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Dusty: Reflections of Wrestling's American Dream

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For over two decades of pro wrestling, Dusty “the American Dream” Rhodes dominated the ring. Known for his jaw-dropping antics and bone-crunching skills, Rhodes became one of wrestling’s first superstars. In this riveting narrative, Rhodes chronicles his journey through an industry plagued with political infighting, greedy promoters, destructive personalities, multi-millio For over two decades of pro wrestling, Dusty “the American Dream” Rhodes dominated the ring. Known for his jaw-dropping antics and bone-crunching skills, Rhodes became one of wrestling’s first superstars. In this riveting narrative, Rhodes chronicles his journey through an industry plagued with political infighting, greedy promoters, destructive personalities, multi-millionaires, and great leaders.


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For over two decades of pro wrestling, Dusty “the American Dream” Rhodes dominated the ring. Known for his jaw-dropping antics and bone-crunching skills, Rhodes became one of wrestling’s first superstars. In this riveting narrative, Rhodes chronicles his journey through an industry plagued with political infighting, greedy promoters, destructive personalities, multi-millio For over two decades of pro wrestling, Dusty “the American Dream” Rhodes dominated the ring. Known for his jaw-dropping antics and bone-crunching skills, Rhodes became one of wrestling’s first superstars. In this riveting narrative, Rhodes chronicles his journey through an industry plagued with political infighting, greedy promoters, destructive personalities, multi-millionaires, and great leaders.

30 review for Dusty: Reflections of Wrestling's American Dream

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bookreader1972

    Not the worst Pro Wrestler Bio I've read, but near the bottom, due mostly to style. Like a lot of other reviews, here & on other sites, this could have been a great book to read, because of Dusty's 30+ year career, including 15+ at the top of Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately, like another reviewer wrote, (hope i'm not "plagiarizing") it reads as though Dusty was interviewed, & in his style he kind of rambled a bit. For the most part, the book is chronological, but there is a bit of jumping around. Th Not the worst Pro Wrestler Bio I've read, but near the bottom, due mostly to style. Like a lot of other reviews, here & on other sites, this could have been a great book to read, because of Dusty's 30+ year career, including 15+ at the top of Pro Wrestling. Unfortunately, like another reviewer wrote, (hope i'm not "plagiarizing") it reads as though Dusty was interviewed, & in his style he kind of rambled a bit. For the most part, the book is chronological, but there is a bit of jumping around. Then someone helped him write it in "book form". I have read many wrestlers bios, maybe 15+, & plan to continue reading more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ryk Stanton

    Do I like Dusty Rhodes? I named my son after him. I like what he represented - the common man, out to make the best he can of what he's got, and rising above where others might have fallen short, given up. Yes, he was a childhood hero; I like and respect the man - his ideals, his persona, his attitude. Do I like this book? F-no. Want to f'ing know why? Because I get f'ing sick of f'ing having to f'ing read the f'ing word F all the f'ing time. And it is used rather indiscriminately here. So before Do I like Dusty Rhodes? I named my son after him. I like what he represented - the common man, out to make the best he can of what he's got, and rising above where others might have fallen short, given up. Yes, he was a childhood hero; I like and respect the man - his ideals, his persona, his attitude. Do I like this book? F-no. Want to f'ing know why? Because I get f'ing sick of f'ing having to f'ing read the f'ing word F all the f'ing time. And it is used rather indiscriminately here. So before I review the book proper, I am going to go on a bit of a diatribe about writers who use profane language without restraint: You insult your readership. You show no respect for people who want to share the words you have written, who paid money and gave their time to share your ideas/stories/etc. Anytime I read a book that just features cursing for the sake of cursing, I immediately think (a) this person has no respect for me and is driving me away from the book, and (b) this person is not intelligent enough to write a book using better words; should I be bothering with such an author? I am actually going to excuse the co-author, who adds in an afterword that Dusty required him to write things down exactly the way he said them. And I am sure that Dusty said these things this way. And I don't expect every profanity to be excised - sometimes the word F is exactly what is needed. There was just too much needless profanity, and if that is what he thinks of me as a reader - that I want to see that sort of language - then maybe I really do need to rethink my status as a wrestling fan. So why did I read the book, then? Because it's Dusty Rhodes, man. The Dream. And that is als0 why the book gets three stars from me instead of two. Hearing the Dream talk about the world of wrestling, and reliving some 0f his memories with him, and looking into the man's mind as a promoter and booker and not simply as the man who came to the ring and delivered such incredible promos - that made the book worth reading. I disliked the format - with repeated interruptions from people involved in the stories Dream was telling - and I disliked the language, but the stories are great. What a character!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nat Medlen

