The Rob’s Book Review – Chris Jericho’s A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex
The Rob read another book!
Over the past few years I’ve been building a library of books in my home. However, I haven’t been reading them over the past five years or so. But in 2013, I’ve been reading like crazy. A few weeks ago I finished Jay-Z’s unique autobiography/lyric dissection Decoded (available HERE). Well, over the past month or so, I finished another book that KISS listeners may find interesting.
I know that, like myself. A lot of the audience is into professional wrestling. I know this from the sheer insanity that develops whenever I have tickets to give away on the air; I know this from meeting listeners out at events; I know this because I attend the wrestling shows when WWE comes to town… Evansville definitely LOVES their pro-wrestling. The book I just finished is the first autobiography from pro-wrestling mega star Chris Jericho, A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex.
Despite the unpalatable and androgynous title, the pages within A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex actually tell a very exciting story. The story follows Chris (born Chris Irvine, son of NHL star Ted Irvine)from birth through his career in Canada, Mexico, German, Japan, and ultimately the United States in the now-defunct WCW. The book ends right as the “Countdown to the Millennium” clock hits zero signaling the acquisition of his lifelong dream, making his debut in Vince McMahon’s WWF (now WWE). I’m a very firm believer in that, just because somebody is famous, doesn’t necessarily mean they have a story to tell… The “Lionheart” however has quite a “tale” to tell, as he has literally been “around the world in spandex.” He’s mixed it up with some of the biggest names in all of professional wrestling and isn’t afraid to call out the ones who treated him like an a—hole… Fans of Vampiro and/or Eric Bischoff may want to prepare themselves before reading!
This story is very much told in Chris Jericho’s “voice.” While the cover sports a second author (Peter Thomas Fornatale), it is addressed early on that Fornatale is used primarily as an editor and changed very little of Chris’ sentence-structure and thought-process. I’m inclined to believe them, because the book reads very much like Chris speaks when he is on television.
I enjoyed the short, bite-sized chapter lengths, which organized the story greatly. Each chapter would usually be in the neighborhood of ten pages, would always have something related to wrestling and music, a picture or two, and would have some sort of laugh or punchline. It was a very easy to read, digestible tomb.
Another thing that the book benefits from is that it is one of the few books written by a WWE superstar NOT released by WWE Publishing. Penned and released in the three-year vacation Chris took from wrestling, Grand Central Published likely wouldn’t make “Y2J” change a word, whereas WWE Publishing would probably want some of the more R-rated stories and references to their top stars taken out or reworded.
While this 5-year-old autobiography is a great read, I would really only recommend it to Jericho fans (dubbed “Jerichoholics” in the book) or pro-wrestling fans in general. I’ve read almost every book written by a pro-wrestler, and I would probably rank this among the top three… Possibly only behind Mick “Mankind” Foley’s first book Have a Nice Day, and my all-time favorite wrestler’s autobiography Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling by Bret Hart.