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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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Top Customer Reviews
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 driving home very late on that cold, dark night of January 26, 1996 when the news from earlier that day came across my radio of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown Square, PA on Foxcatcher Farms. In an instant, my wrestling hero, who was bigger than life and the friendliest competitor off the mat I had ever met, was tragically murdered by millionaire eccentric John DuPont. I cried so much that night, the close knit wrestling community had also lost a hero. My obvious questions of Why, How, and For What Reason have never been properly answered....until Mark Schultz's book, Foxcatcher. For me, this book is very personal and a must read for all athletes and non-athletes.
Summary: Described through the eyes and first hand experiences of Mark Schultz, Foxcatcher extensively covers the experiences of growing up very poor in Palo Alto, CA, to competing in various sports, to being lost in the shadow of an older brother, to the frailties, fears, and anxiety of competing in the sport of wrestling, to the awe-inspiring accomplishments of both Schultz brothers, and of course, the spiral downward plunge of John DuPont who used his massive wealth for manipulation, control, personal recognition, and ultimately deceit and murder.
Foxcatcher's 300+ pages covers all the human emotions one would expect of a captivating novel from hilarity to laughter to confusion to anger to despair to disdain to anxiety to hope to sadness to heartbreak....I found myself at some points outwardly laughing then soon after feeling angry then drying my eyes from crying with sadness. Character development is very good but if I am to make a constructive criticism, I'd have liked to have had a few more pages describing more detail of Valentin Jordanov personal background as well as John DuPont's mother and her influence during the year's Dave and Mark stayed on the farm grounds.
The flow of the book is very smooth and the transitions from Chapter to Chapter are done effectively. The tragic incident is described in bone chilling detail and brought me to tears (again) having to re-live that fateful day.
An absolute MUST read for anybody wanting to learn the deep rooted truths about what made the Schultz brothers who they are in the sport of wrestling and John DuPont's selfish reasons for donating enormous sums of money to the Olympic athletic programs, his downward mental spiral, his progressive bizarre behavior, his extensive jealousies, his blood lust for personal recognition, and finally his murderous actions that forever betrayed the wrestling community and destroyed numerous families...painful scars still felt today.
It is also the incredible story of Mark Schultz as both a person and a World Class wrestler, his incredibly difficult quest to achieve World Class honors, his undying love and admiration for his big brother (Dave), and his heartbreaking but inspirational climb out of the ruins of Foxcatcher following the tragedy.
January 26, 1996: I was just 26 years when I lost my sports hero, Dave Schultz. For the first time since that tragic day, I have discovered a new sports hero, Mark Schultz, who showed me the true meaning of the word perseverance in the wake of horrendous tragedy. (I am reading this book a second time, it is that powerful. I also plan to see the movie Foxcatcher as well as Nancy Schultz's planned documentary in 2015.)
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.