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The World According To Dutch Paperback – December 14, 2009
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That's not say this is a perfect book. There seems to be no ghost writer here nor is there much editing period - it's written in blog form with, maybe, one round of proofreading. Second, if you really want to know more about Dutch outside of wrestling, look elsewhere. Third, although I happened to like this, there is no rhyme or reason behind any of the chapters nor is there any coherent narrative here. One chapter is about the formation of the TNA, another about meeting the Undertaker, another about Macho Man and a police dog, etc... It truly is just random stories, for better or worse.
Overall it's a fun, quick read with plenty of stories to keep most wrestling fans interested.
Covering his career from the early days in Florida all the way to his stint behind the scenes in TNA, Dutch writes with genuine wit and just a little bit of southern charm...just a little. Dutch's voice is pitch perfect. He gives us just enough detail, without ever being pedantic. Dutch treats his craft with respect, but avoids ever drifting into the realm of self-importance that you find in other wrestling books. And there is plenty of humor to be found. I laughed out loud many a time.
I think what I loved most about this book is the way Dutch allows the reader to get to know him and invites us all to hear a little bit about his life. You will get to hear plenty of stories both behind the curtain and inside the ring, but without the grating, ax-to-grind cynicism that populates the literary efforts of his many brethren.
The feeling this book left me with was the hope that Dutch decides to give us a second volume. I'm certain he has some more stories to share. While I will gladly read them for free on his blog, I wouldn't want Dutch's bank account to suffer. Besides, the money for the next book will undoubtedly be as well spent as the dollars paid for the first. Thanks Dutch!
Turns out that Dutch Mantell is one great story-teller! He has been around the smaller territories (not counting a fairly brief WWF managerial run) for many years and has worked behind the scenes at TNA.
Mantell is a natural at telling stories of places, events and people that he has met with humour and at times, drama. He spends a chapter on his dealings with Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Kane before all three were famous. This is one of the better sections of the book (especially with Austin) and if Mantell did nothing else in the business, his contribution to these three men alone would make him a legend.
Looking forward to his next book and hope there are more to come from Dutch.
My biggest complaint? IT ENDED!! Clearly Dutch knew that by putting this out then everyone would want another book..and then another..and another. Well he has me hooked that's for sure.
I just hope in the next one Dutch gives us his thoughts on such TNA "classics" as the Reverse Battle Royale or the epic Barbed Wire Christmas Tree match - I have a feeling his take on those are just priceless.