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Tough: My Journey to True Power

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From Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, the deeply personal story of his lifelong obsession with strength--and how, after looking for it in all the wrong places, he finally found it Terry Crews spent decades cultivating his bodybuilder physique and bravado. On the outside, he seemed invincible: he escaped his abusive father, went pro in the NFL, and broke into the gla From Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, the deeply personal story of his lifelong obsession with strength--and how, after looking for it in all the wrong places, he finally found it Terry Crews spent decades cultivating his bodybuilder physique and bravado. On the outside, he seemed invincible: he escaped his abusive father, went pro in the NFL, and broke into the glamorous world of Hollywood. But his fixation with appearing outwardly tough eventually turned into an exhausting performance in which repressing his emotions let them get the better of him--leading him into addiction and threatening the most important relationships in his life. Now Crews is sharing the raw, never-before-told story of his quest to find the true meaning of toughness. In Tough, he examines arenas of life where he desperately sought control--masculinity, shame, sex, experiences with racism, and relationships--and recounts the setbacks and victories he faced while uprooting deeply ingrained toxic masculinity and finally confronting his insecurities, painful memories, and limiting beliefs. The result is not only the gripping story of a man's struggle against himself and how he finally got his mind right, but a bold indictment of the cultural norms and taboos that ask men to be outwardly tough while leaving them inwardly weak. With Tough, Crews's journey of transformation offers a model for anyone who considers themselves a "tough guy" but feels unfulfilled; anyone struggling with procrastination or self-sabotage; and anyone ready to achieve true, lasting self-mastery.


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From Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, the deeply personal story of his lifelong obsession with strength--and how, after looking for it in all the wrong places, he finally found it Terry Crews spent decades cultivating his bodybuilder physique and bravado. On the outside, he seemed invincible: he escaped his abusive father, went pro in the NFL, and broke into the gla From Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, the deeply personal story of his lifelong obsession with strength--and how, after looking for it in all the wrong places, he finally found it Terry Crews spent decades cultivating his bodybuilder physique and bravado. On the outside, he seemed invincible: he escaped his abusive father, went pro in the NFL, and broke into the glamorous world of Hollywood. But his fixation with appearing outwardly tough eventually turned into an exhausting performance in which repressing his emotions let them get the better of him--leading him into addiction and threatening the most important relationships in his life. Now Crews is sharing the raw, never-before-told story of his quest to find the true meaning of toughness. In Tough, he examines arenas of life where he desperately sought control--masculinity, shame, sex, experiences with racism, and relationships--and recounts the setbacks and victories he faced while uprooting deeply ingrained toxic masculinity and finally confronting his insecurities, painful memories, and limiting beliefs. The result is not only the gripping story of a man's struggle against himself and how he finally got his mind right, but a bold indictment of the cultural norms and taboos that ask men to be outwardly tough while leaving them inwardly weak. With Tough, Crews's journey of transformation offers a model for anyone who considers themselves a "tough guy" but feels unfulfilled; anyone struggling with procrastination or self-sabotage; and anyone ready to achieve true, lasting self-mastery.

30 review for Tough: My Journey to True Power

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shane Fitz

    I really liked this book by Terry Crews. There were a lot of good stories. I felt the author was very honest about their life and experiences. Highly recommended 👌

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    My interest in this book was sparked by a recent interview with Crews on the Daily Show. I know who he is mostly from the few times that I've watched America's Got Talent. My general impression was of a nice, friendly, talented guy. I was vaguely aware that he'd been on other shows and in movies over the years, but nothing I'd actually seen. Anyway, he seemed like a decent and interesting person, and the interview got me curious about the book. So here we are. The book was fascinating. It jumps My interest in this book was sparked by a recent interview with Crews on the Daily Show. I know who he is mostly from the few times that I've watched America's Got Talent. My general impression was of a nice, friendly, talented guy. I was vaguely aware that he'd been on other shows and in movies over the years, but nothing I'd actually seen. Anyway, he seemed like a decent and interesting person, and the interview got me curious about the book. So here we are. The book was fascinating. It jumps around a bit in time though. It begins in conventional autobiography fashion with his childhood in Flint, MI. But then, only about a fifth of the way through the book, it follows the story to adulthood. The chapter ends, and we get a new section title before the next chapter, and then it's childood-to-adulthood again, but following a different thread, one that's also part of his personality. The book is split into five parts, each focusing on a different theme. But they're all different facets of the same man. It's an interesting structure, one I don't think I've seen in an autobiography before. Once you get what's going on, it works very well. And the result is what feels like a much clearer picture of the man than is typical with such books. I'm glad I read this. Recommended!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Malum

    Crews jumps back and forth in time, telling (pretty depressing) stories from his life and the lessons he learned from them. Entertaining and inspiring.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aurin Bagchi

