My Life Outside The Ring
By Hulk Hogan
(St. Martin’s Press)
Could anybody possibly know more about the wacky world of celebrity in this day and age then the ol’ Hulkster himself, Hulk Hogan? Literally creating the WWF with Vince McMahon Jr., whipping-up the worldwide frenzy of “Hulkamania,” appearing in scores of TV shows and movies, star of one the highest rated reality shows “Hogan Knows Best” and sporting bigger guns then just about anybody, the man born Terry Gene Bollea has enjoyed the wealth and trappings of fame, as well as suffering because of it, like very few rock stars or actors ever do.
My Life Outside The Ring, is Hogan’s story of the most recent ‘act’ of his life. While we do get a little overview of his childhood and climb into the ring and beyond, the book is really more about the man’s recent years and the roller coaster, sometime dangerous, always interesting ride he’s been on. The book starts chillingly with the Hulkster downing some alcohol and staring at himself in his bathroom mirror, while he sits with gun in hand contemplating suicide. His son Nick has just had an accident that has left a family friend in a coma, Hulk’s wife has served him for divorce and his singer daughter is no longer talking to him. Things are none so great there in Hulk’s Florida mansion and in fact the meat of this book is about his slow crawl back from what he describes as the lowest point in his life, through a spiritual awakening very few of us would probably ever muster the humble courage to confront.
“Life” is a fast paced 300-page read and while not the best of writers, Hogan gets his point across as if he’s sitting down next to you laying out his story. Not that this particular guy wasn’t pretty much an open book kind of honest dude to begin with, now because of the books he’s read and the work he’s done on himself, Hogan comes completely clean about his marriage, family, affair, steroid use; generally his crazy life. Rumors are dispelled, lies and half truths felled by “the whole truth brother” and what one comes away with is Terry Gene’s honest assessment of who he is, how he got here, what he’s going to do to stay and how all he really wants is to be the best dad to his two kids that he can be.
My Life Outside The Ring is less autobiography really then the slowly acquired revelations of a man who we think we have known for so long but never really have heard from in so straight forward and honest a way before. You cant help read this book and not root for and love Hulk Hogan (if you didn’t already like the guy already) and there is even a bit near the end that will get you all misty as Hulk confronts his wife for the last time.
My Life Outside The Ring is about forgiveness, family, and power of the positive in one’s life. “Hey brother, if it can work for the Hulkster…”