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The Hulkster Tells His Side of the Story

  • Jul 2, 2010

When I was growing up Hulk Hogan was THE star in professional wrestling.  Being younger I was hooked on the soap opera like storylines and larger than life characters in professional wrestling, and Hulk Hogan was the man!
In this autobiography Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan lays it all on the line in an honest, sometimes searing account of his life, including the more recent tragedies that have befallen him and his family.
The Hulkster talks about his life growing up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Tampa with his prospects in life mostly being laboring on the docks or a similar profession.  He became enamored of the local pro wrestling scene and did everything he could, well almost, to become part of the action.  He started in the lowly local circuits and through his personality and character driven storylines, he made the climb to the top of the wrestling world. 
His retelling of the early days of his pro wrestling career, literally sleeping in his car, and later traveling non-stop from one locale to another, were quite an interesting insight into the early days of pro wrestling at the lower end of the totem pole.  And he not only admits to steroid use but talks about how steroids were part of the entire package of being a pro wrestler.  As Hogan aged and injuries from the constant pounding in the ring took their toll he began the slow descent into an occasional wrestler and main attraction.
More recent events in Hogan’s tabloid life are what most people today will be familiar with.  In his hit reality TV show Hogan Knows Best, we don’t see the utter turmoil his marriage and life had become.  He tells his side of the story in the ugly divorce from his wife Linda and his struggles to keep up the lavish lifestyle that his riches had bestowed upon him.  And more tragic yet, his son Nick was driving when he had a car accident that put a family friend into a coma with head injuries that he will make him an invalid for life.  Nick was allegedly both intoxicated and racing another car at the time.  Eventually he was convicted of a felony in the matter and was jailed for about six months. Somehow the tabloid media got a hold of a recording of a phone conversation Hogan had with his son while in jail that sounds like he is being callous and uncaring about the injuries to the passenger.  Hogan gives a believable explanation of the conversion as being taken completely out of context.
The final chapters talk about how Hogan sank into a deep, deep depression with all the turmoil in his life – a son in jail, an ugly divorce, a falling out with this daughter over the divorce, financial problems from his lavish lifestyle, and a lawsuit for an enormous sum of money filed by the family of the injured passenger, all took their toll.  He finally turned around his life and is telling his side of the story in this hard to put down autobiography.
Hogan’s ghostwriter, Mark Dagostino does an outstanding job of organizing the material into a coherent, well written account of the life and travails of Hulk Hogan.  The only real drawback to the book is the first half keeps using the phrase “you know,” just like I am sure Hogan does in real life.  It certainly gave an authentic tone to the book, but it sure got extremely annoying after a while.  Thankfully he knocked off this colloquialism about half way through the book.  Otherwise the writing and organization of the book are superb.
Finally, the reader must ask, how honest or true is the book?  I am sure Hogan believes it is honest and true.  The tone and unveiling of the good and the bad in Hogan’s life makes what Hogan says ring true.  I, frankly, believe what he has to say, although I am sure there are other sides to the story as well.

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About this book


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.)
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ISBN-10: 0312588895
ISBN-13: 978-0312588892
Author: Hulk Hogan
Genre: Sports
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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