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.
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.
--from MY LIFE OUTSIDE THE RING
Whether it was in the ring during his decades-long wrestling career, or in his home during his popular reality show, Hogan has spent most of his adult life in front of the cameras. But for this memoir, Hogan hoped to "open up about everything in his life," and it's hard to argue that he didn't succeed. From his days as a high school outcast in Florida to his ascension as perhaps the most popular wrestler of all time--"it was like the Beatles or something," he writes--Hogan pulls no punches along the way. The first half of the work is fascinating, as he chronicles his first exposure to wrestling, which ended in a broken leg, along with his openness about steroid use and other drugs. Once his wrestling career ends, however, the book devolves into rather uncomfortable reading. Hogan writes exhaustively of his destructive marriage and his wife's alcoholism, and details his subsequent affair. But the most cringe-worthy passages come in his unabashed defenses of his son, who served nine months in jail for his role in a car accident that permanently injured his friend. The spiritual enlightenment that Hogan experiences in the final chapters does little to brighten the mood by the time the final page is turned. Wrestling fans will enjoy Hogan's honest look at his career and the history of the business. But the exploration into the rest of his personal life proves to be more depressing than uplifting. (Oct.)
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Hogans Dark side make a good read.
Posted December 29, 2009 by D. Griffin , Los AngelesIf you grew up on the Hulkster then thsi is the real book you should read! He gets pretty gritty. His goody-goody two show image of "vitimans and minerals" gets thrown away as Terry Bollea (Hogan's real name) gets down to reality and share some really dark secrets and times when wrestling wasnt the mega-million dollar machine it is today. Hogan leaves not stone unturned in this book... which should have been called ("The darker side to Hulk Hogan"). Drug use, foul marriage, strings of failures mark this book with all that you never knew about the Hulkster but probably wouldn'tve believed if told 15 years ago. A good and insightful read indeed. I'd recommend it. Only gripe... wish the book was longer and told more about the times he had with other wrestlers and what impacts they may have had on his career. Otherwise a good book!
St. Martin's Press
October 26, 2009
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