"To me there is something bordering on beautiful about a brotherhood of big tough men who pretended to hurt one another for a living instead of actually
doing it" - Bret Hart
"Bret Hart: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling" is a powerful, roller coaster of a book - a journey through hard times, triumph, tragedy and survival. Bret Hart's is a life like few others have ever lived.
The book is based on an audio diary that Bret kept through his entire career starting in his early twenties. The pictures and details aren't always pretty, but they never fail to fascinate. Even at 553 pages, I found it hard to put the book down.
The Bret Hart revealed in this book is a diamond with many facets and unashamed to hide it's flaws. On one hand, you have the wrestling hero - a loyal, dilligent and often brilliant artist of the squared circle. Then you have the troubled husband finding solace in the temptaions of the road, the loving father, the prodigal son at odds with his siblings and the man trying to stay on track while personal tragedy and professional disappointment take their shots at him.
One of the things that comes through in the book is that the greatest love of Bret Hart's life was wrestling. There are those in the business who have criticized him for taking himself and the business too seriously. The book confirms my opinion that most people who are in it today don't take it seriously enough. Bret's book is a look at how pro wrestling has changed and not in too many ways for the better. Bret's example of hard work, loyalty and doing what's right for the business are qualities that both wrestlers and people in any field of endeavor would be well served to emulate.
If you are in the wrestling business or a student of it, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Even if you are not a wrestling fan, Bret Hart's incredible life is a literary adventure well worth taking.
I am still stunned over how well done this book is. Bret wraps his life up perfectly for us and I found much of it very moving. When I was finished with the book, I wanted to shake his hand, thank him and just chat about what I'd read.
As a wrestling promoter, it saddens me that we don't have Bret Hart in our business anymore. He has so much to give with his knowledge and as a personal influence, that it strikes me as so unfortunate that Bret couldn't make himself a presence in wrestling, even if it were strictly behind the scenes. Bret talks in his book about playing a wrestling hero, but in so many ways, he became a very real one and is even moreso in my eyes after reading this great book.