Game Of Shadows is about BALCO and the impact that it had on the sporting world at large from Baseball (Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, BenGame Of Shadows is about BALCO and the impact that it had on the sporting world at large from Baseball (Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Benito Santiago, etc...) to Track and Field (Marion Jones) to Football (Bill Romanowski). But the main crux of this book focused squarely on Barry Bonds, detailing his steroid use starting in 1999.
If Hollywood ever decides to make a movie about BALCO, this is the book they will no doubt use as it's blue print. I for one would love to see it happen because this book was a gripping, fantastic read. I could not put this book down for one second and that's saying a lot since I knew pretty much the entire sordid story before even reading it.
With all the knowledge of what's been happening in real life concerning BALCO, the more I read the book, the more I devoured what was happening in the pages here. Knowing how it all ends, it was fascinating watching, er...reading about this group of people and associates that comprised BALCO as they were building their house of cards. A very shaky house of cards at that. It amazes me that the house didn't collapse sooner than it did with Victor Conte at the helm. He is nothing more than a spoiled little child, crying out for attention. He never amounted to anything in life so the only way he could feel like "someone" was to hang on to celebrities.
I can recommend this if you want an excellent read that will have you flipping page after page, even if it is "incomplete" in that Barry Bonds was never convicted in a court of law or that the book came out before his assault on Hank Aaron's all-time Home Run record which is not documented within'.
Highly recommend this book. Check it out.
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There are books and then there are BOOKS and then there is The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. This is the Granddaddy of alThere are books and then there are BOOKS and then there is The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. This is the Granddaddy of all Rock and Roll Biographies. It's the benchmark for which all future Rock Bio's will be judged. Everything that you have heard about The Dirt is all that and more. This is Book Report #20. That's how long I had to wait in line with the waiting list for this one at the Library. I've been on a major book reading binge and the first book that I put a hold on was for this one.
So, was the wait worth it? Hell fucking yeah it was. I really don't know why I never got around to reading this one before. It's been out since 2001. That's 10 fucking years. I always had an excuse or I was too busy and kept putting it off for whatever reason. So, I sit here now able to finally cross this off my to-read list.
As for The Dirt, it's all here. All the decadence, debauchery, chaos and fights you've heard about over the years are front and center here. When I originally heard about the book being written by Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars I had no idea how it would work. In my mind I originally thought that the 4 of them got together and hashed it out like a regular novel. Not even close. Each member writes their own chapter starting from the beginning and at the end of the chapter it usually ends in a "cliffhanger". Then the next member picks up that thread and takes it from there. Shampoo, lather, rinse, repeat. You get the idea.
I'm glad this is how they chose to put the book together because everyone gets their say and we get to hear their point of view. It all works seamlessly, which makes it even harder to put the book down. Even if you already know the stories (which I did), you still can't put it down.
I knew this book was good when I caught myself carrying the book from room to room, even if I wasn't in the process of reading. The lions share of the book is handled by Nikki. He is the anchor to which all the others expand on. Nikki's stories I think are the best as he does a great job of painting the picture for the reader. Tommy and Vince follow suit and Mick pops up now and then. Even though Mick has the least amount to say in the book, he really comes off pretty good here. He may be the quietest member of the band, but he has a lot to say when does open up. Some of the things he says will have you agreeing with him and leaving you with a little smirk on your face.
Mick, you fucking rock dude! There are additional authors that also contribute to the book when in need of some serious explanation from the likes of Doc McGhee, John Corabi etc....
Amid all the chaos and insanity of the book, there is a very heartbreaking story when Vince recounts his time regarding his Daughter Skylar and her battle with cancer. If you are not touched by what you are reading, you are dead inside. I've heard the story countless times before. But to actually read Vince's words takes on a whole 'nother level.
It's not all doom and gloom here though. There are so many stories here that will leave you spellbound at the absurdity of what went down on tours, recording studios, etc....
And there are some pretty funny moments that will definitely leave you laughing. For me I would say cockeyed "Geena Davis" is the best and funniest pertaining to a blind date that Nikki had the misfortune of getting stuck on. I will say nothing more. Go read the fucking book to find out more about it. Haha.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone. You don't have to be a fan of Motley Crue. Hell, you can hate all the members and you will still come away completely entertained from the first page to the very last page. Of the 20 books I have read so far the past couple of months, I Am Ozzy and The Dirt are the only ones I plan on buying and adding to my personal library collection.
On related topic, the proposed film for The Dirt is being held up in limbo as they search for another Director. I really hope to see the book done justice and that it makes it's way to a theater soon.
