File Size: 15747 KB
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Avery (October 31, 2013)
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
And that's where the depressing part comes in. Shoemaker, who used to write " Dead Wrestler of the Week" for Deadspin, intersperses the book with sections on wrestlers who are no longer around. Separately, the sections act as nice tributes to the wrestlers. Collectively, it's very frightening to see just how many wrestlers have died young, especially when you get into later chapters about guys like Mike Amazing and Owen Hart. Using these profiles to inform the story of pro struggling is a very unique angle that works perfectly, but it does leave you are you wondering why in the world anyone would get into this business.
My one issue is more of a technical issue: Shoemaker has a ton of footnotes in this book (he obviously takes after his new boss, Bill Simmons). This wouldn't be so bad if the footnotes just showed up on the bottom of the display but, unfortunately, you have to click down to the footnote and go to a different webpage to read it, then go back to the page that you were on. This specific was a painful process that was repeated dozens of times in each chapter. Maybe that concern has been fixed on the newer Kindles (I have an initial generation, although it happened on my iPad 3 as well), but it definitely made reading this book more labour intensive than it will have been!
Other than that, I would suggest this book to anyone that had in the past professional wrestling and would like to learn more about its background and the characters that made it what it is today., Professional struggling is often derided by its critics as bogus and staged. Ironically, many of these same people will readily plunk down money at a movie theater to see a story played out before them and not baseball bat a watch at the hypocrisy. Wrestling has existed as an entertainment medium that is part myth, part morality play in a literal theater of the absurd. It is an arena where an athletic competition is present yet the viewer is asked to suspend his disbelief.
Commentating on this peculiar world is Deadspin " Dead Wrestler of the Week" writer Brian Shoemaker. While he is a wrestling fan, his writings on the passing of various wrestling personas read more like eulogies. Yet, he takes the time to place their career within context of the times through which they wrestled and opining on the followers and the reactions to what they see. Fortunately, the run of tragic passings of wrestling personages has slowed way down from when DWotW was a regular feature on Deadspin. (Ironically, this review comes not two days after the death of Nelson Frazier, Jr - aka Mabel, aka Viscera, aka Large Daddy V. )
Shoemaker starts with the start of the sport, starting in the carnivals and working his way through the period of legitimate competition before it finally forms into their current mode of script. This initial period is treated quickly but does not leave out essential details. Having read Harry Hornbaker's history on the NWA, that early period can get quite boring (and confusing), a error that Shoemaker does not make.
The majority of the rest of the publication is dedicated to his profiles of deceased wrestlers repackaged from his Deadspin column. (The exception to this is a brief interlude on the Ultimate Warrior. ) The careers of the wrestlers are retraced with no punches pulled as to what made them great or what held them back. Shoemaker discusses each wrestler's pop culture context; while We didn't agree with a few them (notably Rick Rude's), his arguments are properly makes his cases. A minimum of for me, there were holes in certain wrestler's professions that were completed because of reading this publication.
In addition, there are top features of various aspects of wrestling. Wrestling subjects like the portrayal of minorities and foreigners, marriage, geopolitics, maiming and killing, are covered very well. They provide the smart fan more understanding of what happens behind the curtain.
Overall, this publication is not written for the " It's still real in my opinion, dammit! " wrestling fan. That fan does not wish to have the magic ruined for him or her; the wise friend of said fan will not recommend this book to them. On the other hand, an e book like this for the smart fan will be helpful as a resource, and as a way to remember those the wrestling community has lost.
BOTTOM LINE: This specific is a book for the smart fan that he will not be able to put down.
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