Professional wrestling is filled with pageantry, spectacle, and larger-than-life figures that beat the snot out of each other for the entertainment of the roaring crowd. Mick Foley's first autobiography, Have a Nice Day!: a Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks is an endearing, down-to-earth look at one of the very real people behind the 'fake' world of pro wrestling. Mick's charisma in the squared circle that he utilized to portray such characters as Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love translates well to the written page, with a surprisingly humble and earnest tone that gives the sense that he's treating the reader like a good friend, sharing his more private and personal stories. The prose isn't perfect, with Mick repeating himself on occasion and going into too much detail about some of his wrestling matches, but these flaws also add to the charm. They help the authenticity of the book, demonstrating that he has eschewed a ghost writer and written the book himself (he even tells the tale that he hand wrote the book on seven-hundred some pages of notebook paper).
What makes this autobiography stand out is the differences you see between Mick Foley the wrestler and Mick Foley the person. Mick shares stories of matches in Japan involving blood and barbed wire, matches in the WWF (now WWE) with infamous falls from steel cages and multiple folding chairs smashed against his head, along with a litany of injuries that show how 'fake' wrestling can be with multiple lost teeth and a gruesome tale of how he lost most of an ear during a match in Germany. This contrasts strikingly with the stories of Mick outside the ring, the tales of meeting his wife, the birth of his children (two at the time, now the proud father of four), to even the stories of what it took for him to become a wrestler in the first place. Sleeping in his car, scraping by on what little money he had to pursue his dream, his story exemplifies that hard work and dedication can take you wherever you want to go.
A fabulous (and NY Times best-selling) first book, Mick has gone on to pen several more books, including three more memoirs, three children's books, and a pair of novels. While he becomes a better writer with each book, it is this first book that has the greatest charm and serves as an inside look at the people behind an industry that wrestling fans and non-fans alike can truly enjoy.
Tim @ Central