BOOK REVIEW: Mick Foley - Hardcore Diaries

First things first; as both a life-long pro wrestling fan and somebody who's only life ambition since being a kid was to work as a writer, I've got nothing but admiration for Mick Foley.

As I mentioned in my review of his groundbreaking opus, Have a Nice Day, I find the very fact that Foley succeeded in a business where by all accounts he shouldn't have done, to be pretty inspiring. In documenting the journey to that success over the course of several autobiographies, it's got to be said that the Hardcore Legend -despite the own jabs at his own work- has certainly got a talent for putting pen to paper and making readers engage with whatever story he happens to be telling.

So it was with some excitement then that I finally picked up Hardcore Diaries, the only Mick Foley memoir I hadn't yet read. Sure, like I suspect many people, I was a little put off by the number of times he deviated from the world of wrestling in his second book Foley is Good, but I didn't really think too much of that for two reasons:

1: I'd only just put down Have a Nice Day, and was on something of a Foley kick
2: This was going to be a book about his thoughts leading into a big pro wrestling match, so lots of wrestling, right?

Right, and yet somehow also wrong.

Yes, the build-up to his big match tagging with Edge to take on Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk at One Night Stand is pretty well documented, and there are a couple of stories when Foley drops back to bring up other memories from his several-decade-spanning career, but it was precisely these flashbacks and the whole non-linear approach to this book that kind of soured me on it.

In a word, I found Hardcore Diaries to be quite an erratic book, one that was at times pretty hard to follow. One minute you're getting into the mindset of a veteran performer gearing up for one more great match, the next you're delving into his time writing a novel or rubbing shoulders with famous athletes at a charity event.

There's nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves of course -no matter what criticisms I may have of this particular book, I do at least find that Foley comes across as completely genuine- it's just that they were so liberally thrown into the book that it made for a confused, sometimes messy read.

I'm still a fan of Mick's work, just not necessarily this book, and probably wouldn't recommend it unless you're a diehard fan of the Hardcore Legend.

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