    I would like to start out with saying that I was/am a big fan of the American Dream. With that being said, I was not a big fan of his autobiography. I wanted to love it, I tried to love it, but alas I just could not. I listened to it on Audible, but that was not one of the options available for a format at this time. This led to some problems for me. Firstly, the narrator did a poor job of his attempt to sound like Dusty and came off a fake and bothersome. He read names of many of the big names t I would like to start out with saying that I was/am a big fan of the American Dream. With that being said, I was not a big fan of his autobiography. I wanted to love it, I tried to love it, but alas I just could not. I listened to it on Audible, but that was not one of the options available for a format at this time. This led to some problems for me. Firstly, the narrator did a poor job of his attempt to sound like Dusty and came off a fake and bothersome. He read names of many of the big names through the years poorly which made it come across as the author/narrator did not know what he was talking about. That was not the theme that should have come from the work of one of the major movers and shakers of the wrestling business through the 70's and 80's. The other problem I had was that too many times Dusty came across as bitter and even a little bit small in some of his observations about the business especially as it relates to Vince McMahon and the fall of the NWA and WCW. With a little different tone, this could have been an interesting and informative work about the time period. My third problem is that he just comes across as sad and defeated at times that the end of his journey is getting nearer everyday. The things I did like were that he gives his readers looks into the lives and careers of some of the other big names from the time period and makes them seem more interesting in the process. I also liked to learn more about how things were planned in the backrooms of the old wrestling syndicate before everything changed. He knew this time and could have shared a lot more information which would have helped the work immensely.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tmison89

    Some highlights such as the road stories. Some low points such as the hour long section regarding his 10 biggest fans. The worst wrestling autobiography I have read so far sadly. Still love the dream

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul Mashack

    Some chapters just dragged on

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lance Lumley

    I decided to reread this book since this week (July 13, 2016) was the anniversary of the death of Dusty Rhodes. I owned this book at one time and got rid of it, so I borrowed the book from my local library. Most people do not know how popular Dusty was as a wrestler in the late 1970s into the 1980s. Yes most remember him in the Jim Crockett NWA Days, especially in 1986- 1988 with his major feuds with The Four Horsemen, but Rhodes was red hot in Florida and even then the WWWF with Vince McMahon I decided to reread this book since this week (July 13, 2016) was the anniversary of the death of Dusty Rhodes. I owned this book at one time and got rid of it, so I borrowed the book from my local library. Most people do not know how popular Dusty was as a wrestler in the late 1970s into the 1980s. Yes most remember him in the Jim Crockett NWA Days, especially in 1986- 1988 with his major feuds with The Four Horsemen, but Rhodes was red hot in Florida and even then the WWWF with Vince McMahon Sr. Today's fans probably only know him as Goldust and Cody Rhodes' father, or a guy that worked with NXT. This book is filled with some good stories of Dusty going through different territories until he became the top star in the NWA. There are so funny stories in the book from his friendships and crazy road stories with Terry Funk, Dick Murdoch, Andre the Giant and others. In the book he claims that at one time he was the one that was to be the top WWF star over Hulk Hogan before the Rock and Wrestling boom. He also states that Dick Murdoch's attraction with the KKK was not as real as the stories go. There is a funny story about him and Terry Funk letting midgets drive their car (and getting pulled over by the police) and a funny story about Terry Funk shooting a gun right behind Nick Bockwinkel when Dusty and Nick tried to prank Terry at his own house. There is not much dirt in the book, which is something he addresses saying he was not going to write that kind of book. There are a few things that I did not like about the book; the lack of dates listed in the book of events (the book seems to just go randomly in its timeline), there is not much about the bookings Dusty did in the NWA (he just states things like "I did this" and it worked-no in depth of where the ideas came from), and its full of colorful language, which may not be offensive, but the book is written like we are reading transcripts from the interviews, which the thoughts at times get to go off in a different direction during the sentence. Overall this is not one of the better wrestling books out there, but it is not the worst either. It's an average book but still has some good stories to read about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Bateman