Rating: 10 Stars out of 10 (Yes, I usually give out 5 Stars as the highest possible rating. So, 10 should tell you how fucking nuts, crazy and awesome this book is) :)...more
I'm a little late to the game when it came to reading the series. I knew about the book before the series ever became an idea for a TV show. But likeI'm a little late to the game when it came to reading the series. I knew about the book before the series ever became an idea for a TV show. But like everything in life, things kept popping up that kept me from reading the book. So, my introduction to The Walking Dead was the TV series itself and with Season 2 only a day way (that would be tomorrow, yo), I decided to read the [b]The Walking Dead: Volume 1 (Days Gone Bye) Trade Paperback.
How did it hold up? Very good. Although some of the dialogue scenes were a little too much "on-the-nose", it's still a very engaging read with very likable characters and one not so likable character. As in the TV show, I hate Shane. I just think he is a douche to sell out his partner [b]Rick Grimes[/b], just so that he can get laid. The interesting thing about reading this book is how many editorial changes they made from print to screen, the biggest being ....
...when Shane lures Rick out into the woods with the intent of killing him, only to have Carl Grimes follow and kill Shane, saving his father's life. The other major addition to the story was the inclusion of Daryl Dixon to add some tension within the group for the TV series that was missing in the book.
As good as the writing is and is the main draw for those coming in based on the name of Robert Kirkman, it's the art by Tony Moore that will have you salivating with each and every page. His art in general and more to the point, his art within these pages is so good that they will make every one want to pick up a pencil and start drawing. It's THAT good. The book itself is colored in Grey Tones, which I'm okay with. It's a very somber world and the colors play into it nicely. But I wouldn't object to a massive compilation book with colored interiors, much like they did with Bone[/b] by Jeff Smith.
I highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of the TV series. This is a definite Buy for me....more
Spawn / Batman is your basic and typical by-the-books crossover story whenever 2 competing Superheroes hook up. Their paths cross. They kick each otheSpawn / Batman is your basic and typical by-the-books crossover story whenever 2 competing Superheroes hook up. Their paths cross. They kick each other's asses. They join forces. They take down an Arms Dealer. They save the city. They go their separate ways. Then end.
This book could have been so much better and a whole lot more meaningful if it wasn't just a one-shot deal. How can you expect to really have any depth story-wise if all we get is one comic book? Most crossovers of this magnitude with Characters this big and popular warrant at least 4 issues worth of story and art. For whatever reason, this was not the case here.
The writing was a little too on-the-nose. My guess is that Frank really had to edit himself here since he had to accommodate to Todd's art and panel work. Don't take this the wrong way. Todd's art is pretty slick and nice to look at. But the way he draws panels does have a tendency to not leave a lot of room to expand on the dialogue and story.
If it matters to anyone, Spawn / Batman is a "companion" to that of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as it takes place during the same time. Other than that there is no other tie-in, storywise or character-wise.
I only recommend this if you like McFarlane's art. That's it. ...more
With Making Comics, a book on how to put together your very own Comic Book, Scott McCloud has done it again. This book is the one to get if you are reWith Making Comics, a book on how to put together your very own Comic Book, Scott McCloud has done it again. This book is the one to get if you are really serious about diving head first into the world of self publishing your own Comic's. Within' the pages here you will get a lot of practical knowledge of how and why certain shots are used and what type of panels to use when telling your stories. Scott goes into the theory of the in's and outs about all thing relating to the meaning behind a page layout. He also gives you a lot of info about Manga as well and how to go about using elements from other cultures to take your own artwork to another level.
This really is a fantastic book and should be in everyone's personal Library. I love it, and the exercises and notes at the end of each chapter will keep you busy for a long long time. You can't help but to improve your own work. The one thing this book is not, is a book about how to draw pretty pictures (i.e., Babes, Cars, Animals, etc....). There are a million other books devoted to just that. This book is about looking under the hood and understanding how things work. Highly recommend this one.
I can't believe it took me over a month to read this book. I'm an avid reader and I can blow through pretty much any book in record time. But this oneI can't believe it took me over a month to read this book. I'm an avid reader and I can blow through pretty much any book in record time. But this one took 3 days over a month. Yikes. The book at first sight is a little misleading. It's actually 3 books in one. That wasn't the problem. It was the text itself which smaller than usual and each page seemed to be jammed a little bit tighter than normal with regards to kerning and tracking for the written word. Okay, enough with the boring stuff. Since this is a 3 in 1 book, the review is about 3 times the size. Sorry if it's more than you would normally like to read in a book review to those that stumble across this. Now without further ado, on with the review.....
