Author: Frank Bruno
Genre: Adult Non-Fiction Sports
Review by: Stephen, Newbridge Library
Synopsis: Let Me Be Frank is the new book from one of the world’s sporting greats. A deeply personal story, Bruno talks about his battle with mental illness, his time inside a mental facility, the impact his illness has had on his family and his career – and his long road back to stability. Now ready to talk about the condition that devastated his world, Frank’s story offers his own unique perspective on living with bipolar disorder. His fears, his triumphs and the great affection he feels for the legion of fans he has to this day. His aim is to give others hope and inspiration. “Ever since I retired, one thing has stood between me and being the man I want to be. My mind. “In the end it saw me locked up against my will and pumped full of so many drugs I didn’t have the strength to stand. When I am in the grip of my bipolar disorder and the drugs are pickling my brain I am unable to stand for days. But I will always get back up. It is the only way I know.”
REVIEW: This amazingly honest and captivating memoir fully encapsulates the ups and downs of the life of British boxing hero, Frank Bruno. As a big boxing fan this book was truly a delight to read. However, much of the story is sad, but I admire Frank’s raw honesty greatly. Frank takes us on a journey from his star studded boxing career, becoming world heavyweight champion in his prime, to eventually ending up being a patient held in a psychiatric ward for mental health problems. He is brutally honest about the UK’s mental health epidemic, and explains how patients are treated and left to fend for themselves, ultimately becoming dependent on a mixture of high potency medication, to numb their senses.
My favourite part of the book is when Frank retells the story of his infamous boxing match against Mike Tyson, who ultimately ended his boxing career, and how this particular loss dramatically affected both Frank’s physical and mental health. What I liked most about the book was how Frank triumphed over his mental health demons, and came out stronger from them. The story gripped me from start to finish, as it’s written in a very captivating and engrossing style. Frank literally holds no punches back, as he gives his honest account of how he became a victim of the mental health system and how the sports tabloids exploited his weak state of mind to make some money off him. A truly sad and captivating story from one of boxing’s greatest legends!
Available to borrow on Bolinda Borrowbox in audiobook format Product Details – BorrowBox (bolindadigital.com)
Prefer a physical copy? Feel free to request it online from your local library Encore — let me be frank (iii.com)