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Under-the-radar wrestling book recommendations

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On 6/28/2020 at 2:34 PM, WingedEagle said:

Anyone else check this out since the question was posed a few years back?

I got "When It Was Big Time" about 2-3 years ago, and can honestly say it's one of the most fascinating books about wrestling I've ever read. Plenty of information, tons of photos.

I don't know if Rock is still doing printings of it, but if you catch him offering, jump on it! (If I remember correctly, he's currently working on a similar book based on the LA territory. I can't wait for this!)

 

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7 hours ago, JustYourAvgBozo said:

I got "When It Was Big Time" about 2-3 years ago, and can honestly say it's one of the most fascinating books about wrestling I've ever read. Plenty of information, tons of photos.

I don't know if Rock is still doing printings of it, but if you catch him offering, jump on it! (If I remember correctly, he's currently working on a similar book based on the LA territory. I can't wait for this!)

 

I think Rock said he's doing a final print run of "Big Time" before he publishes the LA book.  "Big Time" is a great book.  

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Just stumbled upon this:

The Chronicles of Mad Maxine - $5.99 on Kindle

It's a fictional account of Mad Maxine's brief tenure in wrestling.

Her reason for that (transcript courtesy of ProWrestlingStories.com):

Quote

“It’s a novel because I could not make myself write an autobiography or memoir. What I found was, when I was writing it, I was kind of…” Jeannine continues after a brief pause to maybe arrange her thoughts. “In the mid-’80s, kayfabe was still a thing. People were still paying a lot of attention to making sure people protected the business and didn’t let on all the secrets and how things worked. That just got under my skin, and I took that seriously. The other reason was that I became friends with people I was training with, and I didn’t feel comfortable outing or writing anything that would cast them in a bad light. So it was easier for me to try and capture the feeling of living in Camp Moolah but not the absolute details.”

I haven't bought it or read it, but I'll check out and sample and decide if it's something I'd enjoy.

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I've went through the thread and saw a lot of books that I own and enjoy. But, for the heck of it, I'll toss in a couple I haven't seen listed that I feel others would enjoy.

-"Professional Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest: A History, 1883 to the Present" by Steven Verrier

There is a lot of information packed into 232 pages of small-type. 

-"The Four Horsemen: A Timeline" by Dick Bourne.

My brother got this for me one Christmas. Resident of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Bourne breaks down the different angles, shows and storylines on how the Horsemen became and thrived throughout JCP into WCW.

-"WWE Book Of Rules". The cover is made to look like a Manila envelope complete with string tie, which means you can't just slide in back on your shelf without risk of ripping. It's basically what MAD Magazine would do if they had the idea; "official documents", "office circulars" and decrees (for example, they have a document stating that Bayley's "wacky inflatable tube men are not under contract", therefore that's why you see them at stores and auto dealers on their off time). It's 100% goofy but if you can get it on the cheap, it's harmless fun. (Best served as a library book. You'll read it once, have a few chuckles, then return it.)

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Just finished the Bill Apter book. More of a collection of stories than an actual bio, but Bill comes across as likable, and the stories are entertaining. That said, dont look for any real inside information.

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On 1/13/2019 at 4:35 PM, C.S. said:

How is the David Shoemaker book The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling?

It's currently on sale for $4.99 on Kindle, which is its lowest price to date, according to ereaderiq.com.

I really liked the author's articles on Deadspin, but is this more of an overview of wrestling history? I'm kind of burned out on those (and I still have The Comic Book History of Professional Wrestling to read anyway).

https://smile.amazon.com/Squared-Circle-Death-Professional-Wrestling-ebook/dp/B008BM4MN0/

On 1/12/2020 at 9:18 PM, Dav'oh said:

Mainly obits - Gordy, Pillman, Rude, Davey Boy et al - an interesting chapter on S.D Jones, leading to a look at race in wrestling, and, yes, some overview of pro-wrestling in the context of eras. Definitely worth five Kindle bucks, but I've noticed you (and most of this board) are more knowledgable than I, so the things I found interesting may be old hat to you.

On 1/20/2020 at 5:26 PM, C.S. said:

Your recommendation convinced me! I will definitely grab the Shoemaker book when it's $4.99 again. 

It's $4.99 again, so I guess I better grab it this time... 

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Pete Gas's book is also free

I bought it a couple of years ago and it's a decent read. 

Wish I had waited, just because it's now free, but it was worth the money IMO.

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In the Pit with Piper is currently $4.99 on Kindle. 