I read books like this for one reason and one reason only and that is to get behind the scene dirt, a different perspective if you will about some iconic things that went down. For me, I gotta say that the best was when KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park was being screened by insiders, around 30 people in attendance, the movie was so bad that EVERYONE sat silently in the theater, not sure of what to say or do. And in the back row, you can hear Ace cackling and laughing at the stupidity of what he was watching on screen. Whenerver he would laugh, the rest of the attendee's would laugh along with him, which was a great way to break that tension in the room. I can totally picturing how this was playing out in the room and would have loved to be there in person.
Another great story was after having just seen Deliverence, Sean Delaney was driving the band to their next gig, gets "lost" and fakes running out of gas and has the band hide in the back of the car under a blanket with their platform boots showing because they were convinced that they would become playthings for nearby Hillbillies. While all this was going down, Sean is at the front of the car drinking all of their booze.
Another great story was when Ace faked like he was s h i t -faced drunk and wouldn't be able to perform that night. He did the joke to get back at Gene and Paul who of course freaked out about losing money if the show couldn't go on and called Bill Aucoin to fix the problem. When he got there, Ace lets him in on the joke and ends up having beers with him in the room while he is suppose to be fixing the problem, making Gene and Paul sweat it out. Ha. No wonder they hate Ace so much.
Peter knocking Ace out cold for being a "lazy mother f u c k e r " was an eye opener as was the time the band got dressed up in drag and to pull a prank on Bill. The kicker was having Grace Slick there as their ring leader and them as her doo-wop background singers. Also cool is hearing other famous rock stars and their KISS stories being told in the book as a sidebar, ranging from Julian Lennon, Ted Nugent, Little Steven, Rick Nielsen. I like hearing what other rock stars have to say about each other and we get plenty here.
I never comment about picture inserts in any book, ever. So, this is a first for me and I need to make a comment about it because it's so damn cool and tripping me out. Inside they have an outtake for what is the centerfold interior of Alive II and it was taken at the Sports Arena in San Diego. I had no idea that iconic shot was taken here. Wow. Also, they have a shot of Paul taken here during the Farewell Tour, a show that I was at. (Chip's Note: In hindsight, now that I think about it, I remember either hearing about the Alive II image being from the Sports Arena or reading it in the linear notes inside the album. Can't remember which.)
This book does a great job of dissecting pretty much everything about KISS that there is to know about. How deep does it get? They actually interview the two 15 year olds, Bruce Redoute and Lee Neaves on the back of Alive! and what it was like discovering that they were on the back cover when they went to buy it for themselves. That's pretty f u c k i n g awesome if you ask me.
Some other things that caught my attention was when Paul basically dismisses Double Platinum because "once a song is recorded, there is no need to re-do them...ever". And yet, many years later he along with Gene would re-record the biggest KISS songs with Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer on KISS Klassics. It's not lost on me that this particular album is utter garbage and an embarassment. Hmmm...maybe Paul was right and he shouldn't have gone to the well a second time. Oh well.....
For me, out of the 3 sections of the book, I found the last one, which is devoted to commentary by the band, engineers, producers, managers, secretaries, song writers and whoever else happened to have a story to tell in which they go into great detail, breaking down every single KISS album and probably about 95% of every single song they ever recorded.
The gloves are off when rating the albums and songs. The most brutally honest of them all had to be the Kulick Brothers. Both Bob and Bruce did not pull punches about what songs they absolutely hated and each one had some pretty eye opening stories to talk about with their working relationship with both Paul and Gene. I was actually surprise to see this stuff get into the book and I was even more surprise to hear Gene rip on Paul for writing "whimpy" love songs. This is great stuff.
I definitely recommend this to any and all KISS fans as a Buy. Non-fans should definitely give this one a Rent and get some good behind the scenes stories. This isn't a perfect book. Because Part 1 and Part 2 are written by two different people, there is a good chunk of stuff that is repeated in Part 2. After awhile it becomes extremely annoying reading the same thing again. This is where an editor failed his job of tightening things up and getting rid of stuff that was just rehashing the same information. That's my only gripe about the book, otherwise an awesome read.
