Home > Print Is Not Dead > “Print Is Not Dead” Book Review: A Lion’s Tale-Around The World In Spandex by Chris Jericho

“Print Is Not Dead” Book Review: A Lion’s Tale-Around The World In Spandex by Chris Jericho


"This is about that kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped!"

That’s right Mister Bookman. It’s time for the PRINT IS NOT DEAD Book Review. Today we are reviewing the wrestling adventure of Chris Jericho in his autobiography, A LION’S TALE-AROUND THE WORLD IN SPANDEX (Great title huh?)

Professional wrestling, or “sports-entertainment”, will forever be known as a phenomenon people would either love or hate.  Fans of all ages would embrace the action and the excitement in the ring. On the other corner, haters would continue sipping their precious tea while wearing a fancy monocle in one eye and do nothing better than whine about how wrestling is fake. Yes, wrestling is choreographed but those snobs might as well say an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie is fake or Leonardo DiCaprio can’t enter people’s dreams like he did in Inception or the events of Twilight is predetermined by an author.  Like it or not, wrestling is athletic entertainment and a billion-dollar industry. However, what most people don’t know is the cultural impact that wrestling has on the world and how it changed the life of one Canadian-American fan.  That fan is none other than The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla , The Lionheart, mister Y2J himself   Chris Jericho in his tell-all memoir A Lion’s Tale-Around The world In Spandex.

Chris Jericho

After watching a  pro-wrestling TV show at his grandmother’s basement when he was eight years old, Christopher Irvine wanted to be a wrestler. It was either that or become a rock star. One day, he woke up and decided to become both. When he was not jamming on the guitar, Chris transformed from Irvine to Jericho as he traveled around the world, from Mexico to Japan, before hitting the big time in major US wrestling promotions: the ill-fated WCW and his goal in life, the WWF (Now known as WWE). However, the life of a wrestler is no different from being a rock star. There’s wild adventures ahead.

Chris Jericho’s A Lion’s Tale is not your typical wrestling book nor its a standard “How I Became Famous”-type autobiography.  Similar to the earlier books of hardcore wrestler and New York Times Bestseller Mick Foley, Jericho’s memoirs appeal to both fans and non-wrestling readers alike. Like the sub-heading suggested, Jericho tells his unique and sometimes shocking experiences in wrestling at multiple countries that are culturally different from what you see in WWE Raw or Smackdown. Whether its Lucha Libre in Mexico, catch wrestling in Germany or brutal violence in ECW at Philidelphia USA, Jericho details his journey by using his strong sense of humour which is an uncommon trait among autobiographies. Also uncommon are the countless pop culture/movie references that could  rival even the most random Family Guy episode. Not only there are numerous Back To The Future catchphrases in the book, but Jericho recalled of  meeting Doctor Emmett Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd at a rather awkward moment in Japan that should be read to believe. Despite recalling the sadder moments from  his life, Jericho never sounded preachy and instead kept his optimism intact. At one point in the book, Jericho revealed he was held at gunpoint by two thieves at Mexico but Jericho moved on to bigger and better pastures.

Fans will get a kick of learning how Jericho’s rock band Fozzy was formed and the origin of Jericho’s in-ring persona. What’s really appealing about Chris Jericho the person is that he started off as a fan no different from what you see at ringside. He grew up idolising Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura (Jericho later met them in his career). He lined up for hours to get an autograph from his future Wrestlemania 25 opponent, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and watched countless main events. Fair to say, Jericho is a confessed fan and proud of it.

This may or may not be a spoiler, but A Lion’s Tale ends when Jericho made his long-awaited WWF debut on August 1999. Instead of rushing to his current WWE career, Jericho wisely dedicated most of the book in his early globetrotting days and leave open for a second autobiography, which was recently announced to be released next year.  It was also interesting to note the book was published in 2007 during the Chris Benoit murder tragedy. Unlike WWE, Jericho didn’t pretend Benoit doesn’t exist and still called him a friend.

Chris Jericho (rumoured to retire from the sport to pursue other interests a la The Rock a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson) is the most entertaining wrestler of all time who is a classic example of a boyhood dream come true (That’s a Shawn Michaels/Wrestlemania 12 reference folks) and never afraid to reinvent himself.  Highly recommended for the Jericholics out there. This book is one of the reasons why Chris Jericho is the best in the world at what he do.

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