Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

Front Cover
Random House of Canada, Limited, May 27, 2008 - Calgary (Alta.) - 592 pages
29 Reviews
In his own words, Bret Hart’s honest, perceptive, startling account of his life in and out of the pro wrestling ring.

The sixth-born son of the pro wrestling dynasty founded by Stu Hart and his elegant wife, Helen, Bret Hart is a Canadian icon. As a teenager, he could have been an amateur wrestling Olympic contender, but instead he turned to the family business, climbing into the ring for his dad’s western circuit, Stampede Wrestling. From his early twenties until he retired at 43, Hart kept an audio diary, recording stories of the wrestling life, the relentless travel, the practical jokes, the sex and drugs, and the real rivalries (as opposed to the staged ones). The result is an intimate, no-holds-barred account that will keep readers, not just wrestling fans, riveted.

Hart achieved superstardom in pink tights, and won multiple wrestling belts in multiple territories, for both the WWF (now the WWE) and WCW. But he also paid the price in betrayals (most famously by Vince McMahon, a man he had served loyally); in tragic deaths, including the loss of his brother Owen, who died when a stunt went terribly wrong; and in his own massive stroke, most likely resulting from a concussion he received in the ring, and from which, with the spirit of a true champion, he has battled back.

Widely considered by his peers as one of the business’s best technicians and workers, Hart describes pro wrestling as part dancing, part acting, and part dangerous physical pursuit. He is proud that in all his years in the ring he never seriously hurt a single wrestler, yet did his utmost to deliver to his fans an experience as credible as it was exciting. He also records the incredible toll the business takes on its workhorses: he estimates that twenty or more of the wrestlers he was regularly matched with have died young, weakened by their own coping mechanisms, namely drugs, alcohol, and steroids. That toll included his own brother-in-law, Davey Boy Smith. No one has ever written about wrestling like Bret Hart. No one has ever lived a life like Bret Hart’s.

For as long as I can remember, my world was filled with liars and bullshitters, losers and pretenders, but I also saw the good side of pro wrestling. To me there is something bordering on beautiful about a brotherhood of big tough men who pretended to hurt one another for a living instead of actually doing it. Any idiot can hurt someone.
—from Hitman

From the Hardcover edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

User Review  - Adrian Breckel - Goodreads

When reading biographies, I think a common pitfall in reviewing is reviewing the person vs. the book. This book compels me to do both. This is a long book that does not turn into a page turner until ... Read full review

Review: Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

User Review  - Trent Zelazny - Goodreads

Very in-depth biography of a legendary wrestler, and one of my childhood heroes. I've now read this twice and could read it again. Fascinating book. Especially nice to learn that someone I looked up ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Though Bret Hart is now retired from wrestling, he is recognized around the world as one of pro wrestling’s all time greats. In 2006 he was inducted into both the WWE Hall of Fame and the Geroge Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. His appeal also transcends pro wrestling; Hart was voted one of the top fifty Canadians of all time in the CBC’s Greatest Canadians series. He recently completed a cross-Canada tour reprising his role as The Genie in Aladdin.

From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information