont, heir to the du Pont family...the relationship between Schultz and his more easy-going, older brother is vividly portrayed as one of the sibling rivalry and real love." -- Publishers Weekly
“My recommendation: If you want to know all about what happened at Foxcatcher, pre-order the book by Mark Schultz. It is a must-read, whether or not you know a lot about wrestling.” --Eddie Goldman, host of "No Holds Barred"
"While the film touches more on the tragedy of his brother David, the book takes you through the triumphs of his athletic career, the personal struggles that led him to join up with du Pont, and a true inside perspective of what really went on at Foxcatcher Farms."
-- MMA Core.com
"Mark Schultz' Foxcatcher book is raw, authentic and powerful. It is a fantastic autobiography from start to finish, and it can be read in one or two sittings, since it will be difficult to put down." -- Digital Journal
About the Author
MARK SCHULTZ is an Olympic gold medalist, 2-time World Champion, and 7-time national champion.
DAVID THOMAS, a former award-winning sports journalist, is a national best-selling author/co-writer of seven books. He lives near Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, Sally, and their two children.
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However, that should cause you to overlook this, which is a commendable memoir, even to those whose knowledge of wrestling is limited to "takedown, takedown, two points". The first half of the book (other than the very first chapter) tells of Mark Schultz's development into an Olympic champion and a world champion along side his brother Dave. Aside from that first chapter, John du Pont and Foxcatcher Farms don't surface until you're more than halfway through the book. For a first-time author and one faced with the unimaginable task of having to relate the story of his brother's ruthless murder by a person he knew intimately, Schultz fares very well. Maybe it's not a gold medal for literature, but it's at least a solid bronze.
I was also extremely interested (this was perhaps my biggest draw) in the psychology of Mark Schultz as it related to wrestling ....what skills/behaviors he practiced and how he contextualized his thoughts so that he could create within himself a mental climate that allowed him to continually go into battle (wrestling at that level for so long), and not only succeed, but to dominate.... thoroughly. I wanted to find out if that same tenacity wove through other areas of his life and shaped how he dealt with difficult things off the mat. I wanted to know what Mark Schultz knows, what he learned via his blood, sweat and tears. I am an athlete myself, as well as a human being getting through life like everyone else. I figured that Mark might have penned some strategies in his book for dealing with adversity, staying focused, and success in sport and in life. I was not disappointed!
This book is ultimately about Mark, which is what I was hoping for when I ordered it. It was a brave, warrior effort on his part to bring this book to life. I'm so glad he shared his story with us.
I highly recommend!
First of all: it's a bait and switch. It should have been titled "Look at me!!! I'm Mark and this book is all about me! The world should be all about me too! ...and a little bit about my brother and the guy who killed him" I read in some review or quote that Mark Schultz does admit it's a memoir - phew! Now that that's cleared up, maybe someone should change the title? ...but I could see how that wouldn't really sell many books. It says a lot about a person who uses his brother's tragedy to make it all about himself. Don't worry though, if that isn't apparent at first, the book spells it out.
Thank goodness there was another writer involved, or this book would have been completely a lost cause. (Dave Thomas, it's you who earned the stars, not Mark) If there hadn't been, who knows if any of the true story of his brother's murder would have been squeezed into the pages of self-congratulating, self-absorbed, behavior justifying whining. There are phrases you see often: I wasn't given, unfairly, I didn't think it was fair, etc. It's obvious that this guy always sees himself as the victim, always someone to blame, someone didn't pay enough attention to him, someone else paid too much attention to him.... (Here's something: a character in the book thinks to himself that it feels like the universe was conspiring against him. Was it the crazy heir to millions? Nope.) Sadly, what the writer purports the book to be about ends up being an afterthought.
It's in the last half of the book before the narrative gets to what the title describes. Yes, they throw in a few pages about John du Pont and his lineage in the first half - but that's it, just a few pages. Okay, so, it's more of a story about him and his brother? Not quite. It's almost halfway into the book that one of his brother's matches is described, and not remotely to the degree that the author painstakingly (and trust me, he puts the 'pain' in painstakingly) describes what feels like every single one of his own matches. So until then, you better get used to reading about Mark. Maybe you think you can hang in there. I thought I could. Even then, it's a looooong road to interesting. Even if we were to toss out the title of the book and rate this book as the autobiography/sports biography it is, it's monotonous and long-winded. Toss it out and grab Andre Agassi or Dwayne Johnson's autobiographies instead. With this, it's the same stuff, same scenario, same blame game when it comes to the main character, which, contrary to the book's own title, ends up being Mark.
It's so disappointing because the actual, true story about David Schultz and John Du Pont IS interesting! It's fascinating! I remember reading about it, watched the ESPN 30 for 30 on it, am looking forward to seeing the movie about it. That's why I wanted to read this book. I just wish this book told that story! And that I hadn't wasted a few hours of my life to a guy using a keyboard to stroke his ego. I hope someday soon, someone writes about what happened at Foxcatcher and gives David Schultz and his story the focus and attention they deserve.