4 1/2 Stars out of 5
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I knew better than to test fate one too many times by diving into another Music Biography written by someone other than a member of the band. Here itI knew better than to test fate one too many times by diving into another Music Biography written by someone other than a member of the band. Here it falls on the shoulders of Clifton Walker. I knew about the book from a while back, but know nothing of the author. Having just finished with this book, I am going to tell you what I think happened before the book was written and why it ended up the way it did after the fact without even bothering to research the origins of Highway To Hell. Anyone that reads this review and wants correct me, feel free to do so, as I have no intention of doing any research on this book or the author as I have already wasted enough of my time on this book as is.
But my take here (and this is pure speculation on my part, so don't get your panties in a bunch) about how the book came to be is that originally Clifton wanted to do a biography of AC/DC. When both Malcolm and Angus Young and the rest of the band refused to participate in putting the book together, Clifton was left with no other option but to turn it into a bio of Bon Scott instead.
So, with AC/DC no longer supporting this book, a good chunk of the book is now out the window, which means that he will have to really stretch Bon's back story to fill in the missing pages that otherwise would have been reserved for AC/DC. How else to explain the first 120 pages of the book? All of it flesh's out Bon's two bands prior to joining the powerhouse that is AC/DC? Both bands that Bon was a part of before joining served no purpose other to fatten the book that without it would have been a mere 200 pages total. Certainly this would look bad if this is all you could get out of something as big as AC/DC as your sole reason to buy the book.
I learned nothing about Bon in these 120 pages other than that he was really lonely and liked to drink a lot. Um, that's basically all we get from the author for the entire book. With the amount of people he interviewed, along with Bon's parents, I am STILL left in the dark about who and what made Bon tick as person and a singer. Something's not right when I can't learn anything other than that he likes to drink because he was always lonely. I knew that before reading the book.
This book for all it's hype about being "revered" and "acclaimed" is nothing but hogwash to me. If the majority of people out there accept this as the definitive AC/DC, Bon Scott story, then they have a lower expectation of what makes a good music biography. Even the section devoted to the landmark albums of Highway To Hell and Back In Black (along with pretty much the entire back catalog) is short on behind the scene stuff that went into making those albums. Even the Tours they went on really go no further than where they played and who they opened up for. The only "dirt" to be found was the short mention of the band getting into a fight with Geezer Butler. But nothing more is mention other than AC/DC was kicked off that Tour after the fact.
The only revelation that was news to me was that there was serious discussion of the band sacking Bon Scott and then later looking to send Brian Johnson packing. I've never heard this before till now.
Toward the tail end of the book, the author paints both Young Brothers as being paranoid dictators and goes a step further in tearing down AC/DC as a band without Bon Scott leading the charge. That to me sounds like sour grapes on Clinton's part because a few certain people decided not to get involved with writing the book.
Stay away from this book. I can not recommend this book to anyone. ...more
I've been hearing nothing but rave reviews for Astro City for quite some time now. But I always had another book to read first and I just kept putting I've been hearing nothing but rave reviews for Astro City for quite some time now. But I always had another book to read first and I just kept putting this one off. So, I finally got around to reading Astro City: Life In The Big City. So, did it live up to the hype? Unfortunately no. It's not a bad read, but I do think it's a bit overrated.
Look, I like Kurt Busiek's writing, but I think I'd be doing a disservice by just caving into peer pressure and agreeing with everyone about the awesomeness of this book. Sorry, but it's not. The entire Volume consist of individual chapters that look at the Super Hero world, or Astro City in which Caped Crusaders and whatnot is a common thing. The story centers around the citizens of Astro City and what their take is on these people running around in tights and what it means to them. For that angle, I actually like it. What I don't like or even get is that these people can take these Super Heroes serious.
How can we the reader expect to take these citizens serious when the people they worship look stupid? Their names are stupid. Their costumes are atrocious. It's every bad cliche you can think of when showing us their powers and how they talk to each other when fighting. Maybe that was the point? I don't know. But for me, it comes off like they just half-assed their way when designing the characters and drew names out of a hat when it came time to name these Heroes.
And it was because of these Heroes that I had a hard time buying into the world of Astro City and it's occupants. Of all the chapters, there really were only 2 that I enjoyed. The one about the random crook that discovered the identity of a Super Hero and then plots to use the information to sell to the highest bidder for financial gain. The other chapter about the two hero's going on their first date with each other only to find that they can't agree on how to properly save people was a bit amusing, in a non intentional way. The rest of the book was just okay at best and sleep inducing the rest of the time. I also come from a certain era of pencilers and like clean lines. Not to take anything away from Brent Anderson as an artist. It just that his style is not my cup of tea.
So, that's my take. I give this 3 Stars out of 5. This is nothing more than a Rent for me....more