Book – Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks

Author – Mick Foley

Year – 1999

Pages – 735

Genre – Wrestling Autobiography

Over the past twenty years there have been dozens – maybe even hundreds – of wrestling autobiographies. They run from the brilliant – see Bret Hart’s wonderful autobiography – to the absolutely awful – I don’t know if I have ever read anything as bad as Goldust’s autobiography. No matter the level however, they pretty much all started here, with Mick Foley’s New York Times bestselling book, Have A Nice Day.

At the time, wrestlers just didn’t really write autobiographies. I am sure that some were out there, but it was generally considered that the market for them was small and as a result they didn’t happen. Foley bucked the trend here, and making the choice to write it himself without the aid of a ghostwriter (and consequently handing over reams of hand written notepaper to his publisher) managed to write a book that broke beyond the realms of simply wrestling fandom and became a national best seller.

It’s not hard to understand why. Foley is affectionately known as The Hardcore Legend. He pushed a style of wrestling that was a little more extreme than most. Knock aside any suggestions you may have about how wrestling is ‘fake’, this is a man who during a match had his ear ripped off of his head. This is the most dramatic sounding injury he has – and is the reason that he starts the book in this way – but barely even scratches the surface of some of what he has gone through. This book tells it all, and does so in a voice that is wonderfully relatable and very often incredibly funny. It is this book that convinced me of the necessity of writing an autobiography yourself. Without a shadow of a doubt, it is the best way to get across your message (and so, of course, will be how I write mine one day…)

This is not the first time I had read this book – it might not even be the second, I really can’t remember – but I can imagine me returning to it again at some point. I felt that seeing as I hadn’t read it to put on here, and as it is now twenty years since it was first released, now might be the time for a reread, and I am very glad that I did. He has written several follow ups – one of which I reviewed here and was pretty disappointed with – so I might try and plug on to reread them all.