Released in 2003, "Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D - The Reality of Amy Dumas" takes us on the journey of a woman considered by many as the most revolutionary diva in WWE history. It is a story that is all the more remarkable considering she did not even start watching wrestling until her early 20s when she saw her boyfriend watching WCW, and was immediately hooked on the costume, performance, and entertainment aspect behind it all.
The book is 320 pages, divided into 50 chapters. Each chapter is typically 3-7 pages long, making it perfectly suitable for any time-poor reading fans to dip in and out of.
Dumas' co-writer, Michael Krugman, has done an excellent job in assisting with the narrative and construction of the piece, with the flow following a logical chronological order of events. That may sound generous praise for an obvious step, but you would be surprised how many wrestling books jump back and forth between time-lines, skewering the emotion and focus on the journey being told.
The book's presentation and overall layout also benefit from a large array of personal and professional photographs peppered throughout.
From her family life and childhood, the finding of herself through punk-rock music, to working in animal hospitals and strip dancing, Dumas takes us through her formative years in just the right amount of detail; never staying too long on a subject so you get bored, but neither leaving you feeling cheated by a lack of information.
The second stage of the book is where her wrestling journey begins and follows the long, ardent road she took to make it to the top. She takes us through the trials and tribulations of training in Mexico, her independent circuit days, her ECW stint as Miss Congeniality and then, finally, reaching the big time with WWE.
Though some may think four years into her WWE career is too soon to release a book; it actually benefits from this, for it allows her to delve into all her major storylines during this time; how they came about, and what she felt about them. It covers her debut and split with Essa Rios, the formation of Team Extreme, battling The Radicalz, feuding with The Two-Man Power Trip, The Invasion, and the brand split.
Near enough, everything she got involved in gets a look in, right up to point she broke her neck.
But wrestling lore aside, Dumas does not hold back on her personal life and opinions either, with such topics as her (then) real-life relationship with Matt Hardy, life on the road, her problems with "one-dimensional divas,"and her many TV show appearances she did for WWE (none, of which she enjoyed!).
If I had to label one criticism for the book's writing style, it would be that she sometimes writes storylines/backstage screen conversations as if they were real life incidents, but is inconsistent with this approach, so it can come across as if she is unsure about breaking kayfabe or not. This does mean the lines between reality and fiction are sometimes blurred.
Nevertheless, all in all, it is a minor infraction measured against the overall excellence of the book, and should not detract anyone from the enjoyment.
So if you are a fan of Lita, wrestling books, or even just the Attitude Era, I highly recommend you pick this one up, somewhere along the road.
Easy to pick up, hard to put down.
Use of photographs.
Very detailed take on her life in and out of the ring.
Confusing use of sticking to kayfabe at times.