Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
When I saw this book on Netgalley, I remembered watching Kanyon on TV and I knew I had to read this book. Plus, I find it so interesting that he had to live a majority of his life hiding his sexuality.
The Good: This did NOT read like a boring biography/memoir AT all. It was so interesting and fast paced, I felt like I was actually just listening to Chris speak out loud. I could almost hear his voice leap from the pages. I really enjoy that we get a solid background on Chris's life and the beginning struggles he has figuring out he is gay. The way he relays his life to us, I can understand why he went through periods of deep depression and tried to hide his sexuality. I think it's inspiring that Chris not only went to college, graduated and worked a full time "real" job before wrestling, but that he continued to follow his dreams and passions despite knowing how hard it would be on him. Throughout the book, you can just tell how educated and thoughtful he is. It really makes me sad for his passing. The most heartbreaking thing comes at the end, because when he and Ryan Clark were finished with the book, he was still alive. The tributes at the end are so sad to read. I really felt that Chris was such a relatable and spirited man, I wish there could have been someone that was able to help him through his rough spots, someone who could of talked him down from the ledge. I think the thing that really surprised me about this book was that there was just enough background and talk about wrestling, to add to the overall understanding and message of the book and Chris Kanyon's life but not SO much that people who aren't interested in wrestling would be turned off. It's the opposite actually, I think there's the perfect amount of wrestling talk to keep the non-wrestling fans interested.
The Bad: A little lengthy in some places....it tended to get bogged down with details that the readers really don't need or want....they don't add anything to his life story or the overall message of the book. However, I think Ryan Clark wanted to stay as true to Chris as he could, and perhaps that's why he chose to include things that were irrelevant.
Overall... I thought this was one of the best biographies/memoirs that I've read. It opened my eyes to a different side of wrestling, really gave me a great understanding of what he was up against as a gay man in that industry. It made me a little angry that he was treated the way he was. If you enjoy reading about the world of pro-wrestling or are interested in the life of Chris Kanyon, I would highly recommend this book! I give it a B+!
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own