The book is 320 pages long, divided in 10 main chapters, and each chapter contains numerous short subsections ranging from half of a page to five pages long. This makes it perfect for the time-pressed reading fan, as even five minutes can make for meaningful and enjoyable read. I also feel these micro-chapters fit well with Batista's nature and personality, as we come to learn. He is actually an exceptionally quiet and shy individual.
Many wrestlers make a start on their careers in their late teens/early twenties, but Batista was close to 30 when he got into the wrestling world, so there is plenty of life experience to talk about prior to his WWE days. Dave accounts early family life as a child in a dirt poor single parent family, the rough gang war way of life that surrounded his upbringing, and the struggles that ensued raising two daughters when he was still feeling lost in the direction of his own life.
While the subject of wrestling is largely missing from these chapters of his life, it does not make it any less interesting. He still alludes to present day events as he goes, but largely sticks to a chronological order in terms of his story's telling. I mention this as some wrestling autobiographies are notorious for skipping back and forth in time so quickly that there is little sense of a timeline. Dave does not make this mistake and the book benefits greatly because of it.
When he eventually does come into wrestling and the story behind it, Batista does a good job in covering his career. This includes trying out in the WCW Power Plant, his WWE development territory days as Leviathan, moving into his debut, becoming part of Evolution, and beyond.
Like many WWE-produced books, it has the benefit of a skilled co-writer (Jeremy Roberts) to craft and direct the wrestlers' voice onto the page. But what is special about this book is the fact that the voice of Batista is very definite here. You really do feel like the man is just sitting down talking to you. Though I must admit, I initially found the narrative a little—how do I put this..."simple"—when compared to the likes of the wrestling literary alumni of Chris Jericho, Mick Foley and Bret Hart, it quickly grew on me as I came to realize this is just how the man is.
He is the first to confess that he is not a man of many words. Many family friends doubted he could ever be a wrestler because, as one Aunt put it, "But he doesn't speak? Won't he have to speak?"
At times, Batista's narrative is exceptionally funny. I do not think it is always intentional, but he is very frank. He just says what he thinks and does not care who he offends with it. If he thought someone was an asshole, you are going to hear about it.
My biggest criticism on the writing style would be the inclusion of so many sections starting with phrases like, "I don’t remember the details but.." or, "I don't know why/what/when but…." The book unfortunately has a few too many road trip stories that are only 50-75% complete. Nobody expects anyone to remember each and every trip or incident they have ever undertaken, but it seems odd to have padded the book with so many tales like this.
In my opinion, the best wrestling books are those that inspire, inform and endear you to the author. This one hits the mark on all levels.While it is not "Have a Nice Day" or "A Lions Tale", based on its own merits, it is nevertheless an enjoyable book.
- I have forgotten...but then so does Batista.
- 5 years into his career, too soon for an autobiography?
- Writing style takes a little time to grow on you.