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Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  4,812 ratings  ·  353 reviews
In his own words, Bret Hart’s honest, perceptive, startling account of his life in and out of the pro wrestling ring.

The sixth-born son of the pro wrestling dynasty founded by Stu Hart and his elegant wife, Helen, Bret Hart is a Canadian icon. As a teenager, he could have been an amateur wrestling Olympic contender, but instead he turned to the family business, climbing in
Hardcover, 569 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,812 ratings  ·  353 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, lendable
Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling is the autobiography of former wrestler Bret "Hitman" Hart.

For a great portion of my wrestling fandom, Bret Hart was my favorite wrestler. He wasn't very big or very flashy but his matches were always the most believable on the card. Surprisingly, it took me quite a few years to actually pick this up but I'm glad I did.

For a wrestling book, this is a pretty hefty tome at close to 600 pages. Heavy enough to bludgeon another wrestler to death
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before you read any of this review I would like to say I am and have been a huge Bret Hart fan and always will be epically now. Some of my opinions might be a little biased. I truly believe Bret was the greatest worker of all time.

Bret Hart as a wrestler was always know for bringing his A game to the ring, and it should come as no surprise he does the same thing with his writing. One of the reviewers said this might be one of the best books he ever read period, it is hard to disagree with that.
Ben Fowlkes
Jul 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Once again, a pro wrestling autobiography delivers the Schadenfreude like no other work can. Bret Hart is a narrator who is always willing to give himself the benefit of the doubt, while still assuming the worst about other people's intentions.

For example, other wrestlers took steroids because they wanted a quick path to the top. Hart did it because he hurt his knee and needed to keep working to feed his family. And his many, many, many extra-marital indiscretions -- covered in enthusiastic det
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bret Hart is 'Best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be', can be also said where this belongs with the other wrestling related books. Mick Foleys Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks wins only for the one count, being a funniest wrestling autobiography. Bret Hart give's a honest and fascinating look of behind the scenes of a crazy world WWF/WCW and other promotions, i especially liked the 80s steroid-boosted era related stories. Chapters leading to the Montrea ...more
Jen from Quebec :0)
SO SO good and very well written- Bret Hart is actually a really well read person and writes this himself, without help from another author or ghostwriter. This book is awesome- especially if, like me, you're a hardcore Hitman fan and total WWE/wresting mark (fan). I have been watching WWE since I was about 7 years old + watched my 1st match at the home of cousins in the '80's. (It was a Macho Man Randy Savage match). That was IT. Since then, I have spent 25 years screaming at the TV, spending $ ...more
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quote (something to the effect of): "Wrestling is as real and as fake as you think it is."

First of all, from a writing standpoint, Bret Hart's memoir was mesmerizing. I couldn't put it down, and that's what, to me, makes a great read. By the end of the work I totally buy his allusions to Dante and Hemingway. I think he's probably much more well-read and well-rounded than anybody assumes he is. I would truly give this five stars with a bullet if I could. It's a fascinating, gripping acco
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Bret Hart was my childhood idol, so I might have enjoyed this book more than the average person. There were more than a few things that shocked me - mostly the actions of his family members - but ultimately, it's a great companion to the stellar 3 disc DVD collection released in 2005. It could have used just a little more background on his WCW days but when you spent 12 years working for one company and 2 and a half working for another, you're going to concentrate less on the latter. ...more
Aaron Orgill
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time, from 6th through about 9th grade (approximately 1990-1994), I was a pro wrestling fan. Not just a fan, but a fanatic. In fact, you could say my obsession became a significant tool I used to survive junior high purgatory. Despite (and possibly because of) shameless gimmicks and ridiculous storylines, I was hooked. Call it moronic, call it fake, or stupid, or juvenile; you could never say it was boring. And one of the greatest ever to grace a leotard was Bret "Hitman" Hart. He br ...more
you know that you want my books ;)
Very good book. Bret is now with the WWE and McMahon again. If things were so bad why does he keep going back? He seems like the spouse that calls the cops to report their spouse for abuse and then refuses to divorce the spouse. He seems to like the drama. I don't believe that he was always this way. As time and injuries have caught up with him, his options have sort of run out.

Bret has money. Bret has the ability to speak and write well. He was a hero to many because he always stayed true to hi
Steven Taylor
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Simply speaking, this is the best wrestling autobiography ever written. At almost 600 pages, it is incredibly detailed thanks to Bret Hart keeping diaries and voice-recorded journals throughout his career. The book also encompasses other aspects of his life besides wrestling. Such as: the tragic history of his family, drugs, adultery, marriage, having children, etc. After reading the book, one gets the feeling that Hart is more honest than most of his colleagues. With other books written by Hulk ...more
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
3.5 stars. To quote my good friend, Monica: "Brett Hart is Brett Hart's biggest fan." ...more
Arun Kainth
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing read, talking about the hardship of being away from your family for the sake of a career. This book talks about mental strain, drugs and so many other things caused throughout Bret’s career and how these have impacted him to this day.

