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Benoit tragedy books: tell-all, cash-in, real insight?

 
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tdcheetah



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 487
Location: The Cheetah's Lair (aka Clarendon VA)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject: Benoit tragedy books: tell-all, cash-in, real insight? Reply with quote

Okay, the first one is batter up.

As seen on Amazon. Published on Nov. 1 by "ECW Press", which I'd assume is an imprint of WWE Press, which probably doesn't bode well for its balance or authenticity. :/

Quote:
In the wake of the horrific double-murder suicide, four noted wrestling writers grapple with the life and death of Chris Benoit in this book by Steven Johnson, Heath McCoy, Irvin Muchnick, and Greg Oliver, all respected investigative journalists committed to looking at this terrible event with integrity and passion. All four authors have been interviewed extensively about the Benoit situation, including by CNN and Fox.

The book will discuss the subject from distinct perspectives:

* The media’s coverage of the story and the role of the media in the story itself will be covered by Steven Johnson.
* Heath McCoy establishes the facts of the case and examines Benoit’s Alberta wrestling roots.
* Irvin Muchnick gives his opinion on the pop-cultural relevance and the place of this tragedy in wrestling’s dark history.
* Greg Oliver discusses the Benoit story in the context of the pro-wrestling industry and personal correspondence with Benoit.


So, has anyone picked this up and/or read it and had an opinion? I have to say I'm not exactly encouraged by the blurb, what with its metamedia and "in the context of..." emphasis.

But wait, there's more... on deck:

Quote:
There will be more books about Chris Benoit in the future, including a full-length book by Irvin Muchnick called "Chris and Nancy: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro-Wrestling's Cocktail of Death."


Now how much would you pay?


Lee, not quite sure if this is something to put on her Christmas list or not.

(EDIT: Grr. I hate BBCode tagging. HTML is not any harder, dammit.)
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Regan



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Benoit tragedy books: tell-all, cash-in, real insight? Reply with quote

tdcheetah wrote:
Okay, the first one is batter up.

As seen on Amazon. Published on Nov. 1 by "ECW Press", which I'd assume is an imprint of WWE Press, which probably doesn't bode well for its balance or authenticity. :/



Surprisingly, not related.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECW_Press

Kevin
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tdcheetah



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 487
Location: The Cheetah's Lair (aka Clarendon VA)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Benoit tragedy books: tell-all, cash-in, real insight? Reply with quote

Regan wrote:
tdcheetah wrote:
Okay, the first one is batter up.

As seen on Amazon. Published on Nov. 1 by "ECW Press", which I'd assume is an imprint of WWE Press, which probably doesn't bode well for its balance or authenticity. :/



Surprisingly, not related.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECW_Press

Kevin


Really? Wow, yes, that is surprising. I just checked out their web site and they do look semi-legit or at least not WWE-subsidized, with a big roster of authors... they do have some focus on wrestling, but it includes wrestling personalities not of interest to (Brody) -- or currently in the best odor with (Jimmy Hart/Hogan)-- the WWE.

I admit I was kinda wondering about the entire concept of someone like Irv Muchnick teaming up with the WWE, but I thought maybe it might be one of those wacky "fair and balanced" attempts where the McMahons try to bully, co-opt, fake, finesse, and otherwise body-slam all attempts to ferret out some small amount of truth...

Think maybe I'll look for this in a bookstore and speed-read some/all of it to see if I actually want to purchase it. That's what I did with the Eric Bischoff bio...


Lee

(And no, I didn't buy the EB bio. Reading it once was more than enough. ;P)
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2851
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the Benoit book written by the foursome. Didn't happen upon this section until recently, though.

First note: I'm surprised people thought ECW Press was an extension of WWE Press... ECW Press has put out quite a few books, none of them associated with WWE or another promotion. I know Death of WCW is one, and I'm positive the Wrestlecrap books are also from the same company.

Basically, it seems like this ECW Press is putting out the majority of the wrestling books that WWE Press has nothing to do with regarding publication.

At any rate, regarding the book itself: I thought it was a good read. It doesn't tell you a lot about the Benoit story that you didn't already know.

It does, however, provide some pretty unique insights:

* Greg Oliver's personal e-mail from Benoit is pretty telling about Benoit's state of mind at the time.

* Steven Johnson does a good job examining how the media at large reacted to the case... again, it's not much that folks here don't already know or didn't figure out, but his analysis is quite good as to what all that media coverage really meant.

Regarding the media, the one that comes out looking pretty good is Nancy Grace, while on the other hand, Geraldo Rivera is made out to be the hack that he is.

* Irv Muchnick's writing is pretty much what we know about him... that he's quite outspoken about the general ignorance the wrestling industry showcases, Vince McMahon in particular. That's not to say it wasn't good writing... it certainly was. He doesn't pull any punches when it comes to what he has to say.

* Oliver wrote a short section about Nancy Benoit's career, which is a nice touch.

* McCoy mostly goes into Benoit's background in Stampede, talking to both Ross Hart and Bret Hart about Benoit. They really played up how Benoit idolized Dynamite Kid, so much that when he was a guest backstage at Stampede, he approached Dynamite and Dynamite took a liking to him quickly.

Both McCoy and Oliver bring up how Benoit lost so many of his friends and associates over the years.

So the material that's presented isn't entirely new... much of it came out during the times Dave, Wade and Bryan were talking about the Benoit case, as well as some stuff from the media.

But it's written well and to the point, for the most part. I'd recommend it.
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eron



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 412

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Morris wrote:
* McCoy mostly goes into Benoit's background in Stampede, talking to both Ross Hart and Bret Hart about Benoit. They really played up how Benoit idolized Dynamite Kid, so much that when he was a guest backstage at Stampede, he approached Dynamite and Dynamite took a liking to him quickly.


Bret has mentioned that Dynamite gave Benoit his boots, which was a huge compliment.

However, Benoit has certainly tried to dis-associate himself with Billington, as Benoit has tried to say his hero was Bret, only for Bret to correct him.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2808
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent a lot of time with Steve Johnson at the CAC dinner, because he is writing a Jim Londos book, due next year. I think it will be the best wrestling history book ever written. I trust Johnson so much that I gave up the idea of doing a Londos bio, at least until long after the book comes out.

We talked for hours. At one point, Benoit's name came up. He said some thing like "I'm a professional reporter and writer and they offered me money for a Benoit story, so I did it." I like the guy & I think he's a major talent.---Steve Yohe
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