The Life and Death of Owen Hart
Martha Hart with Eric Francis
Synopsis: The tragic tale of Owen Hart, as told by his widow Martha.
I wasn't going to use my platform as an opportunity to state my plan of action, but I did feel people should be given a prelude of what was to come. I was not going to lie down on this - I would gain some form of restitution for Owen.
"I'm a very forgiving person and I'm not bitter or angry. But there will be a day of reckoning and this is my final promise to Owen," I said, before looking out at the crowd defiantly. "And I won't let him down."
It's hard to believe it's been over 15 years since the passing of one of my favorite all-time wrestlers. I had the pleasure of meeting Owen a handful of times as a member of the "wrestling media", and was thrilled that he (seemed to) remember me the second time we met. Not only that, but I truly believe he was one of the most charismatic and athletically gifted wrestlers of the modern era.
I was at my best friend's wedding (the wedding, that is, not the film of the same name) the evening of May 23, 1999, and thus missed out on watching Owen's final night on earth. When I learned what had happened, I gave up wrestling for an entire week, at least, until I came to the realization that Vince McMahon and anyone else involved in the company never meant for this to happen.
But that doesn't lessen the pain any for Martha Hart. Thus, Broken Harts is about how she tried to make sure Owen was remembered. In addition to Martha's recollections of Owen and his life leading up to Over The Edge, she also discusses the lawsuit that was launched after Owen's death and how it divided the Hart family.
Is Martha biased? Is she open about her hatred for Vince McMahon, the Harts and the wrestling business as a whole? Absolutely, and I'd be hard-pressed to see how one could ever write a book any differently, under the circumstances. So that's one caveat you need to know going into this -- she does not sugarcoat the world of pro wrestling in the least.
At the heart of this, though, is an interesting story about a storybook romance that ended in tragedy. It is NOT a "wrestling book" by any stretch, but still quite compelling, particularly for Owen Hart fans. One silver lining: A portion of the sales benefit the Owen Hart Foundation children's charity that Martha established after his passing.
Rating: Transitional Champion. This is hard for me to rate, really, because it's a different style of "wrestling biography" and damned if it isn't a really somber read. If you're a fan of Owen Hart, this is a great look into the kind of person he was, and how strong his wife was in the face of tragedy. That said, I feel this only has niche appeal.