King of Strong Style: 1980-2014 by Shinsuke Nakamura
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
King of Strong Style covers Shinsuke Nakamura's life from 1980 to 2014.
The book has a structure I've never seen before in a wrestling biography. It's basically one long interview, giving it a laid back feel.
Things start off in Shinsuke's childhood. He was a sensitive kid, into drawing and things of that nature before the wrestling bug bit. From there, it's amateur wrestling, MMA, pro-wrestling and unparalleled success as a rookie in New Japan. Nakamura talks about some people he had friction with, making excursions to the United States, Italy, and Mexico. His rivalries with Tanahashi and Shibata are detailed to some extent.
While I like how the interview structure helps the book stay focused, I think a lot of sections would have been better with more detail. Interesting topics are only given a couple sentences. The book also doesn't go into much detail with the actual matches, like Shinsuke and the unidentified interviewer are trying not to break kayfabe.
It's breezy and interesting but King of Strong Style isn't a top tier wrestling book, not for me anyway. Three out of five stars
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