An anthology featuring stories about wrestling? Okay. To be honest, I'm not that big a fan, though I did love to watch it as a teenager and all the way up into my 20's. Thing is, you don't have to be a big fan of wrestling to enjoy these stories. That said, these are the ones that stood out for me:
GLASSJAW by Duncan Bradshaw. This story is told to Mickey by Ronny, an aging pro, who now helps newer wrestlers learn the ropes, so to speak. This was my first Bradshaw story and I was impressed!
EL NEUVO SANTO'S LAST FIGHT by Gabino Iglesias. I keep seeing this author's name around and I follow him on Twitter, but I think this is my first story by him. LOVED it! Even mobsters aren't safe from a wrestler's fury. It's best for you not to EVER threaten a man's family, be you "connected" or not.
A FRIEND IN NEED...A NICK BULLMAN STORY by James Newman. Nick Bullman is the main character from UGLY AS SIN, also written by James Newman. Nick had an accident with his face many years ago and as such, no longer wrestles. But he's always there when a friend needs him. In this case, though, his friend is no longer sane.
RASSLE HASSLE by Adam Howe. The return of Reggie Levine! If you've read any of Adam Howe's stories in the past, then you are already familiar with Reggie. The good news is you don't have to have read Howe's other stories to "get" this one. Reggie always gets himself caught up in some crazy stuff while trying to do the right thing and this tale is no exception.
DULUTH by Ed Kurtz. This collection was my first exposure to the word "kayfabe" which is "the portrayal of staged events as real or true." The invention of film/movies gave a whole new dimension to the world of wrestling. For some wrestlers though, it brought home what was really important-and it wasn't wrestling.
I enjoyed almost all of the stories in this anthology and I surprised myself by being kind of sad when this book was over. I think Hulk Hogan would be pleased with me.
Highly recommended for fans of excellent short stories, and most especially to fans of professional wrestling!
You can rastle up your copy here: Wrestle Maniacs
*I was provided with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*