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The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire    by Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy & Michael Krugman order for
Hardy Boyz
by Matt Hardy
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2003)

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* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

Matt and Jeff Hardy are members of the wrestling team, Team Extreme, a popular draw on the WWE wrestling circuit. Two brothers, they detail their early years growing up in the country in North Carolina, through their phenomenal success as a wrestling tag team, and on to their future plans to dissolve their team and go solo.

There are lots of personal details and anecdotes from their childhood, as when Matt and a friend rode a pulley on a rope down into a bunch of thorny bushes in a nearby camp for boys, and the hardship of growing up without a mother for much of their lives (she died of cancer when Matt was twelve and Jeff was nine). And, of course, there are plenty of behind-the-scenes wrestling tidbits that are sure to interest fans, like personal insights into their romantic relationships and the ins and outs of wrestling preparations before the big matches.

I have to confess, what I know about professional wrestling wouldn't fill a thimble. I really didn't know who the Hardy Boyz were until I received the book. The autobiography is written in a conversational, personal interview sort of style with Matt and Jeff's contributions taking turns in a Matt said, Jeff said method that works fairly well. For the most part, the narrative is interesting and amusing, not the least for the unintentional humor of two twenty-year-olds musing on life. It did seem slightly odd to me that such young men would write an autobiography, a task that is usually taken on later in life, but it was probably designed to help fans understand the reasons behind their splitting up, and of course, for the publicity before the event.

Matt and Jeff come across as two basic, down-to-earth Southern boys who are passionate about their work, and who have a genuine affection for each other. The book makes for an interesting read, and serves as an insight into the world of wrestling for those who are unfamiliar with it.

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