Mike Tyson's new autobiography, Undisputed Truth, has been receiving rave reviews from The New York Times, Booklist, and just about everyone else, as a raw, profane, and introspective look back at a life filled with violence and excess. Tyson tells his story, from becoming a professional boxer recruited off the streets to his triumph as the youngest heavyweight champion to his downfall as an international caricature of savagery. The prose, filtered through co-writer Larry Sloman, is uneven and peppered with vivid descriptions and improbable turns of phrase.
"I stole from everyone. I stole tires off parked cars and collars off dogs. I stole pennies out of shoes. I was lucky if I ate dirt and balls of grass. I was lucky to eat a shoe."
"I wasn't afraid to be hit. My step dad used to punish me by throwing me under cars. He was a drunk. He taught me a lesson about cars."
"[Trainer Cus D'Amato] told me I had to make myself into a beast everyone would fear. I said what about a Grimace. He is purple and fearsome. He has no regard for safety. Cus told me to think about a tiger and I said what if Grimace was crossed with a tiger. Nobody would call him a faggot."
"I told [opponent] Mitch Green that I was going to punch out his eyeballs. He doubted me. So when the fight started I had a clear strategy in my mind. I visualized it and I made it a reality. I punched out Mitch Green's eyeballs. I don't know where they went but they were gone at the end of the fight. Nobody doubted me after that."
"A man asked for my autograph in the bathroom and I said do you remember what happened to C3PO in Empire Strikes Back? And he said no so I said I am going to break you down like a tent and carry you in a backpack. And I signed his autograph I am going to come into your bed while you're asleep and I am going to make you into a woman. And later that night I drove to his house and I climbed into his bed and punched him so hard he turned into a woman."
"Michael Spinks was a bitch. He cried after I beat him. Before I said to him I'm going to bang your wife to death and then I'm going to bust her ghost. I am going to eat your grandma. I'll punch holes in your car with my dick. I will marry your oldest daughter and in the divorce I will take her pets. Her pets will like me better than her. I will take her dogs. I didn't do any of those things but not because I couldn't. I didn't put a serious effort into it."
"I made peanut butter cookies and [wife] Robin Givens did not like them. She knew I worked very hard on them and she didn't care so I climbed up on the roof and threw cinder blocks at her. Only one sort of hit her but she called the cops on me anyway and they had to get me down with a net."
"Paul Shaffer looked at me strange at a fundraiser for kids. I said nice suit dickless and I picked up a TV and tried to smash it over his head. Paul Shaffer wrote a letter apologizing to me and he was very nice afterwards. I even went onto the David Letterman show but they cut my segment because David Letterman didn't like it when I said I bought a Conan sword to kill him with and then I called David a faggot bitch too many times for the TV network."
"I did so much cocaine with Robert Downey Jr. that I woke up in the desert. Somehow we became princes in Saudi Arabia. It was not as much fun as you think you spend most of your time answering questions from people and signing documents for the kingdom. The best part was you could put people to death for any reason and in any way you wanted. I executed a man for his shoes and sentenced him to be cut in half by a train. They were barbaric shoes."
"I threw acid at Tom Brokaw. I don't remember why."
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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