Monday, October 22, 2012

Brother Brother Brother: Breaking Kayfabe on Recent Wrestling Fiction

Over the last year and a couple of months there has been a rise in wrestling related fiction. I suppose the obvious reason would be that those who were fans during the then WWF's huge run in the 80's are now writers.  But really, who cares what the reason is because hey, it's wrestling fiction.  I think that there is a huge amount of story potential in wrestling that is only now starting to get explored. 

So, because I'm running late with today's post, here's a quick run down.

One of the earliest examples of recent wrestling fiction is the short story "The Last Kayfabe" by Ray Banks. In a short space Banks just nails the voice of an over the hill wrestler who still has it in his blood.

Last year Jason Ridler brought us Deathmatch: A Spar Battersea Wrestling Thriller. Ridler, like Banks, nails the essence of wrestling. Not just the facet that is exposed to the public but all of the backstage action too. 

Earlier this year Stephen Graham Jones' Zombie Bake-Off which plops a group of wrestlers right into a zombie uprising.  And it's brilliant. Throughout the course of the novel Jones sets up some scenarios and by the end delivers on them.  Really, it's one of my favorite novels of the year.

Blood Red Turns Dollar Green by Paul O'Brien probably best captures the wrestling business and life style.  It also has the broadest scope, spanning many years, with a large cast of characters.  O'Brien even managed to get Mick Foley to blurb his book. 

Recently, the anthology Lucha Gore: Scares From the Squared Circle was released.  Lucha Gore mixes the world of wrestling with horror. I only just bought this recently so I haven't really had a chance to read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Plus, it has a great cover.

So what do you think. Is wrestling fiction a thing? Did I miss anything? Have you read any of these?

Currently Reading: The Devil Doesn't Want Me by Eric Beetner (16%); Driving Alone by Kevin Lynn Helmick (30%)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links - some stories there I definitely need to read. I think "wrestling fiction" is a thing, though I doubt it will or even could ever become a true genre unto itself. In a very small way, I contributed to it with "American Beauty", my story in the charity anthology OFF THE RECORD 2: AT THE MOVIES. Here's a bit about that story:

Erik Arneson

Paul O'Brien said...

Really great list. I didn't know there was so many other wrestling books out there. Thanks for the mention and kind words about Blood Red Turns Dollar Green.

John McFetridge said...

These all look good, thanks.

I hope wrestling fiction is a thing and that it keeps growing.

Last year I pitched a TV show about wrestling in Montreal in the 1950s - where it was the most popular sport - based a little on this film:

I couldn't get any interest, but you know the way TV is ten years behind books, so maybe someday.

Anonymous-9 said...

I was raised on wrestling when my grandparents looked after me. I watched wrestling at 3 years old (maybe that explains a lot). I've always loved wrestlers--there's something commedia dell'arte about them. A compelling mix of sport and opera.