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For a biography, it was very well done. It really peeled back the curtain on recent WWE history and that's always cool to hear about. And it does have all the things wrestling fans want. Good road stories.
However, this book interweaves the life of Bryan Danielson and the week leading up to WrestleMania 30 for Daniel Bryan. The difference could not be more jarring. One half of the book is Bryan Danielson telling you what he wants to tell you, the other half is the story WWE wants you to know. The content and performance of these WWE scripted parts are corny and comes off like it's meant for a 2nd grader. It's painful to sit through like a bad Monday Night.
But the Bryan Danielson parts are good. It's great and refreshing hearing about a WWE superstar who isn't an absolute greaseball.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Great story about wrestling.. could use more drugs, sex, and suplexing though... jk... This was a great book
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is hard to review because of the structure of the audio. Around 80% of it is read by Daniel Bryan himself. It's first person and it's great. It's funny, heartwarming, informative...everything you would want it to be.
Essentially it is the story of a man who overcame a series of potentially insurmountable obstacles in front of him to reach to the top of his profession.
The problem is the other 20%. It's the story of Daniel's Wrestlemania week, written third person as a news article by Craig Tello. Tello is (or was) a WWE.com writer.
Daniel's own parts are understated, a measure of the man himself. This is rambunctious and riddled with over-the-top superlatives that jar with the other style.
For instance, nobody over 'says' anything. Any line of dialogue is followed by, 'he asserts'; 'he announces', 'he details' - or whatever. Look, we know you own a thesaurus. So what? Less is more and all that.
It also contradicts some of the parts Daniel himself describes. Daniel says his first PPV was the 1996 Royal Rumble, which he bought with his friends. Chapters later and Tello says Daniel's first PPV was Wrestlemania 12.
Who's supposed to be editing this?
Lastly, the narrator of the Tello parts is a complete clown. Anyone, ie a professional, who does even the most basic amount of research could tell you that 'John Cena' is pronounced 'John See-na'. But, no. In the first-person parts, Daniel with pronounce it correctly, moments later, Mr Unprofessional will say: 'John Say-na'.
This split format creates such a jarring experience that it's like two different books. Every time Peter Berkrot is busy mispronouncing something (which is a lot), you're yearning to get back to Daniel telling his own story.
I'd still recommend - but with the caveats above. The most frustrating thing is that this is all so avoidable. Why didn't a copy editor cross-reference the two parts so that one doesn't contradict the other? Why isn't there an audio editor to check how names and wrestling terms are pronounced? Absolute basics.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
It was great to hear Daniel Bryans story, read perfectly by himself. He doesn't openly criticize other wrestlers (with one exception) but anyone who knows anything about DB wouldn't expect this in his autobiography. It wonderfully chronicles his life from his early childhood, to wrestling schools, to conquering the Indies, to finally the WWE. Each chapter is started with some introduction narrated by Craig Tello about his wrestlemania 30 build up. This took me out of hearing DB tell his story and doesn't add much . These parts of written totally differently to the DB parts, which are thankfully about 80% of the book.
I think the book should be changed to just the DB narrated parts, with the Craig Tello parts either removed or included as an optional extra (so that it doesn't interrupt the flow of DBs story). For me, that would change it from a four star to five star audiobook.
Loved every aspect of the insight from Bryan on his early career and his rise in the WWE. The bulk of the book was very entertaining and informative and a must read for any wrestling fan. My biggest criticism is that the short third person Wrestlemania week preambles at the beginning of each chapter were obnoxiously written and the voice artist reading those parts was jarring and out of place in my opinion. Would still highly recommend.
Would be 5 star if DBryan narrated the whole book. The fact the 2nd narrator kept pronouncing wrestlers names incorrectly took you out of the moment, especially when its John Cena. Knowing what Bryan went through after the completion of this story tugs at the heart but what he accomplished throughout his career makes for a fascinating listen