    This man must be protected at all costs. “It was seven years of a nomadic warrior lifestyle, and what I learned as I moved from team to team was that there were very few people I could talk to or trust. During those seven years, I played with literally hundreds of guys, and out of those hundreds of guys, I'd say five of them became true friends. Because the NFL team isn't really a 'team.' It's a collection of isolated and terrified men slogging through an angry, lonely existence. Everybody has t This man must be protected at all costs. “It was seven years of a nomadic warrior lifestyle, and what I learned as I moved from team to team was that there were very few people I could talk to or trust. During those seven years, I played with literally hundreds of guys, and out of those hundreds of guys, I'd say five of them became true friends. Because the NFL team isn't really a 'team.' It's a collection of isolated and terrified men slogging through an angry, lonely existence. Everybody has to be what I call the Marlboro Man. He acts fearless, but deep down he's scared. He's in a lot of pain, but he's not telling anybody about it” “Something needed to change, but looking at yourself in the mirror and facing your demons is the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. You will duck it and avoid it - and make excuses for ducking and avoiding it - for a long, long time. I avoided it by throwing myself into work. I threw myself into project after project, filming movies and TV shows back to back to back. I was running away from myself as fast as I could, never stopping to look down or pause for a moment's self-reflection. I did that for years, even though I knew something was deeply wrong with me, even though I'd lost my daughter and nearly put myself in jail, even though my marriage and my family were barely holding on” “I felt guilty as he went upstairs without me, but I couldn't stop. I was addicted. The way addiction works, whether it's alcohol or heroin or food or sex, is that you latch onto a thing or a habit or a substance that gives you a reprieve from reality. But when more problems arise from the substance you're abusing, that substance then presents itself as the solution to the same problems it has caused. And round and round you go, not even recognizing the cycle you've created for yourself. It's only looking back now that I can see the pattern” “The hardest thing in the world is to remain connected to and interdependent with other people, to take and give advice, yet still know your own mind, to hear all of the competing voices in your head and know, with certainty, which one is your own. Becuse somebody's always got your aux cord. It could be an abusive boss or it could be a million Twitter trolls swarming after you. Somebody's always jacked in. Which is why you always have to be cognizant of who that person is and how much power they have over you. Like my son with his iPhone, whoever's got that cord controls what you hear, which means they can set your mood. If they can set your mood, they can influence how you feel. If they can influence how you feel, they can change the way you think. And if they can change the way you think, they can control the way you behave” “When I do get angry, I've learned to manage it. I don't fly off the handle anymore. I don't snap. I've literally rewired my neural pathways to work differently. I feel the anger coming on, I identify the source of it, and I ask myself, 'Why am I letting this make me angry? Oh, I'm getting angry because I have an unrealistic expectation of how this other person should be acting. I need to let that go.' Or, 'I thought this person was antagonizing me, but really it's a miscommunication. I need to let that go.' And I do”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eddy Quan

    A transparent tale from Terry Crews. A great book where he talks about toxic masculinity and vulnerability. One of my favourite memoirs to date!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Huston

    Wow! I couldn't put this one down! Celebrity memoirs tend to be tame affairs, but not this one. Crews is painfully, bluntly, vividly honest about his faults and mistakes in life, confessing some scary stuff so he can show us how he's grown. Not surprisingly, the "toughness" that he touts in the title isn't about his giant muscles, it's about learning self control, the ability to rein in his temper and appetites. Crews shares one story after another about how he was surrounded by moral failure as Wow! I couldn't put this one down! Celebrity memoirs tend to be tame affairs, but not this one. Crews is painfully, bluntly, vividly honest about his faults and mistakes in life, confessing some scary stuff so he can show us how he's grown. Not surprisingly, the "toughness" that he touts in the title isn't about his giant muscles, it's about learning self control, the ability to rein in his temper and appetites. Crews shares one story after another about how he was surrounded by moral failure as a young man, became a moral failure himself, and slowly--one area of life at a time--became a better man, a man that his wife and children could be proud of. Everyone should read this book, but especially every man. I choked up a bit on page 229, not because it was sad, but because it was triumphant. Crews's observations about racism, sexism, and human nature--all drawn naturally from his experiences--are genuinely thoughtful and productive. I wish we had more people just like him. I also wish that he'd said a bit more about his faith, although he does have a few fascinating pages about how he's been blessed by observing the Biblical principle of tithing. Crews escaped some toxic, hypocritical cults from his childhood, and I'd love to know more about how he kept his faith intact when so many these days don't. But that might be beyond the scope of what he was doing here. As it is, this book was inspiring and eye opening, without being self righteous or preachy. This is a man who just tells it like it was and like it is. The value of his story speaks for itself--he doesn't need to waste time controlling his image or selling himself to us. Now that's tough!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex Rozenstine

