Synopsis: Foley's first novel tells a coming-of-age story of a boy with a troubled, violent past.
"Dad, I'm having girl problems."
He resumed his dinner-table Thinker pose and stroked his chin. He squinted a little and then closed one eye, a study in concentration. Surely he was weighing all the options, drawing inevitable conclusions, and would momentarily come bubbling forth with a sparking nugget of knowledge that could transform my life in an instant. Then again, this was the same guy who'd used the term "bald-headed champion" only a few years earlier. What had I been thinking?
His initial analysis of the situation surprised me,
"Well Andy, taking into account that all women are by nature different, and taking into account that you have yet to introduce me to your friend Terri, I would have to first warn you that forming a specific game plan for your specific situation could prove somewhat difficult."
He sounded smart. My dad sounded smart! I could almost feel those clouds dispersing.
"With that in mind, there are some generalities, some strategies if you will, that do appear to be effective with most women I've encountered."
The anticipation was killing me. Sure, my dad had his share of somewhat odd idiosyncrasies, and yeah, maybe he didn't do things that other dads did, but women did like the guy, and there had to be a reason. And I was pretty sure it wasn't the fuzzy dice. He opened his mouth. "Well, Andy, whenever possible, get them to lick your ass."
Following the publication of his second autobiography, Foley announced he was pursuing his dream of becoming a legitimate novelist. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but given that I was such a huge fan of his first two offerings, this one had to be a home run, too.
Tietam Brown is told in the voice of Antietam "Andy" Brown, a teenager living in upstate New York, having to deal with a string of tragedies and unfortunate events as he grows up. While it's an interesting premise, it's hard to shake the voice of Foley in this book, because the characters are so similar.
For example, the romance between Andy and his girlfriend Terri is reminiscent of Foley's failed attempts at love in Have A Nice Day, while his feelings that he doesn't deserve such a beautiful girlfriend mirrors what he's said about his wife Collette. Add in the fact that Andy is missing an ear, and you have some pretty interesting comparisons.
In addition, it seems as though Foley holds back on the darkness we know he's capable of thinking up (look no further than his ECW promos for examples). Perhaps that was intentional, but Tietam Brown really needed something to set it apart from other fictional works, and that's where it falls short.
One saving grace is the character of Andy's father, Tietam Brown. Between his naked squat exercises between rounds of marathon sex and his gruff, yet oddly protective relationship with Andy, the father is easily the most compelling character in the whole book.
Rating: Transitional Champion. Hey, an A for effort - how many wrestlers do YOU know that can become accomplished novelists? It was definitely something different, I just didn't find myself getting into it as much as some of Foley's other efforts.