It's supposed to have its fair share of BS, but I'll get it anyway because I'm sure it's entertaining BS. 

Note: This is NOT the recent book written by his kids - it's the older one Piper wrote with Robert Picarello.

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The Laprade authored Andre bio is $4.99 as well on Kindle.

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You really remind me that I need to buy this as soon as I can have more free time. That and Mad Dog Vachon's bio from Pat as well.

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3 hours ago, Al said:

The Laprade authored Andre bio is $4.99 as well on Kindle.

Thanks. How is this? (Update: I read the first chapter through the "Look Inside" feature on the book's Amazon page, and I'm sold. Bought!)

I'm pretty sure I read the other Andre book - the one put out by WWE - but I don't remember a thing about it. 

BTW, spend $30 on Kindle books and get $8 in Kindle credit between August 5th and 12th.

https://www.amazon.com/kr/d6e5aa28-fc2d-4f8e-916d-bf49f2a9e6e6

Wish I didn't buy the Piper book yesterday, before the offer, but it is what it is. I doubt I'll find $30 worth of books to buy anyway.

The Vader and Sabu books are $10 each, so if you want those and the Andre and Piper books, you've just spent $30. (Edit: Actually, because the prices end in .99, you'll need to buy another book. That's how they get you. It is impossible to spend exactly $30.)

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I’m through three chapters and I’m convinced.

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On 1/13/2019 at 4:35 PM, C.S. said:

David Shoemaker book The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling

Finished this the other night, and I highly recommend it.

The opening chapter(s) - an overview of the early carnival days of wrestling - is slow going and no longer interesting to me because I've read it all before. After that, the book switches formats, with the remaining 90% being a series of bios. Most of those are great. I wonder if the early historical overview should've been dropped entirely, with the book just diving right into the bios.

The author is sometimes guilty of being in love with his own bullshit interpretations and pretentiously trying to find artistry and meaning where there is none. But that kind of adds to the appeal of the book in an odd way. 

Despite my nitpicks, this is definitely worth reading. It's one of the better wrestling books I've read in a while. Granted, I've been reading shit like Mayor Kane, so that's not a hard bar to climb, but this is still genuinely good. Shoemaker can write, even if it's obvious he knows it too and likes to show off with heavy-handed college paper philosophizing.

I haven't started the Andre book yet. I decided to tackle In the Pit with Piper first. I know it has been accused of being heavy on BS, but does anyone have any details on that? Piper admits he's going by memory, which is bound to be faulty at times. The worst I've seen so far is an epic misspelling of Roy Shire's name, which his co-writer should have caught and fixed. Otherwise, it seems far more credible than Hulk Hogan's Whopper Jr. with Fries of a book - but I'm only a few chapters in, so there's still time for Piper to bedazzle me with bullshit.

 

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5 hours ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

The book written by Piper's kids is way better.

I'm sure it is, but I'm also sure I'll appreciate having read the earlier book so I can compare and contrast the two. 

I wish the book written by the kids would go on sale. $13 for an ebook is stupidity that I will never support (I blame the publisher, not the authors) - $10 and under is my sweet spot.

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I recall reading about this years ago and I'm interested in looking into purchasing-  Is there a good "coffee table" book on lucha? Is that the Monda Lucha a-go-go book? I basically want a book with mask pictures and iconic "suits and masks" pics.

 

Just finished the Pat Laprade Andre book and reading through Sabu's right now. Both are just fantastic - I'll post more thoughts when done Sabu's. 

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16 minutes ago, Tawren said:

I recall reading about this years ago and I'm interested in looking into purchasing-  Is there a good "coffee table" book on lucha? Is that the Monda Lucha a-go-go book? I basically want a book with mask pictures and iconic "suits and masks" pics.

I read that years ago and remember it being fun and pretty much what you’re looking for. But just to be sure, see if you can find sample pages from the book or a YouTube video of someone flipping through it.

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The Pat Laprade Andre book is once again $5 on Kindle.

I subscribe to the Kindle Daily Deals mailing list, and a new thing they're doing is giving out credits for books they think might interest you based on what else you've bought/read.

I just got a $6 credit for Rowdy (the Piper book written by his kids), which brings the price down from $12.99 to $6.99. I was waiting for it to drop to $5, but it has never gone below $12.99 on Kindle since its release four years ago, so I may just buy it now at this price.

Has anyone else read it? 

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It's a really good account of his early years growing up in Canada and breaking into wrestling for sure. I remember it being kinda rushed when recapping the bulk of his career though 

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