    Just saw the book available on NetGalley - fingers crossed I'll get accepted because yessss to a memoir by one of my favourite people in television!! (and if I don't get an ARC I'll just pre-order it!!) Just saw the book available on NetGalley - fingers crossed I'll get accepted because yessss to a memoir by one of my favourite people in television!! (and if I don't get an ARC I'll just pre-order it!!)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Tough: My Journey to True Power by Terry Crews Published April 26, 2022 <3 This was not at all like I anticipated--in a GOOD WAY. I had several epiphanies listening to Terry narrate his truth. I love him as a comedic actor and his discipline to maintaining that Mandingo Statuesque Presence. Listening to a fellow ACA (ADULT CHILD OF AN ALCOHOLIC AND OR DYSFUNCTIONAL UPBRINGING) and his journey that led to his mental and emotional health issues were instrumental in allowing me to recall some trauma Tough: My Journey to True Power by Terry Crews Published April 26, 2022 <3 This was not at all like I anticipated--in a GOOD WAY. I had several epiphanies listening to Terry narrate his truth. I love him as a comedic actor and his discipline to maintaining that Mandingo Statuesque Presence. Listening to a fellow ACA (ADULT CHILD OF AN ALCOHOLIC AND OR DYSFUNCTIONAL UPBRINGING) and his journey that led to his mental and emotional health issues were instrumental in allowing me to recall some traumas that I too buried. Yes it was trauma triggering but also validating. More men (Black Men Specifically) need to work through their issues in a professional capacity. My hope is that the Black Men in my family and community will follow his lead and let all the shit just hang out and let go of the shame that they inherited genetically and historically or inherited through nature and or nurture. His views towards, spending, earning, hoarding/collecting, tithing and the #METOO movement were especially revealing. He recommended a couple of books some of which I have read and the others I have added to the top of my TBR list. His humility and transparencies had me loving and hating him as I listened to this audiobook. Ultimately, I have to give him props for revealing EVERYTHING--all the hurt that he suffered AND dished out--as well as the healing and vulnerability he put out there for the world to see/hear. We all got something! I am glad he went into therapy and done the work to bring peace to himself and do the ongoing work to heal from his traumatic, dysfunctional and violent childhood. I too will continue to do the same. <3 Terry Crews spent decades cultivating his bodybuilder physique and bravado. On the outside, he seemed invincible: he escaped his abusive father, went pro in the NFL, and broke into the glamorous world of Hollywood. But his fixation with appearing outwardly tough eventually turned into an exhausting performance in which repressing his emotions let them get the better of him—leading him into addiction and threatening the most important relationships in his life. Now Crews is sharing the raw, never-before-told story of his quest to find the true meaning of toughness. In Tough, he examines arenas of life where he desperately sought control—masculinity, shame, sex, experiences with racism, and relationships—and recounts the setbacks and victories he faced while uprooting deeply ingrained toxic masculinity and finally confronting his insecurities, painful memories, and limiting beliefs. The result is not only the gripping story of a man's struggle against himself and how he finally got his mind right, but a bold indictment of the cultural norms and taboos that ask men to be outwardly tough while leaving them inwardly weak. With Tough, Crews's journey of transformation offers a model for anyone who considers themselves a “tough guy” but feels unfulfilled; anyone struggling with procrastination or self-sabotage; and anyone ready to achieve true, lasting self-mastery.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cristy McCormick

    I expected this book to be a little bit more about the experiences that Terry endured throughout his childhood. While there was some of that in the book, there was also a lot of other situations that Terry had endured throughout his adult life as well. At first I was a little bit turned off, because honestly everyone has issues in their life and I didn't really want to know about his issues in Hollywood but then the joke was on me. Some of those events, led to him being the advocate that he is t I expected this book to be a little bit more about the experiences that Terry endured throughout his childhood. While there was some of that in the book, there was also a lot of other situations that Terry had endured throughout his adult life as well. At first I was a little bit turned off, because honestly everyone has issues in their life and I didn't really want to know about his issues in Hollywood but then the joke was on me. Some of those events, led to him being the advocate that he is today, and rather than being transformed by Hollywood in a negative way, he let these life lessons lead him in a direction that is much harder for the Hollywood elite to follow. I was very happy to learn that actually in spite of Hollywood, Terry Crews was very outspoken about abuses, injustices, and falsehoods about injustice. I'll admit that when he started writing about Trayvon Martin I was side-eyeing the book because unfortunately in society, anytime that people start talking about Trayvon Martin or George Floyd, the conversation seems to be very one-sided and leans towards how white people are horrible. IMHO it's no way to move forward and grow and share experiences that others don't experience. But that was Terry Crews' entire point. These things were tragedies but rather than using them as tools to start a conversation, people let their rage and hatred take control, and the country has been divided because of the lack of ability to put emotions aside. After reading this book I have a huge amount of respect for Terry Crews. He hasn't let any one thing define him, whether it was race, childhood trauma, career injustices, or his own brief stint with victimhood mentality. He has grown, changed, and become an advocate for abuse, racism (where it's actually happening) and common sense. Since he actually had the ability to write candidly about the race wars, and how they won't be beneficial to anyone in the long run, I was way more receptive to his experiences with actual racism, and that has made me start thinking about things in a different light. As a white woman, I'm sick and tired of being yelled at for being a "racist" even though that couldn't be farther from the truth. This in turn causes me to shut out any conversation from people that scream racist at me, and so there is no healthy conversation to be had. Terry Crews has flipped the script with that topic, and even talked about how other black people have turned on him and called him awful names just because he refuses to hate on white people just for being white. While parts of this book were very uncomfortable to read, I think it is something that truly needs to be read by many people. Terry Crews has a great perspective on life, and what it means to be truly powerful in this life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book Reviews by Tara aka Queen of Memoirs

    𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡: 𝐌𝐲 𝐉𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐞 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 by Terry Crews is an offensive body of work that paints Black people with an, inexcusably negative brush that I found both unacceptable and disgraceful! ⠀ Before reading this book I knew nothing about the Twitter storm Terry Crews started when he posted an insensitive tweet two weeks after the murder of George Floyd. In the mist of the Black Lives Matter movement Terry tweeted, "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter." This tweet set o 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡: 𝐌𝐲 𝐉𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐞 𝐏𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 by Terry Crews is an offensive body of work that paints Black people with an, inexcusably negative brush that I found both unacceptable and disgraceful! ⠀ Before reading this book I knew nothing about the Twitter storm Terry Crews started when he posted an insensitive tweet two weeks after the murder of George Floyd. In the mist of the Black Lives Matter movement Terry tweeted, "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter." This tweet set off a firestorm that invoked a response from many prominent people including Dr. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had I known about his compassionless twitter post before buying this audiobook, I most definitely would not have bought it. ⠀ Although Terry publicly apologized for the tweet, in this book he admits he only regrets the timing of the post, not the message. Terry went on to say, after the George Floyd murder he saw Black people demonize white people. He stated, Black people had a right to be angry, but instead we were enraged…WTF TERRY! OF COURSE WE WERE ENRAGED! WE WITNESSED THE MURDER, A MODERN DAY LYNCHING OF A BLACK MAN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT BY A POLICE OFFICER! YOU SHOULD BE ENRAGED TOO🤬!!! ⠀ Throughout the book he takes every moment possible to bash black people. Listening to his Uncle Ruckus (shoutout to the Boondocks) mentality literally made my blood pressure rise. ⠀ Terry compared the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson to the murder Travon Martin. But then he took it ten steps further by stating it was Black women’s hatred for White women that caused the Black women jurors to find OJ Simpson innocent. ⠀ What the entire F*#k!! ⠀ Terry bashed the teaching of African American Studies in college. He had the audacity to say, if you meet a Black man and the Black man starts the conversation with, “Hey ma brotha” that man is up to no good. He bashed the hiphop community for being overly Afrocentric in the Public Enemy, Queen Latifah days. Called them over-the-top. He also declared that the “I’m black and I’m proud” era of the 60s was ridiculous and bafoonish. ⠀ Although the book’s title is 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡, the more accurate title would have been 𝐕𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐦. Terry spends 9 hours and 13 minutes talking about everyone in his life that has ever wronged him. His attempt at taking accountability for his own actions are grossly overshadowed by the constant blame he puts on others for making him behave the way he has in the past, and in my opinion, the way he currently behaves. ⠀ After listening to this audiobook I am no longer a supporter of Terry Crews. As a black woman I find 𝐓𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 highly offensive. I regret spending my money to buy it. I don’t care if he only made a half penny from my purchase, I want my 1/2 penny back! ⠀ Let me be is clear, I give this book 1⭐️. Not because of the writing style, this rating is solely a reflection of it’s content!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Terry Crews is what many people would think of as a "Man's Man." He's large and muscular. He's been the Old Spice Man and in The Expendables, but he really dives deep into what is true power and true masculinity in this book. He has struggled with many things throughout his life and he bares it all in this book. He doesn't try to present a clean version for the public; he is truthful about his mistakes and regrets. He also dives into really tough topics like t I really enjoyed reading this book. Terry Crews is what many people would think of as a "Man's Man." He's large and muscular. He's been the Old Spice Man and in The Expendables, but he really dives deep into what is true power and true masculinity in this book. He has struggled with many things throughout his life and he bares it all in this book. He doesn't try to present a clean version for the public; he is truthful about his mistakes and regrets. He also dives into really tough topics like the issues this country is dealing with after George Floyd and the subsequent riots. He tackles these issues with a cool head and isn't afraid to voice opinions that may go against the mainstream media. I would highly recommend this book regardless of if you are a Terry Crews fan or if you agree with him. It is good just to understand how other people have experienced life and their points of view.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    Terry Crews is one of my favorite actors. The guy is brilliant. When I saw this biography come out, I had to pre-order and did. Money well spent! In this book you will learn a lot about Terry Crews' life. What is most important is not the story of his life, but the life lessons you take away from it. In these pages Terry Crews takes you through a journey of dealing with strong negative feelings and emotions that nearly swallow him whole and how he was able to handle them and, in many cases, turn Terry Crews is one of my favorite actors. The guy is brilliant. When I saw this biography come out, I had to pre-order and did. Money well spent! In this book you will learn a lot about Terry Crews' life. What is most important is not the story of his life, but the life lessons you take away from it. In these pages Terry Crews takes you through a journey of dealing with strong negative feelings and emotions that nearly swallow him whole and how he was able to handle them and, in many cases, turn them in to opportunities that progressed not only himself as a person but his life in general. This is a life story that you should read if life is getting you down, especially if you feel that many things are out to get you. It will help you overcome. This book is a top Biography for me and up there in my books of positivity and inspiration. 5 plus stars!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Evans

