The Rock Says...

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9780061031168: The Rock Says...

The Rock is layin' the smack down! With unapologetic honesty, and inimitable style, The Rock tells his story from his boyhood days traveling around the world with his father (professional wrestler Rocky Johnson) to his years as a football player at the University of Miami and his less than glamorous professional days in Canada, to his meteoric rise through the ranks of the Federation. The Rock also takes fans on a guided tour of big-time wrestling, and provides a breathtaking, minute-by-minute account of WrestleMania, the Super Bowl of pro wrestling, including an intimate backstage look at rehearsals with his opponent, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and discusses in heartfelt detail the loss of his friend and coworker, Owen Hart.

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Review:

Hot on the bleeding heels of Mankind's Have a Nice Day! comes another memoir by a bad-guy character World Wrestling Federation fans love to hate, edited by the same prose coach, the clever Jeremie Ruby-Strauss (and coauthored by Joe Layden). Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. the Rock--who calls himself "the People's Champion," affects an arched eyebrow to convey entertaining menace, and coins catch phrases like a standup comic--gives you plenty of colorful, jumbled action photos and the growling accounts of staged mayhem that made Mankind's book a bestseller. But his story is more interesting than that of Mankind, his occasional ring rival. The noisy action chapters alternate with passages of more reflective conventional autobiography: the Rock is a third-generation pro wrestler, and his book amounts to a history of the sport. His grandpa, High Chief Peter Maivia, was a Samoan important enough to be buried in Diamond Head's crater, and his dad, Rocky Johnson, was George Foreman's sparring partner and the first African American World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental champ. The Rock is candid about the battles his family faced outside the ring: the marriage-testing road lifestyle, his dad's most important win (over the bottle), and the author's own dangerous temper. There's something touching about the Rock's unpromising debut in his uncle Tonga's old trunks, in his reverence for his elders--and something scary about his reaction when he thinks people lack such respect.

What, you say? You'd rather hear about the Rock's "schmozz" (free-for-all) with Mankind, or Faarooq and the interracial Nation of Domination, or that Budweiser-popping piece of trailer trash Stone Cold Steve Austin, or the Undertaker, whose skin is "the color of bad meat"? You want to hear how he started out sleeping on a pungent mattress retrieved from a garbage dump and wound up wearing Versace shirts and chatting up Gennifer Flowers on TV at WrestleMania XIV? You crave the secrets of the Frankenstein, the Gorilla Position, Jake the Snake, and Mankind's Mandible Claw (a dirty sock he shoves down opponents' throats)? That's all here, too. Just hop in the ring--the Rock will show you around. --Tim Appelo

About the Author:

In addition to his home in Miami, where he lives with his wife, Dany, The Rock has a permanent suite at Smack Down Hotel, on the corner of Know Your Role Boulevard and Jabroni Drive. He is the youngest champion in World Wrestling Federation history.

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The Rock, Joe Layden
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