Title: Behind the Mask
Author: Tyson Fury
Published by: Century
Publication date: 14 Nov. 2019
Source: Personal Collection
“THE GYPSY KING.
A Manchester lad from Irish Traveller stock, born three months premature and weighing just a pound at birth, Tyson (named after his father’s boxing hero) grew up to become one of the most unlikely heavyweight champions in history. This ‘dream come true’ soon turned to nightmare, however, as alcohol and cocaine abuse took hold and Tyson was stripped of his titles. What followed was the darkest moment of his life – detailed in this book for the first time – in which he came within seconds of ending everything.
THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION.
Like all the greatest stories, though, there is redemption and Tyson defies all the odds and literally drags himself to his feet. 10 million people around the globe watched Fury fight Wilder in the biggest fight of the boxing calendar. Speaking candidly about his struggles with mental health, this is Tyson Fury as you have never seen him before.
A BRITISH ICON.“
First, I feel like there should be a little background into why I’m reviewing this particular book; I heard about this book whilst listening to Chris Evans breakfast show one morning before Christmas as he was talking to Tyson Fury who was promoting his book at the time. My active interest in boxing hasn’t extended very far beyond Fictional stories but there has always been a nagging pull to get more interested in it, but what really attracted me to the story was the expression that Tyson Fury was at the absolute top of his game had become the Heavy-Weight Champion of the World and didn’t know where to go from there – felt the cold, hard bite of depression. That clicked with me and I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how Tyson Fury dealt with his mental health issues. So when asked what I’d like for my birthday, this was one of the books I asked for and I was very kindly brought it by my parents.
Whether you like him or not Tyson Fury has put his heart and soul on the line when it comes to his autobiography. Whilst reading, I felt like I was reading about a friend, rather than someone I know nothing about – as mentioned above I know pretty much next to nothing about boxing & the personalities within – and while I’ve never really reviewed an autobiography before, I think if the author can get that feeling of attachment from the reader then they’re doing something right.
I felt that the details about the important fights in Tysons career were explained with enough detail and successfully enough that it felt like I was the one in the ring being hit (and doing the hitting) and while I enjoyed this aspect of the book it was when he was telling the reader about his struggles with mental health that the real emotion came to the fore. What Tyson Fury went through and did to his family is nothing short of shocking and it honestly amazes me when people write down and publish these darkest moment for the world to read about – but I can understand the reasoning here; if his words help someone else going through their own battles then it helps – it’s part of the reason that I picked up this book. Being at the top of my game and feeling terrible whenever I finish a picture I should be proud of. It’s no comparison to what Tyson Fury went through, but it resonated with me.
Autobiographies are a strange book to try and review as they’re so deeply personal and how interested is someone going to be if they don’t know or don’t like the celebrity they are about? Tyson Fury shows his real character in his autobiography and it’s well worth the read if you’re into boxing or are having struggles with mental health yourself – sometimes reading about other peoples trials and what they’re going through is enough to bring yourself up again and if it’s not then there are some handy connections in the back of the book in order to get yourself some proper help.
I enjoyed the book greatly and found it an easy and engaging read – which is all that a reader can ask for when being invited to share someones life. The pages were fast to turn and I found myself really rooting for Tysons successes both in and out of the ring. I think it takes courage to publish a book that’s so open about subjects which aren’t viewed favourably – depression – especially at such a deep and personal level and I know I shall be keeping an eye out for Tyson Fury in the future more too.