    Loved this book! Very interesting the way he sorted the book. Some parts were not chronological, but more based on lessons he learned. I loved hearing all of his introspection and thoughts on how he got to where he is now. Would recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Gealta

    Above all this is a book of vulnerability. It was inspiring to see Terry open up and talk about things that were difficult, painful and shameful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Dahlke

    The best self-help book masquerading as an autobiography out there. A must read for men. Crews runs through his life in cycles, starting over each chapter with a different aspect of his journey. He burns bridges, he's incredibly open. Something for everyone to learn here. The best self-help book masquerading as an autobiography out there. A must read for men. Crews runs through his life in cycles, starting over each chapter with a different aspect of his journey. He burns bridges, he's incredibly open. Something for everyone to learn here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I picked this up as a celebrity memoir. Terry Crews is a delightful member of a delightful cast on Brooklyn 99 and although I didn't know anything else about him, I am always up for checking out a celebrity memoir. This is, I would say, 60% memoir and 40% self-help book. I have become increasingly leery of self-help books, because even when I agree with the advice, I don't believe there is a single solution for every person. I think Crews' story is inspirational enough when just talking about ho I picked this up as a celebrity memoir. Terry Crews is a delightful member of a delightful cast on Brooklyn 99 and although I didn't know anything else about him, I am always up for checking out a celebrity memoir. This is, I would say, 60% memoir and 40% self-help book. I have become increasingly leery of self-help books, because even when I agree with the advice, I don't believe there is a single solution for every person. I think Crews' story is inspirational enough when just talking about how what he did worked for him without him having to say: this is something that everyone should do and it will work for everyone. Since this is partly a self-help book, it isn't organized like a normal memoir. It's not chronological, but instead thematic sections (masculinity, shame, etc.). At first I found that confusing, but it did work for what Crews is trying to achieve and I quickly settled into the rhythm. Crews has a fascinating life story, and he has done one of the hardest things anyone can do - he has changed how he behaves. By his own admission, Crews was a misogynistic, abusive hothead. He grew up in an abusive household and was perpetuating what he had been shown. It is so incredibly hard to recognize the negative behaviors you have and not only that, change how you react to ways different than those ingrained in you. Crews tells a story about how, after he had gotten into therapy and was working on his anger, his son spilled a drink. His entire family went still. Because they expected him to rage at a child for a simple accident. That was how bad things had been. But Crews isn't that person anymore, and he was helpful and calm, because he put in the work to change. Crews is also an incredibly talented man. Not only is he a good actor (I appreciate his comedic timing on Brooklyn 99), he is also an athlete (who made it to the NFL - a very rare feat), an artist (he went to college on an art scholarship) and a flautist. He is truly a Renaissance man. This is not a book if you're looking for Hollywood gossip. Almost everything that touches on Hollywood is already a matter of public record (most notably, Adam Venit's sexual assault of Crews). I would have loved to hear more about the cast and set of Brooklyn 99, but that is not what this book is about. This is about Crews' life and the lessons he has learned. Like Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood, the author's life story and the way it is presented is fascinating enough that I don't even miss the celebrity gossip.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Sorry but this book is horrible. I wasn't expecting much- I never typically do from celebrity authors- but I decided to give this one a try because the abstract seemed interesting enough and I thought it would be a quick read. The writing is definitely amateur, if not below amateur. Within the first chapter, this was evident, although I pressed on because his origin story was not what I was expecting. I'll save you the details, but in general, he grew up with lots of violence, physical and menta Sorry but this book is horrible. I wasn't expecting much- I never typically do from celebrity authors- but I decided to give this one a try because the abstract seemed interesting enough and I thought it would be a quick read. The writing is definitely amateur, if not below amateur. Within the first chapter, this was evident, although I pressed on because his origin story was not what I was expecting. I'll save you the details, but in general, he grew up with lots of violence, physical and mental abuse, danger, drug and gang culture ect. I was able to get through that part, even though at multiple times the writing was so irritating I desperately wanted to quit. I even staggered on through his self -righteous and quite insincere account of how he "took his talent agency to task" And stood up for the rights of the women in the me too movement by suing the talent agent that groped him once at a party. What finally made me tap out, was the fact that he turned the entire book into a very I'll informed and inarticulate commentary on race in America. The account included him asserting a number of egregious points like: "Black people can be racist too" "Race doesn't define where you go and opportunities you get" "Stop being mad at white people when really the problem is that you are sitting around blaming them and feeling sorry for yourself" "Racism is just that people can be ignorant sometimes and it's not their fault" Sorry but I can't. We really need to stop just letting everyone write a book these days. I hope I've saved some of you the trouble. Happy Reading :)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aaron McKinney

