I started really watching wrestling in late 2000 during the Attitude Era when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) at the time. We were young cI started really watching wrestling in late 2000 during the Attitude Era when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) at the time. We were young college kids. Up to that point, I'd only glimpsed wrestling on television. I had a cousin who was big fan of wrestling when we were kids and was convinced that she was going to marry Shawn Michaels. She talked nonstop about him. I knew a little about NWO and Goldberg, but that was the extent of my knowledge. When I started watching wrestling, I was solely watching the WWE product. I was immediately taken by characters like Lita and The Rock. I didn't even give the WCW brand a glance. I was so invested in the stories the WWE was telling that it never even crossed my mind to give the other guys a chance.
On my birthday in 2001, Vince made the announcement on RAW that he'd acquired WCW. I still didn't really know who Eric Bischoff was at that point. However, I started going back, watching old matches and shows from both products. I wanted to know the history of wrestling and its players. I blame my love of history and needing to know the history of things for this. I've always thought that Eric Bischoff was a great heel character once I learned about him, and I never hated the guy. I understand why he is a polarizing character, but I never despised him or felt the same level of antipathy that many fans have for him.
I recently watched every episode of Monday Night Wars on the WWE Network, which was fascinating. A fellow wrestling friend gifted me with a few wrestling memoirs to check out after we had some long discussions about the rivalry between the WWE and WCW (Bischoff says it was less a rivalry and more a "rout" during the weeks they reigned supreme). Controversy Creates Cash was one of the books in this treasure trove. Eric Bischoff's book focuses more on the business side of wrestling rather than wrestling. Bischoff was a businessman, and it makes sense that his book focused on the backstage politics and troubles. He does talk about his younger years and other failed ventures that he tried in the beginning, and he jumps around quite a bit on various subjects. Some of these sections felt a bit like filler and unnecessary, especially since they lacked buildup, but perhaps there was a connection that I was missing between these scenes.
Bischoff gives entirely too much book time to his dislike of internet wrestling sites. Mentioning them once or twice would've sufficed. Often his thoughts are mentioned as asides when he discusses certain changes he made or ideas he incorporated and how wrestling sites misconstrued the intent behind these things. He even goes as far as to make disparaging remarks about how these people must be losers in real life. In a portion of his book he accuses Missy Hyatt of being catty, but his own remarks about "dirtsheets" and some of the talent/backstage employees show that he is equally as catty and political as they are. I found it particularly hilarious that he singled out Dave Meltzer who runs Wrestling Observer, accusing his paid newsletter of being unedited trash that seemed written by a 5th grader when this book was pretty terribly edited. Even in the lines about Meltzer, the word "wrestler" is spelled wrong. There's some irony there.
Eric Bischoff accuses other wrestling memoirs of being revisionist history meant to paint the author in a more favorable light. However, no matter how straightforward Bischoff believes his own narrative is, he falls into that category as well, seeming to bathe himself in a softer narrative as suits him. Anyone who's ever watched any documentary that Bischoff has been part of, especially the ones centered around the Monday Night Wars, is hardly fooled by this kinder, gentler Bischoff he tried to sell in this book. It's interesting to see how Bischoff's memories of events differ from how the other players view the events. Such as how he felt the WCW did great things with its cruiserweight division versus how people like Chris Jericho (who was part of this cruiserweight push) view those same events, which are often memories filled with frustration on their part.
However, despite the mixed feelings I had about Bischoff's account of things, I can't say that this book isn't compelling. Bischoff admits that during that time he lacked insight and didn't think about the bigger picture of some of his ideas and changes. Reading his version of some events prove there still is some lack of insight on his part. Eric talks about Paul Heyman and how he felt that Heyman was so full of shit that he believed his own delusions. That felt like the pot calling the kettle black. Bischoff seems locked in his own mind in portions of this story, choosing to believe his version of events. Do I think Eric Bischoff was the death of WCW? No, I don't. I think he got caught in the whirlwind that is business politics and was dragged along to an inevitable end. I think his assessment of the business side of wrestling as far as perceptions and the problems faced being part of a corporation like Turner/Time Warner are probably the most honest parts of this memoir....more
Originally published in 1988, Alien Child is a young adult book that follows a human girl named Nita who is being raiMore reviews @ The BiblioSanctum.
