While I’m working on full book reviews, I thought I’d take a quick break to recap my initial impressions of some recent release based on the free samples on the Kindle. Obvious disclaimer that these are not necessarily fair reflections of the book as a whole, so please do share your views if you’ve read the whole thing.
Best Seat in The House by Justin Roberts starts off with some engaging and well-written material about his childhood as an avid fan. Based on full reviews and a recent conversation I had with Roberts for an FSM piece, the theme of the book appears to be the experience of entering the wrestling business and the way that changes the fan perspective. It looks a worthwhile read though very expensive on Kindle.
The PowerSlam Interviews Part 2 by Findlay Martin is, naturally enough, along the lines of the first volume. Martin takes the original transcript of the interviews, with a mix of kayfabe and storyline, and presents them as Q&As, albeit with the questions sometimes extremely lengthy (and presumably not how they were originally uttered) to give the reader background and context. Long-time readers (dating back to 1998 when this book starts) might find the content familiar, but the inclusion of five new interviews and several bonus features might make it worth a purchase.
Looking At The Lights by Pete Gas doesn’t have much in the sample to suggest this has any more mainstream appeal than you’d expect. The short section of the book that’s included starts with a tale that’s going to make unwelcome reading for WWE on multiple grounds: Gas receiving numerous concussions including one from a stiff chairshot from JBL. It’s hard to tell, but this could well be one of those books that’s more honest than WWE might appreciate but without any air of bitterness. Still, it’s hard to gauge how much depth is here.
The Canvas, Volume 1: The Shine by DA Edwards is one of several fiction books to appear recently. The sample suggests it’s something of an epic (even without accounting for future volumes), along the lines of a Blood Red Turns Dollar Green series but without the crime element. Set in early eighties Florida (with the book going on to cover Mid-Atlantic and the New York region), it’s got a lot of familiar tropes and disguised characters, but appears to tell a compelling story and it’s one I plan on checking out in full.
Fritz Von Erich: Master of the Iron Claw by Ron G Mullinax is a hard one to assess. It’s a biography based on lengthy interviews with Von Erich in his final years, though much of the sample is about how Mullinax came to befriend him rather than his career. (Von Erich’s battles to adapt from DOS to Windows 95 are one of the stranger asides you’ll see in a wrestling book.) That means its hard to say whether the book has enough behind-the-scenes, non-storyline insight to be worth a read.
Lumps, Bumps and BodySlams by Michael Markus is a novel that features a lawyer and mayoral candidate with the amazing name Lawson Dawson. That’s about the highlight of the sample, however, and despite the theme there’s nothing to suggest wrestling fans would find this particularly gripping.