By Mike Bruno
Updated October 21, 2008 at 11:07 PM EDT

By now we’re all familiar with the rumor that Eminem has turned into a recluse, holed up in his Detroit home playing video games and getting fat off of steak dinners. Well, even if it is true (and if I had half the money he has, it’d be true about me), today marks the beginning of Marshall Mathers’ return with the release of his personal memoir, The Way I Am. It’s actually a pretty solid read with candid descriptions of his rough childhood, his struggle to make it in the rap game, his dealings with fame and all its trappings, and the loss of his best friend, fellow Detroit rapper Proof, who was shot to death in 2006. Naturally, the king of controversy’s tome also contains plenty of insanity, ranging from tales of his drug-addled exploits with Proof to his personal feelings toward horses (yes, real, saddle-’em-up horses). Here are a few select samples:

“My old manager and I wound up falling out over a Whopper sandwich. Manager dude was going to Burger King, and he didn’t ask me if I wanted anything to eat, knowing I had no money. I didn’t have a dollar in my f—–g pocket. At that point I said, F— it, you know? What kind of a f——g manager are you?” — page 27

[On the 2000 VMAs, where he appeared outside Radio Music Hall with a mob of look-alikes to perform “The Real Slim Shady”]: “That’s the only way to go to an awards show, if you ask me: a hundred deep with dudes who look like you and who can hopefully fight like you. They didn’t end up needing to, of course, but still…I hope they got laid.” — page 51

“When I was nine years old, this kid who was a little older decidedone day to just beat the living s— out of me in the bathroom atelementary school. Almost killed me. I rapped about that in ”BrainDamage,” and some people think I’m making it up, but nope–that s—really happened. My brain really was f—–g bleeding out my ear. Itwasn’t like I was in a coma, but I was kind of blacking out and wakingup off and on for a couple of days. When I finally came out of it, myfirst words were, “I can spell elephant.” I guess I felt like aRingling Brother.” — page 78

“Honestly, as long as nobody says anything stupid about mydaughters, who I firmly believe should be off-limits, I’m good. And ifanyone’s going to talk about raping my mother or hacking up Kim’s body,it’s going to be me. We keep that s— in the family.” — page 88

[On his scenes with a horse in 8 Mile]: “The horse was doingthis crazy head-jerking movement, and I thought, any minute thismotherf—–‘s going to lift his head up and bust my f—–g jaw andknock me the f— out. Horses and me, we dont’ get on too well. Iwouldn’t f— with a horse. If a horse dissed me, I wouldn’t sayanything back.” — page 116

[On the time he and Proof got arrested for shooting some skater inthe head with a paintball gun]: “One particular cop kicked the s— outof us. He had me face-down on somebody’s lawn, with cuffs on. Anotherone of the cops grabbed my earring and was like, ‘You like to wearearrings, huh, you little f—–? You little white boy?’ I had thesesmall hoops on, and he just ripped them out. He made Proof eat grass,literally took grass and shoved it in his mouth.” — page 128

There are also a couple of real gems in the chapter EW excerpted in our Oct. 24 issue. And you can check out some of the darling photos of cute little Marshall as a baby in our The Way I Am photo gallery.

Anyone else read this book yet? Care to share some of the lines thatmade you laugh or shake your head in an unsettling mixture of disgustand admiration?

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