Saturday, July 31, 2010

Listen You Pencil Neck Geeks: "Classy" Freddie Blassie

Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Freddie Blassie, Keith Elliot Greenberg
Publisher: First Pocket Books
Released: 5/03

The Good
The WWE books have been very hit-and-miss, this is a hit. It's tough to really do justice to a long, full life and a legendary and colorful career, but Keith Elliot Greenberg does an excellent job at both. Blassie's antecdotes are hilarious and Greenberg put them into a nice order and makes this story flow smoothly. Before he was "Classy" Freddie Blassie he was "Sailor" Fred Blassie and it shows in some colorful language. His stories are excellent and well-placed. The family and childhood is good enough for even the most impatient people, the love story is amongst the best parts of the book. Blassie doesn't short-change any part of his career and other parts aren't overblown, which is huge flaw in many recent books. He also seems to accurately portray himself and others, which is often a problem in wrestling books. A great book about a great career, period.

The Bad
I really can't knock this book all that much. It really exceeded my expectations in almost every way. I think some people might not be interested in a lot of it because they'd see his material as outdated and wouldn't know the many people he talks about from earlier times. This definitely reads like a WWE book because Greenberg has to get over the superiority of the product, which Blassie probably believed (but I doubt he closely followed pro-wrestling on a worldwide scale). This is a book for someone interested in wrestling's history, how it changed and one of it's legends. The stories are funny for non-fans or current fans, but I question if they could enjoyably read this whole book.

The Rating: ****1/4

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