Highly recommended for any fan.
Sean Blake
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The sport of professional wrestling, or business, has always been a mystery. Even in this day and age where it is an open secret and popular form of entertainment for television, pro wrestling is still a mystery that baffles many people. While the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts now rivals pro wrestling and delivers legitimate and unscripted bouts, the WWE and pro wrestling in the USA still aim to deliver scripted but nonetheless physical matches designed purely to entertain, rather than ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Brett Hart is Brett Hart's biggest fan. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It been some time ago I read this book
Bret Hart was my #1 favorite, daughter and I
got to see the Hart foundation in action once
the book is Long but you will enjoy it.
Joseph Copeli
[This review also appears on, a site for review and discussion of creative works.]

Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling describes in great detail the life of one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, as written by himself. Bret Hart paints a vivid picture of living at the legendary Hart house: what it was like to grow up poor in a huge family whose financial fortune was slowly sinking due to an unprofitable wrestling promotion that daddy Stu Hart wou
Sep 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographies
"A show of excellence of execution in how to write an autobiography"

Bret Hart, one of twelve brother and sisters born to Stu and Helen becomes one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. This is his story of what happened from his childhood to a life in the ring.

As a kid I watched this guy rise from a jobber (slang for someone who always loses) to a world champion. I loved his intensity and no shit attitude. What I never knew was what made him the wrestler he was. It's an extremely
Jake Cole
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bret Hart is my favorite wrestler, but I would never tag him as a particularly gifted speaker. Imagine my surprise, then, that his memoir (which, despite the blurred reality surrounding wrestling, everyone insists he wrote entirely himself) is so fluid, engaging and impassioned. Hart offers copious anecdotes of growing up in a hot-headed clan of 12 siblings all placed in the crucible of local notoriety and domestic hyperreality as the son of a legendary wrestling promoter and trainer; the chapte ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellently executed.

A surprisingly fascinating read that spans a wide range of topics and areas. It's part family saga, part show-biz tell-all, part athletic recap, part business analysis, all of it interesting. I have to admit I was doubtful that a pro-wrestler's life (who was in his 40s no less) could deliver 550 pages' worth of interesting material, and I'm happy to say I was wrong.

I was a fan of the WWE (then WWF) in the mid-9os as a pre-teen, and Bret Hart was one of my favorites. I pick
Patrick Adams
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about wrestling and about Bret himself. I was riveted through most of this, knowing a lot of the ground he would cover going into it. The Montreal Screwjob, WCW, Owen's Death, Davey Boy Smith's death, etc made for a number of amazing stories. Although a platform sometimes to blast people he was pissed at like Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels, you can overlook that as his view at that point in time. He is a critic where criticism is needed. This was one of the best wrestling books ...more
C Baker
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bret Hart’s account of his career in professional wrestling is not only an outstanding autobiography of an icon in the sport, but also of the history of pro wrestling period.

Bret Hart grew up in a wrestling family. His father, Stu Hart, was a pioneer in the sport, promoting wrestling matches in Canada through the late 1940’s through most of the rest of his life. Up to the 1990’s wrestling was largely controlled by regional promoters who respected each other’s territories and shared wrestling tal
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It my have taken me 8 years to get to this book and a trip to Canada to get a chance to get a proper start but its all worth it.

Fantastic read. Bret truly is the best there is, the best that was and the best there eve will be.
C.p. Bialois
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome and honest read.

It was great reading about the experiences of one of my favorite wrestlers growing up. It was a time when wrestling looked real, and for that and so much more, thank you, Bret.
Chris Cole
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What I thought was a book about pro wrestling turned out to be a book about life, family and loss. I always respected Bret Hart, though to be honest, he was never my favorite wrestler.

He is now.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a super long book but I really enjoyed it!!!
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hmmm I don’t know how to start with. This is my third post on a wrestling book. It started when I got my hands on Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley followed by Bret Hart.

Pink soldier HITMAN was positioned in my mind with Pink Lowers, black Jacket and amazing sunglasses which I always wanted. I still remember when I used to play trump cards my friend said that HITMAN is a hero and loves kids. At that time jargons of wrestling like baby face and heels were an alien concept to me. To clear things baby face i
JT Foster
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wrestling
Probably the Best Wrestling Autobiography Ever

The Excellence of Execution had a lot to get off his chest in 2007 and this 500-page tell-all narrative encompasses 25 years of one of professional wrestling's most iconic superstars. Rather than sell a series of books highlighting different parts of his career, Bret lays it all out in one shot and delivers yet another memorable 5-star performance.

When the book was first released, wrestling fans still had many questions about the Montreal Screwjob.
Alex Bonis
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
an amazing book about an amazing journey! The Hit man lives on
Mark Farley
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The world of professional wrestling, or as it is now, sports entertainment is a rather odd and ambiguous beast. A multi-billion dollar enterprise that started out as a very different entity before the greed and money grabbing world of the 80s kicked in and Bret "The Hitman" Hart is the one man throughout the whole process that has lived and breathed the entire business like nobody else. Often called "The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be", the existence and career ...more
Graeme Scott
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
"The best there is, The best there was, and the best there ever will be.." a big tag line, but after reading this book you'll know that Bret Hart has the personality to just about pull it off.

Whether you like wrestling or not, if you go into this book with an open mind you'll find a world which is not too unlike that of a circus. From his early days in pro wrestling, travelling in a clapped out van with a giant, Mexican midgets and 4 brothers, to the heady heights of the WWF/E it's hard not to
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