Mick Foley's Have A Nice Day

Reviewed by David Skolnick

Mankind: Have a Nice Day! A Tale of Blood and Sweat Socks 
Mick Foley
Regan Books
ISBN 0-06-039299-1
511 Pages
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Mick Foley has without a doubt written the best, most-insightful and enjoyable book on professional wrestling since Marcus Griffin's The Fall Guys. Of course with the endless list of books written by wrestlers who claim wrestling was real in their day and "protect the business" in their publications, writing a great wrestling book is akin to being the toughest guy at an Air Supply-Michael Bolton concert. But to take the comparison one step further, Foley's book is like being Ken Shamrock at the above mentioned concert. 

You can tell by Foley's imaginative wrestling promos over the years that he can tell a good story. His interviews during the past five years or so rank among the very best in the wrestling business. He can make you laugh hysterically and at the same time his subtle humor will make you think. He's Dennis Miller minus the obnoxiousness in a lot of ways. Foley's book not only lives up to those interviews, but exceeds them as he tells amusing and laugh-out-loud stories of his life growing up on Long Island, his time at the State University of New York, College at Cortland, his years of training to be a wrestler, his many stints on the regional and independent wrestling circuits and his successes and failures in the National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation. The book is more than 500 pages long, but not only did I not want to put it down, I was disappointed when it was over. I wanted more.

Foley does not hold back on his thoughts on the game's biggest names and his biggest matches held all over the world. Foley's brutally honest account of his dealings with Ric Flair, Kevin Sullivan and Vince McMahon captivate the reader. And anyone who can make Herb Abrams seem like a human being while not telling any lies about the late promoter certainly deserves praise for his writing abilities. I could only imagine what the book would have been had Foley agreed to having a ghost writer help him. Come to think of it, I can. I've read The Rock's book.

I may be a bit biased because I've been a Foley fan since I first saw him about 12 years ago in the former Dallas territory and followed his career with interest through his many ups and downs. But Foley's book is among the most entertaining I've read in several years. His love for the business comes through in his book, but he does not hide its many problems and tragic occurrences such as his feelings on the death of Owen Hart. 

Thoughout his career, many people discounted Foley's ability as a wrestling performer. He proved them wrong time and time again. The same was said about Foley the writer. Many book reviewers dismissed Foley's book as the rantings of an uncivilized wrestler and refused to give it a critique. Then the book became a number one best seller and paved the way for other wrestlers to follow suit with their own autobiographies; most who do not yet deserve such an honor. 

Mick Foley Talks To Wrestling Perspective About His Book

David Skolnick interviewed Mick Foley at the Brian Hildebrand Tribute Show on July 30, 1999. The interview appeared in Wrestling Perspective #81. The following excerpt focuses on Foley's book. 

Wrestling Perspective: Is the book done?
Mick Foley: Oh, the book is done.

Wrestling Perspective: Footnotes or endnotes?
Mick Foley: Footnotes or endnotes? I don't follow you. What do you mean? What are you saying? There's neither. It's all fairly self-explanatory. Quotes are attributed and they're accurate. It's in the final editing process. 

Wrestling Perspective: How long did it take you to write?
Mick Foley: It took me seven weeks of almost non-stop writing. I was kind of prolific. I didn't have to think. It was like the story was writing itself. I was just holding the pen.

Wrestling Perspective: Obviously, it's an autobiography, but is it told like a story with anecdotes?
Mick Foley: Oh, yeah, there's a lot of road stories and there's a little bit of history involved in summing up the wrestling boon of the Eighties and going into the Monday Night War of the Nineties and the history between the two companies. I think for someone who likes wrestling they're going to love it and for someone who doesn't know what all the fuss is about, it will explain it.

Wrestling Perspective: There are a lot of books out by wrestlers who totally kayfabe and ...
Mick Foley: It's a little insulting, right? 

Wrestling Perspective: Yeah.
Mick Foley: Yeah, I'm not going to insult anyone's intelligence in this thing. I'm kind of telling it like it is. I would be shocked if people don't have more respect for wrestling after they're through reading it.

Wrestling Perspective: When is it supposed to be coming out?
Mick Foley: It's supposed to be out at the end of October, but they weren't counting on it being quite as long as it is so it's obviously taking them longer to do everything.

Wrestling Perspective: Who's publishing it?
Mick Foley:: Regan Books, which is a major publisher. This is not the first wrestling book, but it may be the first one with a real big publisher behind it.

Wrestling Perspective: The other ones are either self-published or small companies.
Mick Foley: Yeah, small ones. I know DDP has a book coming out. I don't know who's publishing that.

Wrestling Perspective: Do you think he could possibly have anything interesting to say?
Mick Foley: DDP? Well, sure, he's had an interesting life. I'm going to read it. I won't put it down until I read it and then I'll be glad to put it down. (Laughs). I think people are going to enjoy this. (Terry Taylor walks by us at this point.) There are some Terry Taylor stories in there.
Terry Taylor: (Doing a Foley impersonation) Someone who I found witty on occasion, but this time he wasn't funny. (Laughs)
Mick Foley: That is in the book.
Terry Taylor: That's the only part I get in the book is the part about how witty I could have been but I wasn't.
Mick Foley: He gets the part about how my mother-in-law had a crush on him. How charming he was.
Terry Taylor: Until she met me, right?

Wrestling Perspective:With your charming personality, Terry?
Terry Taylor: I think so. I'm second to none. (Laughs and walks away)

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