In a world filled with long-winded, self-indulgent memoirs, Jayson Paul’s (a.k.a. JTG) “Damn! Why Did I Write This Book?” is an interesting experienceIn a world filled with long-winded, self-indulgent memoirs, Jayson Paul’s (a.k.a. JTG) “Damn! Why Did I Write This Book?” is an interesting experience. If you’re like me and really buy these books for all the wacky backstage antics, you’re certainly not going to be disappointed. The bulk of JTG’s brief sixty page magnum opus takes the reader through the insane world of professional wrestling and its ridiculous backstage politics. While JTG doesn’t exactly name names, wrestling fans should be able to figure out who he’s speaking about at any given moment.
While I understand that this is just one man’s side to several instances that occurred behind the curtain, it doesn’t shock me to hear just how petty some of the performers can be. Without the protection of a union, everyone on the roster has to make sure they maintain their spot on the card and because of this, it creates an ultra-competitive environment backstage. Basically, if someone decides that they just plain do not like you, you’ll find yourself having a hard time changing their mind.
JTG’s book isn't going to blow anyone’s mind but I’m sure that wasn't his intent. It doesn’t carry the weight of a Bret Hart, Mick Foley or Chris Jericho biography but above all else, it should serve as a warning to those looking to get into the wrestling business. Despite their recent partnership with the Be-A-Star Alliance (an organization founded to put an end to bullying), it appears that the boys in the back didn’t get the memo.
My first experience with Jo Nesbo came about two years ago when I received his first Harry Hole novel, The Bat, as a gift. Honestly, I didn’t see whatMy first experience with Jo Nesbo came about two years ago when I received his first Harry Hole novel, The Bat, as a gift. Honestly, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I found that the story was all over the map like a dysfunctional GPS. However, when I heard he had recently released a stand-alone thriller*, I thought I would give him another shot. I’m glad I did.
Blood on Snow tells the story of Olav, a “fixer” for a heroin dealer in Olso. When a job goes awry, Olav becomes his boss’ target. Reaching out to his boss’ competitor, Olav sets out to “fix” his former employer before fleeing Norway forever.
While I usually love stories that meander, sometimes a straightforward story with a simple plot can get the job done just as well, as long as the writing does its job in sustaining my interest, which Nesbo does in spades here when it comes to the novel’s protagonist and narrator, Olav.
Nesbo’s Olav is a simple man who longs for companionship but due to the nature of his work, is unable to form a substantial relationship with anyone. Throughout the course of the story, you learn of his troubled childhood, his battle with dyslexia accompanied by a limited education; effectively endearing him to the reader. He’s a very sympathetic killer – a man whom the system has seemingly failed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he spends the whole two hundred pages whining and playing the poor me card, but you definitely feel like he deserves better.
Blood on Snow has inadvertently motivated me to revisit Nesbo’s signature Harry Hole series. I’ve got to assume the series gets better as evidenced by how much I enjoyed this quick read.
*The novel is no longer a stand-alone as a sequel entitled “The Midnight Sun” is currently being written.
As great as Matt Fraction’s work on Hawkeye has been so far, I can’t help but feel this was all a part of a plan to have the character’s name changedAs great as Matt Fraction’s work on Hawkeye has been so far, I can’t help but feel this was all a part of a plan to have the character’s name changed to “Hawkguy”, which I’m 100% in support of.
Oh, and to also introduce Pizza Dog as the next Avenger.
At the urging of Spider-man and Wolverine, Clint Barton (a.k.a Hawkeye/Hawkguy) decides to take some time to himself over the holidays to repair his battle-damaged personal life. Unfortunately, when you’re an Avenger, time off is more of an abstract concept than a real option. It isn’t long before he’s tangled up with a gun-toting, tracksuit-wearing mob with a penchant for using the word “bro”.
While Fraction has been doing some excellent work with Marvel’s often overlooked Avenger, I feel the real star here is David Aja. Aja’s work isn’t flashy, it’s not over the top, it’s almost minimalist in a way. He’s not trying to wow audiences with loud colours or inventive two page spreads; he’s dialing it back to a point where it’s refreshing. Now, if I could only get my hands on some prints..
Little Hits is another strong entry into Fraction’s acclaimed Hawkeye series. If you haven’t been reading this, you’re missing out.
After the brutal events at the close of The Wolf in Winter, Charlie Parker rents a property in the small beach side Maine community of Boreas, in an eAfter the brutal events at the close of The Wolf in Winter, Charlie Parker rents a property in the small beach side Maine community of Boreas, in an effort to heal his wounds in peace. However, knowing Parker, trouble seems to follow him no matter where he lays his head.