    9/10 - Terry Crews goes through the ups and downs of his life and tells what it means to be a man, to be tough, to find real happiness, and to have healthy and fulfilling relationships with those we love. Terry deals with every hard topic from domestic abuse, sexual assault, racism, sexism, addiction, and more in this memoir and comes at it all from a place of love and understanding. "... The purpose of being tough is not to attack, but to protect. The purpose of being strong is not to dominate, 9/10 - Terry Crews goes through the ups and downs of his life and tells what it means to be a man, to be tough, to find real happiness, and to have healthy and fulfilling relationships with those we love. Terry deals with every hard topic from domestic abuse, sexual assault, racism, sexism, addiction, and more in this memoir and comes at it all from a place of love and understanding. "... The purpose of being tough is not to attack, but to protect. The purpose of being strong is not to dominate, but to support. The purpose of having power is not to rule, but to serve. What I've learned is that to be a true man is to be the ultimate servant. With any talent or advantage that life has given you, whether by birth of by circumstance, your duty is to use that advantage in the service of others" "It's been said You are not the voice in your head, you are the person who hears it. We all have those voices, those strange intrusive thoughts we don't want. Sometimes the voice comes from clear out of nowhere. Sometimes it's bubbling up from somewhere deep in your subconscious but there's a good chance that the ideas you're hearing are coming from the last person, or the loudest person who had your ear." *Quotes transcribed from audiobook so punctuation may not be exact*

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dave Stone

    Outstanding! I still don't like to think of myself as a guy who reads celebrity memoirs but Damn, I have been having some damn good luck with them. This is a tremendous book. just WOW! this hit me hard and had me nodding my head along and agreeing with most everything he had to say. What an amazing story. This would be a great read and a wild ride if it were a work of fiction, but it's real. He tells me things I never know about worlds I will never see the inside of that really explained things. Outstanding! I still don't like to think of myself as a guy who reads celebrity memoirs but Damn, I have been having some damn good luck with them. This is a tremendous book. just WOW! this hit me hard and had me nodding my head along and agreeing with most everything he had to say. What an amazing story. This would be a great read and a wild ride if it were a work of fiction, but it's real. He tells me things I never know about worlds I will never see the inside of that really explained things. That's worth the price of the book right there. It might be that I loved this book extra hard because I found so many similarities between his life and mine: Abusive father, mother who retreated into the pentecostal church that he can't believe in. An artistic kid who feels bullied and trapped between worlds and who is told that the only way to be a man is to be tough. and that tough means get physical. I love everything about this book. As impressed as I am by the truths he found, I am most impressed by the raw honesty he shows when facing the flaws he found in himself, and the unpopular truths he speaks about the world around him. This is another book that I can't shut up about.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Conner

    Terry Crews describes what it’s like to be raised and then indoctrinated as a young adult into a culture of “The Marlboro Man. He acts fearless, but deep down, he’s scared. He’s in a lot of pain but he’s not telling anybody about it. Nobody likes him and he usually dies alone.” Crews is vulnerable and honest about his alcoholic wife-beating father, child-beating religious zealot mother, growing up within the Flint black community in a church-cult while watching the crack epidemic unfold, the man Terry Crews describes what it’s like to be raised and then indoctrinated as a young adult into a culture of “The Marlboro Man. He acts fearless, but deep down, he’s scared. He’s in a lot of pain but he’s not telling anybody about it. Nobody likes him and he usually dies alone.” Crews is vulnerable and honest about his alcoholic wife-beating father, child-beating religious zealot mother, growing up within the Flint black community in a church-cult while watching the crack epidemic unfold, the manipulative and macho environment of the NFL, and how it all became the perfect storm to mold him into a chauvinist, entitled adult. Until his cognitive dissonance between how he saw himself how how he really was caught up with him. Now he’s got no secrets and is free to tell his story because he’s literally an open book. This was the best memoir I’ve read in a long time. Perhaps ever. I respect Terry more than ever and would recommend this book to anyone - but especially to men who have ever struggled with their identity, their childhood traumas, relationships with women, respect, race, Hollywood, sexual assault… honestly I think there’s a takeaway in here for everyone who reads it. Crews is a dynamic man and a well articulated compelling writer.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This was one of the most enjoyable biographies I have ever read to date. Terry Crews pours his heart and soul out onto each and every page as he details his upbringing in Flint, Michigan to his rise to stardom. It was a somber yet inspiring read for me. For me, reading this book was about lessons in redemption and overcoming strife in all aspects of life. Crews is not afraid to be vulnerable about his past traumas and admits it took him an entire lifetime to achieve the peace that he currently e This was one of the most enjoyable biographies I have ever read to date. Terry Crews pours his heart and soul out onto each and every page as he details his upbringing in Flint, Michigan to his rise to stardom. It was a somber yet inspiring read for me. For me, reading this book was about lessons in redemption and overcoming strife in all aspects of life. Crews is not afraid to be vulnerable about his past traumas and admits it took him an entire lifetime to achieve the peace that he currently enjoys. I found myself in reflection upon finishing every chapter. Crews acknowledged his ego and how relying on bravado and toxicity is never a winning ingredient for long-term success. I believe Crews wants us to learn from him on what makes a better life. I didn't find this book to be preachy or complicated like some biographies or some self-help books can be. It was an easy read and I find myself a better man for having read it. There were some slight typos that threw me off here and there, but those did not stop me from enjoying this book. A definite recommendation for any library.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jane Dennish

