I’m baaaaack! Yeah, I know I’m a terrible human being that will never finish a book, but I picked up this book on a whim, didn’t plan on reading it and then I did and read it in about 2 weeks. That book is Chris Jericho’s first autobiography A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Welcome back to Readers Indigestion!
So basically my goal for a flash review is to just summarize the book and give brief thoughts on it, it will be books like this that I just randomly glide through, and that happens a lot, as much as I love a big long book, my attention gets thrown other places with other books, there are just too many fantastic books available and I love them all! So let’s do this:
Chris Jericho has been named one of the top ten best wrestlers in the world and was crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion in professional wrestling history. But his journey from Alberta, Canada, to Vince McMahon’s WWE is a story that may never, e-ever happen again.
From leaving home at nineteen and training in the infamous Hart Dungeon; to dealing with his mother’s devastating injury; to becoming a national heartthrob in Mexico, a local hero in Germany, and a hated villain in Japan; to his big break in WCW; Chris shares both the poignant and hilarious moments of his life. With never-before-heard insights into the highly political backstage machinations of the wrestling business during the 1990s, this is Lion Heart rising from small-town dreamer to big-time superstar, living and loving in foreign lands, and proving that dreams can come true.
A few things need to be said here, well mostly one, I’m a massive wrestling nerd, as should be obvious by now, and other than CM Punk Chris Jericho is my favourite wrestler, he is just so fantastic and in this book he absolutely shines. When I saw this book at Wee Book Inn I was thrilled, Lion’s Tale has been out of print for some time and I haven’t been able find it anywhere, thank you for being the best used book store ever. My only complaint is the person who owned this book before me REALLY loved his cheese puffs, it gets kinda gross at some points. Anyway, when I opened this book one of the first things said is that Jericho wrote this book himself, it may have a co-author on the cover but he just gave Chris ideas as to what to throw into the book to make it interesting for readers, and was I ever blown away by Y2J’s writing abilities.
He starts off as a kid growing up in Winnipeg and going to live wrestling shows with his father and it moves quickly from there to him coming to Alberta to be trained by the Hart Brothers, and being sorely disappointed to find out that none of the Hart’s actually taught in that school anymore then it just rockets on from there to tell us about his time travelling the independent circuit and trying to make a name for himself. One of my favourite stories in the book is talking about his experience meeting Rey Mysterio for the first time, and honestly all of the Mexico section was fantastic. It moves from Mexico to him eventually getting work in Japan and doing that for a few years and then finally making a break with ECW and then WCW and then by the end of the book it builds up to the biggest night in my WWE watching history: The night Y2J made his first appearance on WWF television mouthing off to The Rock.
The book is funny, fast pace, and there isn’t a single point where I’m not interested in what is going on in the novel. This is the life story, well part of it, of my favourite WWE Superstar, the story of The Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla, a man whose life experiences will never, EEEEEVER be repeated. He’s a man for all Canadian boys to look up too, for me him and Bret Hart are on the same level of how much respect I have for them, they are role models for not just Canadian boys but boys all over the world, two of the greatest wrestlers, two of the greatest men ever to be on WWF/E programming come from Canada, and that is something to be proud of.
Here’s a couple of review in the book:
“This may be the first-ever autobiographical, action-adventure, how-to-achieve-success book ever written. Dreams do come true. Happy endings still exist. This book proves it.”
-Jim Ross, “The Voice of the WWE”
“I thoroughly enjoyed A LION’S TALE! What I liked best was how Chris Jericho’s charm rings through on every page.”
-Bret Hitman Hart
“I was really enjoying this book, empathizing with Chris’ plight as an aspiring wrestler, laughing out loud at many of the dead-on depictions of some of the more colorful characters in our business. Suddenly, a wave of momentary panic crashed right into my literary ego. ‘Oh no’ I thought. ‘What if this book is better than mine?'”
-Mick Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author
and three-time WWE World Champion
There’s really not much more to say about this book, you will laugh and you will feel emotion, real emotion, at times. If you are as much of a fan of Jericho and of wrestling as me this is one book you can’t miss out on. I also have his second book Undisputed which I’ll probably buzz through equally as fast, so keep an eye out for that review.
A Lion’s Tale: 9/10
Catch you later space cowboys!
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