Book Review of Wrestling The Hulk: My Life Against The Ropes by Linda Hogan | Smark Out Moment
Linda Hogan book wrestling hulk coverReleased in 2011, Wrestling the Hulk sees Linda Hogan sharing her deeply personal stories about being married to the iconic WWF superstar Hulk Hogan. Stories of abuse, infidelity, celebrity, her "life on the ropes" and how the former VH1 reality TV star managed to step out of her marriage ring and make a fresh start. She begins the tale with such standard autobiography fare as childhood, school days, family life, and her early career working at a beauty salon. While nothing riveting is revealed, it is still an interesting read that helps us learn who Linda is and what she came from.

For instance, she recalls an incident when she was 19 going to the cinema with her mother on a Friday night, and how mortified and sad it was to be doing such a thing. This is mere pages after speaking about how important family is to her and how she loved nothing more than spending time with them.

That might sound a minor understandable occurrence given her age, but this contradictory nature is something that repeats itself throughout the book. What is also notable is how much time she spends talking about her pre-Hulk years, yet skips massive chunks of her married years to suit her attempt to paint a tarnished image of her ex-husband. One of the most significant leaps is when Hulk is seemingly top of the wrestling mountain in WWF during the late 80's, to it then being 1996 and he is in WCW. Save the birth of their children and a few paragraphs on the steroids trial, little else gets spoken of.

Were there any good times in these years? Perhaps, which is likely why Linda chose to ignore them.

Wrestling fans are also going to be a little disappointed how little attention Hulk's wrestling career actually gets in the context of all this. Considering these are probably the only people interested enough in Linda to read such a book, it is a strange thing to omit.

Forget reading about how she or Hulk might have felt about such occurrences as his WWF decline in the early 90's, signing to WCW, or getting back into the WWE. None of that gets a look in—not if it has nothing do with making Hulk look bad.

Although, perhaps I am being a little unfair; she does mention how good at sex he was when they first met—in far more detail than anyone really needs to know.

But frankly, Linda's belief about how controlling and manipulative Hogan is comes across as borderline paranoia. Private investigator you hired to trail your husband goes bust? Hulk's doing. Men in shades following you? Hulk's doing. Hairdresser tried to encourage you to drink and drive? Hulk's doing. Police stopped your car to search for drugs? Hulk's doing.

Despite her numerous attempts to make out she was in a living hell, I never found myself warming to or sympathizing with her. Yes, Hulk had an affair, and for that I felt sorry for her. But when you get upset your husband slept with another woman while you are divorcing him, then you are just making out you are a victim unnecessarily.

From start to finish, she bashes Hulk Hogan more times than he probably took in his entire in-ring career, and whilst doing so, she portrays herself as a selfless, dutiful, humble wife. But it is painfully obvious she is little more than a fame-hungry ungrateful gold-digger.

I would recommend reading this along Hulk's two books to get a bigger picture before passing any judgement on the situation. Yes, Hulk has a reputation for being a bit of bullshitter and blowing his own trumpet, but even he comes across as far more rational and reasonable than his ex-wife. One key difference being: he accepts he made mistakes. Meanwhile, nothing is Linda's fault. Ever.

Hulk Hogan wife Linda Hogan press photos

Now, you may think that I am saying this book should be avoided at all costs, but I am not. While it is certainly is a skewed account of the events, it still provides some interesting insight into the personal life of wrestling's first global superstar that ardent fans of what happens outside the ring will enjoy.

Overall, there are far better books out there worth your time, but if you can take it with a large pinch of salt, then you may enjoy it as a guilty pleasure read.

HIGH SPOTS

+ Some insight into the family life of one of wrestling's biggest icons
+ Some entertainment to be had from the sheer stupidity of it.

LOW BLOWS

- You will never warm to Linda.
- Timeline skips large periods.
- Despite being in the title and subtitle, wrestling is scarcely mentioned
- Pointless filler material of Linda's favorite recipes
- She describes what sex with Hogan is like....

CRITIQUE RATING SCALE: 1-COUNT (Kick Out)
THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ROSS K. FOAD

Ross K Foad is a writer, actor, YouTuber and founder of the Sherlock Holmes website No Place Like Holmes. He has been a published writer since age 13 with a comic strip in a regional newspaper and a wrestling fan since the Rock 'n' Wrestling era. You can follow him on Twitter

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