Parker’s neighbours, Ruth and Amanda Winter, are in hiding, although they refuse to admit it to Charlie. Evil men whose origins are rooted in the operation of a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War have their eyes set on the Winter’s demise. Does Parker have enough left in the tank to protect them or will the years of abuse put upon his body finally prove to be too much?
The thirteenth book in Connolly’s acclaimed Charlie Parker series is upon us (well, upon the UK anyway – North American release is set to hit shelves on September 29th, 2015). First thing you’ll notice is that unlike the majority of the Parker series (The Reapers being a Louis/Angel novel), it’s written from the viewpoint of a narrator rather than through words of Charlie himself. While this was jarring at first, it quickly became clear that Connolly had a much grander vision in mind, something that would be difficult to do through the eyes of Parker alone. Using this style, Connolly crafted a rich history as well as compelling characters that combined to keep me glued the whole way through.
Seeing as Parker is taking some much needed “me-time”, Connolly threw in more than enough characters to pick up the slack for his signature sleuth. Louis and Angel aren’t far from Parker’s doorstep as they keep a watchful eye over their friend and as always, they provide some laugh out loud moments through witty dialogue that has become a trademark of the Parker series.
What would a Parker book be if it didn’t have a few dangerous men lurking in the shadows? A villain dubbed The Jigsaw Man? Sign me up. And while these evil cronies aren’t the scariest adversaries Parker has had to combat, they’re certainly some of the more desperate ones. These men have spent years running from their past so with their anonymity threatened, you can bet they’re going to fight back.
For the longest time, The White Road had been my favourite Parker book, but I think A Song of Shadows may have eclipsed it. The events at the conclusion of A Song of Shadows have reinvigorated the series showing readers that Connolly has a lot left in the tank.
If you’ve ever met Shane Bishop, chances are someone out there wants to get rid of you. Bishop isn’t a killer or hit man per se, he’s more of a profesIf you’ve ever met Shane Bishop, chances are someone out there wants to get rid of you. Bishop isn’t a killer or hit man per se, he’s more of a professional set-up artist. If a company wants you out the door, he might plant drugs on you, frame you for breach of contract or any number of illegal activities, then call the cops and off to jail you go. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.
However, when Shane himself is the victim of a set-up, he’s blackmailed into doing the dirty work of a powerful corporation. Can Shane succeed in his mission and save his own ass in the process or will years of bad karma finally catch up with him?
I can’t say I’ve ever read a book where the lead character overrules and badmouths the narrator. The style chosen by author Bryce Allen was completely alien to me and while it was jarring at first, I believe it worked – especially where Shane was completely unlikeable throughout, a bold choice to make when you’re asking your reader to stick with this guy for nearly two hundred pages. In fact, there were occasions where Bishop almost seemed too offensive, like Allen was turning up Shane’s personality to eleven in an attempt to piss off just about everybody who picks up this book. However, despite more than a few suspect and off colour remarks, there were still moments where I found myself laughing out loud.
The Spartak Trigger is an interesting experiment and something I’d recommend if you can handle hanging out with a misogynistic, racist jerk who speaks like a YouTube commentator for a few hours. Allen seems like a fun writer who isn’t afraid to take chances and I’m interested to see what he’s got planned next.
Deadpool and his new wife Shiklah are forced to fend off the aggressive forces of Shiklah’s jilted lover, Dracula. While they are off making quick worDeadpool and his new wife Shiklah are forced to fend off the aggressive forces of Shiklah’s jilted lover, Dracula. While they are off making quick work of the vampire horde, Deadpool’s friend, S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Preston, discovers a terrible secret that threatens her relationship with Deadpool himself.
Look, I’ll be the first person to admit that while I enjoy comics, I'm not exactly current when it comes to big crossover storylines. This particular volume of Deadpool occurs within the time frame of the Marvel Comics event “Original Sin” and it left me feeling a little lost in the grand scheme of things as I didn’t quite understand what was going on. There’s also a weird wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey thing going on involving an afroed Deadpool and a lesser known super heroine, Dazzler.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but the artwork in this volume was flat out terrible. Maybe I’m just not a fan of John Lucas, who knows. At times, it almost looked like it was bordering on John Kricfalusi territory, which is the wrong fit for superheroes (unless you’re talking Powdered Toast Man). I hope that they bring back Scott Koblish for the remainder of the series, his work has been excellent.
Volumes five and six haven’t been as strong as the first four and it has me worried in regards to the series going forward. Duggan and Posehn have proven to be excellent writers, so I hope they find their footing and get things back on track.