Originally published in 1988, Alien Child is a young adult book that follows a human girl named Nita who is being raised by a catlike creature, Llipel, in the remains of a medical institute. Llipel’s companion, Llare, stays holed away from them in another part of the institute that she’s not allowed to access. Nita begins to believe that she’s the last surviving human on Earth as she learns more about what happened to the rest of humanity and how she, a human girl, came to exist in a world where humans no longer roam. Then, she discovers that Llare is actually raising a human boy of the same age named Sven.
This book seems typical fare for young adult books published during the 80s and 90s. I think if I’d read this as a kid, I probably would’ve liked it more. Reading it as an adult, it was a conceptually interesting read, but not the most compelling read. It felt a bit too juvenile, even for my tastes. This skews toward the younger side of young adult. We meet Nita when she’s young and follow her to her fifteenth year, and this book focuses on the issues that she goes through as she ages from precocious child to puberty. These issues are handled in ways that a child would relate to them and not in a way that could be seen as gross or inappropriate, except for maybe one scene between Nita and Sven.
The science fiction aspect of the story is where things get a little atypical. This book explores themes such as “nature vs. nuture.” It questions how would a human child behave if raised by a being that didn’t have an innate curiosity about things, who believed that all answers come in due time. As a mom of two, I could definitely see a human child being overly curious as Nita was, despite having a guardian who was cautious and patient. Honestly, I didn’t think Sargent addressed this as well as she could have. Nita didn’t really seem that much different from a child who hasn’t been raised in isolation, and she took to many things much better than you’d expect.
Sargent did a better job trying to explain the horrors of humanity to the children and what led to their destruction, questioning whether humans were even a race worth saving once the children had full knowledge of their heritage. It might not explore this as deeply as my adult mind would like, but keeping the age group this is aimed toward in mind, this is a great way to start challenging their ideas, especially what they feel the fate of humanity should be after learning something pivotal later in the story.
Twelve-year-old me probably would’ve lapped this story up, and I think it probably would be great for kids as an introduction to science fiction and perhaps as a starting point for some of those uncomfortable conversations parents eventually have to have with their kids but are not quite sure how to get there. Adult me thought this was an okay story, but can still see why this is considered a classic and brings out nostalgia among old science fiction fans....more
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this comic was provided to me by Tachyon Publications via Netgalley. I would liRead more reviews @ The BiblioSanctum
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this comic was provided to me by Tachyon Publications via Netgalley. I would like to thank the publisher for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed from here forward are my own.
This is my second trip with Nalo Hopkinson. Last year, I read her novel Brown Girl in the Ring. I thought it was a magical book, but it took me a while to warm up to the main character. I enjoyed the book enough to know that I'd eventually get around to reading more of her work. Falling in Love with Hominids seemed to be the perfect book for that since it features short stories written by her, and I knew that meant I'd get a range of what she's capable of as a writer. It houses speculative stories from serious to comedic, featuring such things as dryads and fire-breathing chickens (because they're part dragon, duh!).
This review is going to be short and to the point, which is highly unusual for me, because I don't want to spoil too many of the stories for potential readers.
There were a few stories in this book that left me thinking about them long after I'd read them, such as The Easthound, which reminded me of The Country of Ice Cream Star, but with a more sinister twist on what's happening to the adults. Many of the stories, though, built up an anticipation in me that left me feeling slightly deflated once I got to the end and they didn't deliver the punch I was expecting. With some of these stories, I enjoyed the idea of them more than I did the execution of them. I can really only thing of one story that I disliked out of the whole bunch (Blushing). I think Hopkinson has some great ideas, and I enjoy how she plays around with culture, myths, humor, and legends in her stories. However, I just seem to have a hard time connecting completely to her writing.
