I missed doing a post about Sex, Lies, & Headlocks, and wanted to get down a few thoughts before moving on to the Foley material, which is equally hard to put down...
What I noticed most was the framing of Vince as the tragic hero. At the beginning of the book, we are given the image of Vince being downtrodden, having odds to overcome: 'While the families of military officers were allowed to use facilities on the base, such as the pool and the athletic courts, locals like the Luptons had to watch with their noses pressed against the fence" (22). The theme of Vince lusting after something unreachable comes up throughout the book-- his father's company, the success of Ted Turner, the extension of his empire into other industries (XFL, competitive bodybuilding).
While Vince as a kid looking through the fence at the military base and the descriptions of his volatile home situation paint a picture of an innocent child being dealt some unfair injustices, as the book goes on, we see Vince more and more serving as his own insurmountable hurdle. While we still feel sympathy for his extreme task of handling all the crises, scandals, and tragedies, he is increasingly detestable because of his role in their creation. He starts to come off to me as a sort of Willy Loman character, being integrally linked to his own perpetual demise.
But of course, S, L, &H also paints Vince as a man with a certain amount of magic tricks to be pulled out at the exact moment when necessary. I guess Vince, like the wrestling industry in general, is a pile of self-contradictions, and this will translate into any memoir detailing his life. In the end, I don't quite know how to feel about him, but I suppose it's totally appropriate to love and hate him with equal and simultaneous passion, so I'm going to go with that for now.