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Luchador

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Each week, Gabriel Romero’s drive to Sunday mass takes him past “El Ángel,” the golden statue at the heart of Mexico City that haunts his memories and inspires his future. Spurred by the memory of his parents, Gabriel is drawn to the secretive world of lucha libre, where wrestling, performance art and big business collide.

Under the conflicting mentorships of one of lucha l
...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published November 3rd 2016 by Interlude Press
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Mónica BQ
Nov 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
"Cabrón" is spelled with a "b". Always. In every context. In every colloquial use of it.
Whichever incompetent person says otherwise, is plain wrong.

Sincerely,
Una mexicana que sabe como chingados se escriben las palabras en su propio idioma mejor que tú. Incluso las que son slang, güey.

edit to add
I've heard that both author and publisher are correcting mistakes, which is commendable but still doesn't justify the errors. I'm really glad though that the concerns regarding language were taken se
...more
Rafa Brewster
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Just Love
I received an advance review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Luchador was a thrilling and thought-provoking read. This will sound silly (and doesn’t even begin to factor into why I enjoyed this book so much), but it totally transported me back to my youth when I used to watch WWF and WWE. Granted, there are many differences between the Mexican and American leagues, but the battle between good versus evil being played out in tights and masks are pretty familiar
...more
Scout451
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I imagine she’ll hear this from a lot of readers, but Erin Finnegan has done the impossible. She has taken a reader who couldn’t possibly be any less interested in virtually any sports-related novel, least of all wrestling, and has not only kept me completely engaged, but actually turned me into a fan. I’ve even been caught *gasp* YouTubing lucha libre videos!

Clearly this is not the type of book I would normally pick up, but because I have been a huge fan of everything Erin has written in the pa
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Jude Sierra
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To state it plainly, I’ll put this out there: Luchador is an absolute must read.

I have been a big fan of Finnegan’s since Sotto Voce, which I’ve re-read many times. Luchador too will go into my re-read several times in the future pile. Finnegan is a gifted storyteller, whose attention to detail finely crafts both plot and setting. She sets the scene for readers very carefully and beautifully – I always feel like I am seeing the setting of each scene with the characters. This is no small feat, b
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Charlie
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was very lucky to receive an early copy of Luchador, the new novel from Erin Finnegan. She may have been a little nervous about the reception from readers of a book that centres on what might be considered a niche sport, however I had faith that Finnegan’s amazing eye for detail, huge passion for her interests, and incredibly storytelling based on complex and intriguing characters whose passions also leap off the page, would shine through. I was right.

Erin took a subject I knew nothing about
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Suzey Ingold
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me preface this by saying: I hate sports. I hate doing them, I hate watching them, I really could not care less about any kind of sport, ever, in the whole world. Okay? Got that? And somehow, this book, with it's absolutely breathtakingly beautiful prose, and it's host of dynamic, developed, raw characters, and the host of wonderful locations, made me care about lucha libre—something I didn't even know was a thing until this book. I struggle to put into words what it is about this book that ...more
Teach Gleek
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First off, I must write a disclaimer. I grew up watching the Gagne family wrestle. My brother and I would beat the tar out of our living room furniture, and sometimes each other, mimicking the moves of Jesse Ventura, Hulk Hogan, Greg and Verne Gagne, Mad Dog Vachon, and other AWA superstars. We watched the AWA eventually get pillaged by the WWF, beginning when Hulk Hogan jumped ship in 1983, and I have not seen a wrestling match since. I would have told you, prior to reading this book, that I wo ...more
Anne Queen
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book and it has left me with a serious case of book hangover, that wrung-out contradictory satisfied-but-disatisfied-because-you-want-more feeling. Erin Finnegan integrated the setting and Luchador culture into a lovely story of self-discovery. The characters are relatable and complex and the protagonist, Gabriel, is wonderful. I'm so sad I've finished the book; I want to spend more time with him. His relationships with friends and especially with his mentor were delightful. ...more
Fenriz Angelo
Nov 15, 2016 marked it as to-read
No, until they fix obviously wrong spanish words.
Alysia Constantine
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid, my dad spent much of the weekend parked in front of his TV, watching WWF pro wrestling. To this day, the sound of screaming men gives me hives. But the stories the men acted out were compelling, despite the too-long sweaty hair and weird unitards and hoarse shouting. Even I, as a kid, knew it was all show, but there was something that grabbed both me and my dad (and lots of other Americans, too).

Luchador dips into the world of showy wrestling and heightened storytelling, but it
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Julian Winters
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A rich, phenomenal look at the culture of Mexico, the beauty of the lucha libre spectacle, the struggles of maintaining self-identity, the push-and-pull of relationships, the strength amongst obstacles, a varied view of romances, and a purely wonderful look at diversity and the love it can create, Luchador does more than just maintain a reader's attention. It creates a world that you absorb, relish, and find a difficult time separating from the lines of reality.