Despite that, I would recommend this for someone who wants to get a taste of Hopkinson's work. She has a little bit of everything here for fans of speculative fiction. She's a terrific writer, and my lack of connection to her work doesn't reflect on her as writer. There are some authors who you just can't make yourself love no matter how much you try. I won't let this stop me from reading her other books, though. I like her books. I'm right on the line with her where one book could make all the difference between love and like....more
Rob Quillen is a musician known for being one of the final contestants on a reality show called So You Think You Can SMore reviews @ The BiblioSanctum
Rob Quillen is a musician known for being one of the final contestants on a reality show called So You Think You Can Sing? Despite that, Rob really isn’t one of those fifteen minute famer types and really loves music. After the tragic death of his girlfriend in a plane crash, he’s directed by a mysterious stranger to go to Cloud County, Tennessee where he’ll learn a song that will mend broken hearts. Rob is not a Tufa, but is often mistaken as one because of his looks, which he attributes to being part Filipino. As strange as the stranger’s words are to him, Rob travels to Needsville in search of this musical balm for his soul. He’s not sure if he believes he’ll find it, but he needs something to take his mind off his tragedy and get him away from people who know his face. What he finds in Needsville is mystery, an ages old power struggle, and secrets that could change the Tufa forever. Caught in the middle of this all is the sister of one the First Daughters, a feral Tufa woman who roams the woods.
This second book proved to be much more political in terms of how the Tufa live and what their future holds. As I mentioned in the last book, despite most people thinking the Tufa are all one people, they are actually two factions who are vying for power. The true villain of these books–who is actually both father and villain, in a sense–has his plots revealed more. Unlike the two villains of the last book, there’s more depth to this character and his villainy. His presence means more to the Tufa people, and his possible demise also leaves all the Tufa in a state of flux, wondering what will happen to them if he ceases to exist. This book explores the depths of cruelty and how deep hatred can run, even for those people should protect and love. Bledsoe plays around with some interesting lore and ideas where the Tufa are concerned, and I’ve enjoyed seeing where he takes their story.
I can’t stress enough that these are not pretty, flowery books. There’s plenty of violence and language. Life in the mountains is hard, even for the Tufas. Because there’s more focus on finding out who and what the Tufa are, you don’t get as many snatches of random songs as in the last book instead you get more portents and history, especially the history of where this bad blood comes from. However, the songs you do get in this book tell stories just as powerful as the last, and you get longer, fleshed out musical tales, which makes up for it because it probably all evens out in the end. Beauty is expressed in their music, but still there’s so much tragedy in it, as well, expressing the ordeals and hardships of the Tufa life.
I did listen to this one nearly the whole way through this time, but I was able to better pay attention this time even with Rudnicki’s deep, lulling voice. I think it helped tremendously that there was only one narrator for this book instead of having various breaks in the story as the narrator changes. That works for some stories, but this definitely benefited from only having one narrator. Still no singing, though, so if you’re interested in these books because you expect to get some off-key narrator singing, don’t bother. The verses are chanted, which is probably the best deal for the narrator and readers alike.
These books do an amazing job of being very accessible to new readers and acting as standalones. Sure, the same characters show up, but Bledsoe provides an amazing amount of context to what they mean to the story, even down to having some passages read almost exactly the same from the previous books. You won’t get lost regardless of which book you start with it seems, but for even more context about the Tufa, I’m sure you should get around to reading the first book at some point as the politics seem to be becoming a larger focal point now than in the first book where it was only beginning to burgeon, even though you know something’s simmering underneath the surface.
I wasn’t supremely happy with the wording of the very last line of the ending or the “epilogue” type thing that follows, especially depending on how the next story goes as far as that “epilogue” goes. Rob could sometimes come off as a “special snowflake” since he is definitely not Tufa. I liked that he didn’t learn that somewhere on his great-great-great grandmother’s side he had a Tufa relative, but there were times when things were just a little too convenient for Rob. Also, it would’ve been nice to learn more about Rob and his anger issues. I did like that, even though Rob wasn’t Tufa, he had the music in his soul and didn’t need that qualifier to make him a musician who had music in his bones. I found this story just as engaging as the first as more of the Tufa’s true nature comes to light. This also means that the story becomes more whimsical as readers learn more truths about the Tufa people. Whether you prefer the more grounded magical realism of the first book or the magical realism blended with magical fantasy of this one will totally be up to you as the reader. I enjoyed both. Side note: A painting mentioned in both this book and the prior book is a real painting. I had to go stare at it a while on Wikipedia....more