Saturday, December 10, 2011

Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling's Rebel

Author, Ghost Writer, Editor: Larry Matysik; Barbara Goodish
Publisher: ECW Press
Released: 8/07

The Good
There are numerous pro-wrestlers who have carried a certain mystique about them and Bruiser Brody is one of those for sure. His tale is unique, his legacy is complex and his death was tragic. Like many other pro-wrestling tragedies, there was a captivating book to be written and luckily reliable sources produced it. Larry Matysik, a close friend, works with the widow of Frank "Bruiser Brody" Goodish and many of his closest friends to tell his story. Amongst those quoted are: Stan Hansen, Buck Robley, Gary Hart and Pete Ortega, who was a long-time non-wrestling friend. There is much depth in telling about not only about his achievements in pro-wrestling, but his distinct place as an "outlaw" in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, his widow adds a personalized touch that makes the man behind the Bruiser Brody more real. This book has dimensions to it that few others do. Although it is a biography, it offers more than the vast majority of existing pro-wrestling autobiograhies out there. This book offers accurate facts, interesting quotations and good commentary. Hopefully it lays the foundation for similar biographies done in the future.

The Bad
Like Wrestling at the Chase, Matysik's stories can be scattered and disconnected from the flow of the story. Furthermore, he is not one to blast others, which seems like that may be in contrast to Frank Goodish, the shrewd businessman, and Bruiser Brody, the dominating and sometimes vicious wrestler. Matysik gives little voice to those who did not like Goodish and thus this seems like an incomplete story. The chapters by Barbara Goodish will probably bore some as they delve into her personal story, Goodish's home life and the emotions she felt and feels in relation to his murder. Although this book is solid, it lacks that element that really pulls you in and keeps you pulled in throughout.

The Rating: ****

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