    Essentially a rambling shoot interview transcribed and molded into book form, but it does capture some aspects of what made Rhodes so great. The strangest part of Rhodes' story--and it's confirmed by Terry Funk and many others--is that he was an extremely competent athlete at one point, which makes more sense when watching his sons (or cheerleader daughter, I suppose) than the massive, booty-shaking Rhodes we all grew up with. He doesn't use the book to settle too many scores, and it's nice to s Essentially a rambling shoot interview transcribed and molded into book form, but it does capture some aspects of what made Rhodes so great. The strangest part of Rhodes' story--and it's confirmed by Terry Funk and many others--is that he was an extremely competent athlete at one point, which makes more sense when watching his sons (or cheerleader daughter, I suppose) than the massive, booty-shaking Rhodes we all grew up with. He doesn't use the book to settle too many scores, and it's nice to see him put Superstar Graham over (as Ventura and many other imitators do, too).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jamison Spencer

    This is an incredibly sloppily structured, endlessly repetitive, memoir by Dusty Rhodes. I enjoyed it immensely. It seems to just be Dusty talking, and it repeats the same points endlessly and skips seemingly randomly from topic to topic and era to era. But it's Dusty Rhodes! He's quite a talker, and he was involved in all of my childhood favorite southern wrestling. If you're not a Dusty fan and just curious about wrestling, read Mick Foley's books first. But if you want to hear Dusty Rhodes dr This is an incredibly sloppily structured, endlessly repetitive, memoir by Dusty Rhodes. I enjoyed it immensely. It seems to just be Dusty talking, and it repeats the same points endlessly and skips seemingly randomly from topic to topic and era to era. But it's Dusty Rhodes! He's quite a talker, and he was involved in all of my childhood favorite southern wrestling. If you're not a Dusty fan and just curious about wrestling, read Mick Foley's books first. But if you want to hear Dusty Rhodes drop anecdotes about touring with Terry Funk in the 70s, this book has them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jones

    This was one of the hardest books to read thst I've ever read, at least at first. Once you get it in your head that this is Dusty Rhodes writing like Dusty Rhodes talks, it becomes easier to follow. Its very repetitive at times. However, once you're done, you do feel like you've got the gist of what he was trying to say about his life. My only real complaint would be that he seems to come across, at times, as his own biggest fan. But any autobiography can have that effect. This was one of the hardest books to read thst I've ever read, at least at first. Once you get it in your head that this is Dusty Rhodes writing like Dusty Rhodes talks, it becomes easier to follow. Its very repetitive at times. However, once you're done, you do feel like you've got the gist of what he was trying to say about his life. My only real complaint would be that he seems to come across, at times, as his own biggest fan. But any autobiography can have that effect.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joe Loncarich

    Honestly, this book only deserves three stars, but the epilogue deserves 10 stars, because it is BY FAR the best part of the book. It's really the only part of the book you need to read. It involves the story of Dusty losing his virginity, kind of, and it's really great. Just pick it up in a bookstore and read that part. Trust me. Honestly, this book only deserves three stars, but the epilogue deserves 10 stars, because it is BY FAR the best part of the book. It's really the only part of the book you need to read. It involves the story of Dusty losing his virginity, kind of, and it's really great. Just pick it up in a bookstore and read that part. Trust me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chandler

    Fast paced, interesting read about the career of Dusty Rhodes and all the people he met throughout the years. I was pleasantly surprised by the emotional connotations provided through the "American Dream" discussions and the patched up relationship with his son Dustin. Great read. Fast paced, interesting read about the career of Dusty Rhodes and all the people he met throughout the years. I was pleasantly surprised by the emotional connotations provided through the "American Dream" discussions and the patched up relationship with his son Dustin. Great read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    TheDenizen

    No doubt lots of Dusty's recollections are "embellished" if you will, but there's lots of fun stuff in this book about the crazy old days of wrasslin. No doubt lots of Dusty's recollections are "embellished" if you will, but there's lots of fun stuff in this book about the crazy old days of wrasslin.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    a really enjoyable read

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brent Wallace

    It rambled around a lot but it sounded like Dusty.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark James

    I liked the book but didn't love it. Still a great read. I liked the book but didn't love it. Still a great read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    I absolutely love the American Dream Dusty Rhodes. He was a tremendously fabulous wrestler.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    http://randomcatastrophe.net/2015/08/... http://randomcatastrophe.net/2015/08/...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  19. 4 out of 5

    Evan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Hedges

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Quinn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Draper

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dustin Heronemus

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Osterhagen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pam chandler

  27. 5 out of 5

    AlexWK

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chad

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paperback Junky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason Caskey

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