Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book 2 Down!

Off my 101 books in 1001 days list, I've knocked off another - Sex, Lies and Headlocks by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham.

1. Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Iran - Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God - Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams of My Father - Barack Obama
7. Beloved - Toni Morrison
8. 'Tis - Frank McCourt
9. The Host - Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess - Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th - Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine - Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers - J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula - Bram Stoker
24. Paradise Lost - John Milton
25. The Inferno - Dante
26. Towelhead - Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks - Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies - Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours - Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
36. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
37. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
38. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point - Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
44. Lolita - Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement - Ian McEwan
46. All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
47. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
48. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett - Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise - Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours - Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
57. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
59. Play it as it Lays - Joan Didion
60. Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister - Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs - Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo d'Allaire
64. Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes - Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians - Will Ferguson
67. I was a Teenage Katima-Victim - Will Ferguson
68. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything - Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish - Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business - Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore - Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders - Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys - James Reaney
77. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage - Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
82. Coraline - Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror - Gregory Maguire
85. Snarky Responses to Yahoo! Answers - Matthew Cory
86. Sorbonne Confidential - Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K - Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma - Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire - Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls - Damon Runyon
98. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig
99. He's Just Not that Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. The Ultimate Weight Solution - Dr. Phil McGraw
101. Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life - Dr. Phil McGraw

This book is a really interesting read, as it covers a lot of ground that is familiar to the knowledgeable wrestling fan (the transition from territories to national promotions; the gamble that was Wrestlemania; the Monday Night Wars; Vince McMahon's federal steroid trial; Owen Hart's death; WWE going public), but from new angles and with a lot more depth than many others. Full of interviews from those who were there, former WCW and WWE employees as well as Turner and USA executives, agents, bookers and the like. And yet while covering some complicated ground on the legal and 'television industry' front, it is emanently readable and easy-to-follow. Not a long read clocking in at 250 or so pages, I downed it in about 36 hours (and that's with a baby and housekeeping and job searching on the go). It's a must read for fans who think they know the score from wrestling's behind the scenes scandals and screwjobs, the history of Vince McMahon and other colourful wrestling characters, etc.

My only complaint about this book is, while it tries to cover a lot of ground and gets the broad contours right, if you are looking for dead-on accuracy in terms of chronology, dates, etc. there are several notable errors in this book. For example, it states that Lex Luger slammed the 500-plus pound world champion Yokozuna on July 4, 1995, and after an aborted push as a result of that feat of strength, left WWE for WCW in the fall of the same year. Untrue; while Lex Luger did make his debut on Nitro's inaugural episode on the fall of 1995, his slam of Yokozuna had occured on Independence Day 1993; while he did indeed never live up to the expectations of Vince McMahon and the WWE, it took them longer than 6 months to give up on their pet project.

Having said that, I don't want to take away from the book because they got a few facts and figures mixed up; here the often-joked-about phrase of not letting the facts get in the way of the truth applies; the fundamental story is a true and important one to be told, and if a few dates on the timeline were fudged for smoothness's sake, it doesn't take away from the overarching story of wrestling as a business that had lost its innocence ... or perhaps, much like Britney Spears, it was more a case of fans becoming aware it had never been that innocent to begin with. For major wrestling fans, a must-read; for casual fans, one I'd encourage you to read, but to learn about the industry as a whole, not for specific dates and figures; non-fans? This will confirm your worst suspicions about wrestling, and as such is a must-read for fodder against your idiot, wrestling fan friends (just don't use it against me! lol).

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