"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pain Don't Hurt by Mark 'Fightshark' Miller

Synopsis: Memoir of a professional Kickboxer reflecting on what almost broke him, and what made him.

Writing Style: First person genuine.

Pacing: Fast.

Personal Highlights: For starters, before reading ‘Pain Don’t Hurt’ I knew absolutely zero about kickboxing. In fact, when the cover caught my attention, I thought the story might be about a boxer...or maybe a wrestler. Going by the staid expression staring back at me, daring me to pick up the book, left no doubt the story was going to be gripping. But I took on the dare and went on and bought the book, even though it took several months before I racked up the nerve to read it.

Opened the book and couldn’t close it until I got to the end. Mark’s childhood story began a little rough. I say ‘a little rough’ because the story is that redemptive. To understand the brutal relationship with his parents took relating to growing up in the 70’s/80’s, reading between the lines, and reading to the end. Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s quote; “It’s hard to do road work when you are sleeping on silk sheets,” framed my respect of this hard upbringing, in as much as noting how it framed Mark’s passion and ultimate journey. A pleasant surprise was reading how this kickboxer loved to read, evident in the relatable, tremendously genuine and largely humorous writing. I mean, (I admit) to laughing about that conversation between him and his mother’s doctor. It as well touched me when his father sat by his hospital bed. I wholly respected Amy. And fell in love with Shelby, and the entire accounting of that Moscow event! Pain Don’t Hurt was super impressive, right down to the finger licking end. To quote Oscar Wilde, (quoted in the book), “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” I’m pretty sure this memoir will be one of my top 10 favorite books read in 2017. Highly recommended.


  1. Excellent review. I'd never thought about reading this one, but your review makes me want to.

    1. Thanks Kathryn! It really is good, and I found it at the $1 Store... in the U.S. that is... :-)

    2. Hmm, I guess that works out to about $1.25 in Australia. On a more serious note, I'll see if Better World Books has a copy--I've had a lot of success getting hard-to-find American titles from there.

  2. 🤣Just let me know if you read it. Would love to hear your thoughts.