    I was interested in reading this book because I am a fan of American’s Got Talent. I don’t know much about Terry Crews, but I think he was a welcome addition and positive change to the show. Based on my limited knowledge of him, I was completely surprised by some of the experiences and trauma he has had in his life. He does goofy things on the show and is a very positive person, but he has some dark times he has gone through, and come out the other side. I really appreciated his candid honesty r I was interested in reading this book because I am a fan of American’s Got Talent. I don’t know much about Terry Crews, but I think he was a welcome addition and positive change to the show. Based on my limited knowledge of him, I was completely surprised by some of the experiences and trauma he has had in his life. He does goofy things on the show and is a very positive person, but he has some dark times he has gone through, and come out the other side. I really appreciated his candid honesty restarting his relationship with his parents. He doesn’t try to hide his downfalls or embarrassing moments. He confronts them head-on, and I applaud him for that. I especially appreciated the section where he talks about his conflicts with religion and where that stems from. I had a question in my mind about the gospel choirs on AGT, but he explained that. It was a deeply personal book and a vulnerable book. I applaud him and his genuine reflection. Thanks so much to Portfolio books for a gifted copy!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diana Frazier

    Some of my favorite things about this book are the ways Terry describes Christian cults. I found myself wondering how a person who varies so deeply from me can describe my own experiences so well. The fear and helplessness and ongoing trauma caused by Christian cults- thank you for speaking about this, Terry. I appreciated the way he spoke openly and honestly about so many difficult topics and difficult experiences. It felt real and authentic to me. He spoke a lot about his experiences with traum Some of my favorite things about this book are the ways Terry describes Christian cults. I found myself wondering how a person who varies so deeply from me can describe my own experiences so well. The fear and helplessness and ongoing trauma caused by Christian cults- thank you for speaking about this, Terry. I appreciated the way he spoke openly and honestly about so many difficult topics and difficult experiences. It felt real and authentic to me. He spoke a lot about his experiences with trauma as a kid and how that trauma showed up over and over in his adult life, long before he was aware of it. This was poignant and important. My family loves watching you, Terry, on AGT and I laugh my butt off every time I watch you on White Chicks. I saw Vanessa Carlton in concert a couple months ago and I kept picturing you in the back of the car belting it out and I was holding back laughter so I wouldn’t look crazy hahaha I’m so proud of you as a fellow human. Your tenacity, grit, and resolve to continue healing and growing are impressive and beautiful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This memoir is unfiltered and raw. Terry goes through his struggles in life and how counseling has helped him grow into a better husband, father, and person. Terry's no non-sense, no pulled punches way of writing leaves the reader with a raw and detailed picture as to who he is and what he has been through. Most importantly what he stands for. Religion plays a prevelant role in this book. I love how he shines a light on the often ignored darkness of organized religion. Despite a toxic relationshi This memoir is unfiltered and raw. Terry goes through his struggles in life and how counseling has helped him grow into a better husband, father, and person. Terry's no non-sense, no pulled punches way of writing leaves the reader with a raw and detailed picture as to who he is and what he has been through. Most importantly what he stands for. Religion plays a prevelant role in this book. I love how he shines a light on the often ignored darkness of organized religion. Despite a toxic relationship with religion Terry maintains his faith. It is clear that is a huge part of his life. A tiny section of part 4 seemed a little preachy but it was brief. That section also reads a bit "self-helpy". I think this is a great book for people who feel the need to control the world around them. Obviously for fans of Crews as well

