Between being a professional wrestler, the lead signer of the rock band Fozzy, a podcaster, an author, a television star and so much more, Chris Jericho has achieved everything he's set out to do, but how? He covered a vast majority of his life journey so far in his previous three masterpieces A Lion's Tale, Undisputed, and The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea, but Jericho switched up the format of his fourth book No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling But Succeeded in Life and made it less of an autobiography (though it still contains plenty of hilarious stories) and more of a list of principles readers can learn from.
All right, so it isn't exactly the famed List of Jericho that Y2J made famous during his latest (and critically-acclaimed) run in WWE, but better. No Is A Four-Letter Word contains 20 insightful and well-thought-out principles that can help you (yes, you) find success, regardless of where you are on life's journey. Hell, I'm 22-years-old as of this writing and I got more out of reading this than I would most college courses! You're bound to be inspired by at least one of, if not all the principles Jericho includes in the book.
In addition to a really cool albeit brief foreword from KISS singer Paul Stanley (one of Jericho's biggest idols-turned-friends), each of these 20 principles offers advice as to how you can achieve success in your own life, and not all of them are named after people Y2J knows personally. For example, the very last chapter, the Bowie Principle, discusses how pop culture icon David Bowie was the master of reinvention and how Jericho has followed suit in his own career over the years. Or what about the first chapter of the book, the Mike Damone Principle, which is inspired by the Fast Times at Ridgemont High character and his motto to make wherever you are the place to be.
As only Jericho can, the stories contained in each of these chapters are priceless, and bounce around from the when he first broke into wrestling and music and goes all the way up to present day. He even mentions his most recent departure from WWE back in May, and the book was officially released to the public in late August, so that's pretty up-to-date if you ask me. That's part of what makes this book such an engaging read because it accomplishes two things simultaneously: Not only is it another excellent installment in Jericho's series of stellar reads, it also serves as a self-help book that can be read by anyone, wrestling/music fan or not.
That said, wrestling fans will surely appreciate the tales he tells about his last few stints with WWE. Lest we forget, his last book ended with him getting ready to return in the 2013 Royal Rumble match and receive one of the biggest crowd pops of his career, and sure enough, that's where this book begins (well, kind of). He goes into detail about how the bout with Fandango at WrestleMania 29 came to fruition and making the most of the opportunity, despite how vehemently against it he was at first. He also talks quite a bit about his ruthless rivalries with AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose (both of which I personally loved) in 2016, where he managed to get the Styles Clash un-banned and what led to him landing on a bed of thumbtacks at Extreme Rules against Ambrose.
Make no mistake that the non-wrestling stories deliver as well. In being an entertainer and a notable name, Jericho has of course had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people over the course of his lifetime, whether it was planned or not. From being complimented by Gene Simmons after an interview to barely being able to meet Keith Richards without missing Raw that night to essentially stalking Yoko Ono in a bathroom stall (in Jericho's defense, he admits it was weird but also that it made for an incredible story, so you can't argue with that and he's not wrong), Jericho is undoubtedly a master storyteller and knocks it out of the park with No Is a Four-Letter Word.
Speaking of which, along with the content itself, Jericho's writing style has always been my favorite part of his books. He breaks the "fourth wall" in a way to make it feel like you, the "Constant Reader," are a part of the experience, too. He tends to drop a number of references (mostly music) throughout his books, and this one is no different, and regardless of whether you get the references are not, it's a nice touch for him to include "angry author notes" and stuff like that to ensure you're paying attention and are following along. Perhaps it's because I sometimes model my own writing after that, but he never ceases to keep readers engaged with how he lures them in and makes them want to find out what happens next.
I'd consider any book that legitimately makes me laugh out loud, smile and nearly cry (the chapter on Lemmy Kilmister is a tearjerker) an entertaining and successful read, and No Is a Four-Letter Word is just that. It's significantly shorter than his other three books, but it's every bit as entertaining and as charming as its predecessors and continues the strong streak of spectacular books written by the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla. It isn't often that an author can write four books and have every one of them being as great (if not better) than the last, but Jericho managed to make it happen, making me wonder what he might have in store for a possible (let's face it, very likely) fifth installment.
You might not ever find yourself on The List of Jericho, but buying his latest list of inspirational principles in the form of No Is a Four-Letter Word is just as froot.
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