Erin Finnegan takes what is largel
...more
L.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an unexpected and truly beautiful story. I went in not knowing anything about lucha libre and largely anticipating to just read it for the romance aspect, however I was quickly swept up into the rich and bright world. The romance actually caught me off guard, and I felt truly emotional over the turn of events.

Rather than falling in love with a love story, Luchador had me falling in love with Gabriel's story. With the terrifying prospect of spreading your own wings and having to trust yo
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Diane
I received this through the Goodreads Giveaway Program. This will be the first book that I've read by this author.

I am blown away by the writing of Erin Finnegan. So many descriptive paragraphs throughout take you into the moment;

'He raised his arms, with the stiffened edges of the cape in hand, and put this costume and his character on full display.

The cape unfurled into gossamer wings. Extended, they revealed the drama of his white-and-gold costume: the trunks with metallic accents feathered
...more
Molly Lolly
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Original review on Molly Lolly
Five stars!
This story was beautiful. The point of the story isn’t the romance. It’s Gabriel’s path to happiness and having what he wants in life. The romance is a tiny part of that, sure. But you’re more concerned with the wrestling and Gabriel’s life. It was such an amazing story; I couldn’t put it down! I got so invested in Gabriel’s path I had to see how it ended.
Gabriel was someone that you could tell was lost at first. He didn’t know what he wanted in life unti
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Jaymie
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, bayoubookjunkie, m-m
A very different read.

Going into this book I really didn't know much about Luchadors. My husband is a huge fan of professional wrestling and has spoken about wrestlers who have a Luchador influence but I never really knew the story behind them. Very interesting and colorful to say the least.

I loved the unique story of Gabriel's journey in life from childhood to young adulthood. How his late father first influenced his love for Lucha Libre and even after death how it had resonated with him. He
...more
Hans Hirschi
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had no second thoughts when Erin Finnegan’s publisher Interlude asked me to read her second novel, Luchador. I had read her debut and absolutely loved it. Not speaking much Spanish myself, I had no idea what “luchador” meant. It means ‘fighter’, and the novel is about Lucha Libre, aka free fighting, the Mexican version of wrestling. What had I gotten myself into?

So, this was my mindset as I opened the book and began to read, cautiously, not really wanting to. Yet despite my prejudice, my fears
...more
Denise
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Luchadore is the story of a young man whose memories of watching Saturday wrestling matches with his father leads him to become a masked wrestler. As a gay man, he's cast as an exotico--a flamboyant wrestler with a strict role. He and his mentor carve out a different kind of niche. He continues to break rules while staying true to lucha libre traditions.

Despite all the challenges the young luchadore faces, there wasn't much conflict. The timing of the scenes was confusing, too. But the relation
...more
willowdog
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Fun work that transports one to the world of Lucha Libra. Do you do what you love as your own gay person, or do you hide that aspect of yourself for fame and success. Couple of significant story line surround lesbian characters and bisexual manager.
Ezra
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Good cute book. Luchador just isn't my thing. I had trouble maintaining interest. Characters were beautiful though.
Polly Flint
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I have ever read, hands down serious. And I read a lot.
Ben
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-bookshelf
Loved this book.
Anoia
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
I wish that I had a bit more Spanish than my level of Taco Bell ordering skills at the language, however I was able to muddle through alright although I feel like I might have gotten more out of it otherwise.

A really interesting read, from what I could tell there was a lot of research and passion put into the writing around the Luchador tradition etc. The story line itself was pretty predictable, the timeline a bit choppy, and I felt the main character's relationship with his family was glossed
...more
Naomi Tajedler
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an absolute delight, a thrill to explore, a pity to put down-- and to finish !
I want to insist in this review on what is, for me, Finnegan's strongest suit and that I saw in her first novel but is clearly confirmed here.
Two months ago, at a UKMeet in Southampton, an author said that you need to write with all your senses to keep your audience in the story. Erin Finnegan does that and so much more : even though I have , sadly, never stepped foot in Los Angeles, in Mexico or at a Luc
...more
Michael Joseph
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-contemporary
You can read my full review of “Luchador” at my web site.
Lynn
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2016
Kate
rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2017
Amanda Lang
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2017
Paul
rated it really liked it
Aug 09, 2017
Bleublue
rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2017
John
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foreword, lgbt
Reviewed for Foreword Books IndieFab awards.

Enjoyable book, good character development. Seems the author did some good research on luchadores too.
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A former journalist and winemaker, Erin Finnegan is a lifelong Angeleno who writes stories rooted in the corners of California culture. A devoted sports fan and occasional sports writer, she has had to dive out of the way of flying luchadores at matches in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Luchador (Nov. 2016) was named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2016 and received Foreword Reviews' INDIES Boo
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More about Erin Finnegan

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