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Some of the life lessons here feel essential, and it is interesting that this guy who appears to be, perhaps, the most positive guy in the universe, has the same insecurities, doubts, and concerns as everybody else, but makes a conscious choice to be disciplined and positive at every stage in order to achieve some sort of self-calm. Which, then, the success follows. My one concern is that the book sometimes comes across as oblivious about the challenges many others face. He's obviously talented, Some of the life lessons here feel essential, and it is interesting that this guy who appears to be, perhaps, the most positive guy in the universe, has the same insecurities, doubts, and concerns as everybody else, but makes a conscious choice to be disciplined and positive at every stage in order to achieve some sort of self-calm. Which, then, the success follows. My one concern is that the book sometimes comes across as oblivious about the challenges many others face. He's obviously talented, smart, and absurdly beautiful, so his preaching the gospel of locus-of-control thinking is apropos in both directions, positive and negative. Which is a conversation for some other place than Goodreads.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I knew Terry Crews from his work in the Expendables franchise, on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and of course, the classic Old Spice commercials. I truly enjoyed a deeper dive into his life - I never knew he is an extremely talented artist! Being a white woman, I found his experience as a black man extremely informative in our society that brings race and gender to the forefront on many issues. This book is for anyone who wants to become more empathetic or is looking for the humanity behind the Hollywood I knew Terry Crews from his work in the Expendables franchise, on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and of course, the classic Old Spice commercials. I truly enjoyed a deeper dive into his life - I never knew he is an extremely talented artist! Being a white woman, I found his experience as a black man extremely informative in our society that brings race and gender to the forefront on many issues. This book is for anyone who wants to become more empathetic or is looking for the humanity behind the Hollywood fame. Crews touches on many topics that have personally impacted him, such as alcohol abuse, sexism, sexual assault, racism, child abuse, anger issues, and cults. The hopeful outlook he provides is a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this quick read (less than 300 pages).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    My perception and opinions on this book could be quite biased as I am a big fan of Terry Crews. I am not one to read Biographies or Memoirs. On the surface, they never really appealed to me. This book, however, has completely flipped my viewpoint on its head and given me a new appreciation for the genre. I found this book quite visceral at its core, both visually and emotionally. This brutal honesty and expression of vulnerability create a safe atmosphere for inner reflection and understanding. It My perception and opinions on this book could be quite biased as I am a big fan of Terry Crews. I am not one to read Biographies or Memoirs. On the surface, they never really appealed to me. This book, however, has completely flipped my viewpoint on its head and given me a new appreciation for the genre. I found this book quite visceral at its core, both visually and emotionally. This brutal honesty and expression of vulnerability create a safe atmosphere for inner reflection and understanding. It is fascinating how people can traverse different journeys and come to the same collective understanding. I would highly recommend the audiobook version narrated by Terry Crews himself. Audiobooks narrated by the authors are naturally more engaging, but there is also something about how he reads that hits different. It is endearing hearing him swear in a calm but forthright manner. It speaks of his passion and intent behind the emotions he is expressing. I would recommend this as an excellent book for those who enjoy emotional biographies or behavioural psychology.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Zarifa

    This book was phenomenal! Terry Crews completely opens up about the struggles and challenges he has faced and takes you through his riveting journey of how he overcame them. Namely, by embracing vulnerability, talking openly with loved ones and therapists, and realizing he always had a choice about how he reacted to various situations. One of my favourite lines from the book was along the lines of, “The purpose of being strong is not to dominate, but to support. The purpose of having power is not This book was phenomenal! Terry Crews completely opens up about the struggles and challenges he has faced and takes you through his riveting journey of how he overcame them. Namely, by embracing vulnerability, talking openly with loved ones and therapists, and realizing he always had a choice about how he reacted to various situations. One of my favourite lines from the book was along the lines of, “The purpose of being strong is not to dominate, but to support. The purpose of having power is not to rule, but to serve.” As a type-A athlete like Terry, I could relate to so many of the limiting beliefs he had and struggles with perfectionism. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! Amazing read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mia Moorhead

    I’ve always loved Terry Crews in movies and as the host of AGT. For a while I’ve wanted to learn more about his life and was glad when I found out he had this book. It was incredible to hear about his path to where he is now and to find out what a great man he really is. You always wonder how celebrities are in real life. It was really refreshing to hear a person talk about not only the trials and successes that got them to where they are now but also to recognize their short comings/mistakes an I’ve always loved Terry Crews in movies and as the host of AGT. For a while I’ve wanted to learn more about his life and was glad when I found out he had this book. It was incredible to hear about his path to where he is now and to find out what a great man he really is. You always wonder how celebrities are in real life. It was really refreshing to hear a person talk about not only the trials and successes that got them to where they are now but also to recognize their short comings/mistakes and be man enough to own up to them, apologize and make things right or at least get on the path to healing. This was a great book and not that he will ever see this review but Terry Crews you are a great man and an inspiration. I am glad I read this book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    CathyAyn

    I give this book 4.5 stars: not an epic life changing book, but really, really good! I’m not very familiar with the author, but I heard him interviewed on a podcast or somewhere. I was intrigued by what he had to say, so I put this book on hold. Wow! What a powerful story about overcoming one’s demons (caused largely by what ‘happens to you’) and also navigating and pushing back against so many toxic societal pressures and cultural norms. I initially thought this would be a good book for my older I give this book 4.5 stars: not an epic life changing book, but really, really good! I’m not very familiar with the author, but I heard him interviewed on a podcast or somewhere. I was intrigued by what he had to say, so I put this book on hold. Wow! What a powerful story about overcoming one’s demons (caused largely by what ‘happens to you’) and also navigating and pushing back against so many toxic societal pressures and cultural norms. I initially thought this would be a good book for my older adolescent son to read, especially the points on toxic masculinity, but I could relate to much of the author’s experiences as well. I listened to the audiobook, which the author read himself. He is very engaging and animated. Highly recommend!

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