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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review

Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review

Synopsis: Hulk Hogan, born Terry Bollea, burst onto the professional wrestling scene in the late seventies and went on to become a world wrestling champion many times over. From humble beginnings, this giant of a man escaped a pre-ordained life of dock and construction work in Port Tampa, Florida, to become one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet. He did it through sheer will, grit, determination, and a drive to always go over the top and do more than what others thought possible. From the outside, his story was one of a charmed life—he was at the top of his career, had a wonderful and loving family, and a lifelong fan base who worshipped him. Of course he had his up and downs—including hints of steroid abuse and his falling out with WWE and Vince McMahon—but it’s been the last two years that have tested Hogan more than any other in his lifetime.

In 2007, while riding the massive success of his VH1 reality show, Hogan Knows Best, his son Nick was involved in a tragic car accident that left his best friend in critical condition. Then Linda, his wife, left him after 23 years of marriage, his beloved daughter Brooke blamed

him for the breakup and his son went to jail. The tabloid media had a field day. When unflattering jailhouse conversations between him and his son were released to the press the tabloids were in a frenzy. The sudden turmoil and tragedy surrounding Hogan took its toll. He fell into a deep depression, seeing no way out, until one fate ful phone call.

In My Life Outside the Ring, Hogan will unabash edly recount these events, revealing how his new found clarity steadied him during the most difficult match of his life—and how he emerged from the battle feeling stronger than ever before.

From the Back Cover: I was right there leaning on the side of the car with my hands when I finally saw Nick—my only son—folded up like an accordion with his head down by the gas pedal. “Nick!” I yelled. I could see he was alive. He turned his head, he stuck his hand out, and gave me a thumbs-up. For a second I was relieved. Then the chaos set in. The noise of engines. Sirens. A saw. Para - medics pulling John from the passenger seat. So much blood. I can’t even describe to you how panicked I was. The police and firefighters surrounding us seemed panicked, too. The firefighters started cutting the side of the car open to try to get Nick out, and I’m still standing right there when I hear my boy screaming, “No, no, no, stop! Stop! You’re gonna cut my legs off. Dad! Just unbuckle the seatbelt. I can get out!” So I reach in and I push the button on his seat belt, and Nick just crawls right out. His wrist was broken. His ribs were cracked. None of that mattered. He was gonna be okay. But not John. John wasn’t moving.

Review: I firstly need to clarify for you where I stand on wrestling.  I grew up, like most kids in the 1980s, watching WWF wrestling.  Guys like Hulk Hogan were our idols.  They were like rock and roll stars.  They were real-life superheroes to us.  In my adult life I don't watch wrestling.  Not because its fake, but because its boring.  Thats just the honest truth.  I still enjoy hearing about the storylines and the drama from time to time, but I'm not one of these big wrestling fans.   I came to appreciate Hulk Hogan as an adult for a completely different reason.  I watched his show "Hogan Knows Best".  The reality show at first sounded like a funny novelty, so I tuned in.  I quickly found a very personable guy and involved father that I could respect.  Its due to this that I have a renewed interest in the Hulkster and his goings on.

I read Hulk Hogan's first book years ago and that detailed his beginnings in the WWF.  This was all very interesting to me, and I really didn't see how he'd have enough material to constitute a second book, but I was quite wrong.  Hulk goes into some great detail about how he started out as a musician in a rock band and was making some money down in Florida.  He got into wrestling slowly and he dishes all about the hazing he went through and the struggles that he encountered trying to break into the business.

The Hulkster gets into his newly found religion pretty quickly into the book.  He reminises about going to a Christian kids camp as a youth and what impact that had on him.  Hulk also tells us about his renewed faith in God and a little about what he believes.  I'm not a religious person myself, but I felt that he did a nice job of saying what he wanted to say about his beliefs without getting too preachy.  Its more a public declaration about where he's at in his life.

What I love about reading Hulk's books is how down to earth and honest he is.  This guy has made millions of dollars in his lifetime and become a world-renound figure, and I honestly feel that you could have a real conversation with the guy if you ever met him face to face.  Reading about his life, his mistakes and hearing his reflections and honesty really endear me to him even further.

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  Not just serious wrestling fans, but anyone that is even remotely interested in Hulk Hogan for any reason.  Even if you're not, and you're just familiar with who he is this book may prove interesting for you.  Its a great read.

You can purchase this book on or The St. Martin's publishing website.