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A rollicking ride through a large swath of the entertainment industry.

The WWE wrestler and entertainer chronicles his latest alcohol-fueled adventures and his push to become a bigger celebrity.

Along with Fornatale, who co-authored his previous two best-selling books, Jericho (Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps, 2011, etc.) is back to regale us with tales from a life filled with drunken nights on the pro-wrestling circuit, performances with his heavy-metal band, Fozzy, and, increasingly, appearances on network TV. Along the way, we get to know Jericho’s informal storytelling style, with its self-deprecating humor and many pop-culture references. Pro-wrestling fans, casual and hard-core alike, will have their interest piqued by the volatile relationship between Jericho and WWE’s head honcho, Vince McMahon. Jericho also devotes plenty of space to the ways in which he carefully planned his wrestling feuds with recent icons like Shawn Michaels and older legends like Ricky Steamboat. The confrontations have never been limited to fellow wrestlers: Jericho took a punch from Mike Tyson, endured a tongue lashing from Bob Barker and narrowly escaped an all-out brawl with Mickey Rourke (and his crew of bone-breakers). Metalheads will certainly appreciate Jericho’s encyclopedic knowledge of hard-core rock bands and his childlike anxiety when meeting stars like Ozzy Osbourne and the members of Metallica. Jericho also recounts his experiences on Dancing with the Stars, which allowed him to showcase his personality as an entertainer, not just a pro wrestler. Laced with deadpan comedic quips and diabolical schemes to further his position as a wrestling villain, this book makes a strong case for Jericho’s extensive skill set as a performer.

A rollicking ride through a large swath of the entertainment industry.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59240-752-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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