I've Moved! Check out the all-new, all-different Invincible Super-Blog at www.The-ISB.com!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Book Review: Big Apple Takedown

A friend of mine gave me a WaldenBooks gift certificate for my birthday, and while that's an awesome thing to give a guy who likes to read a lot, let's be honest: We all knew I was just going to spend it on the literary equivalent of cheap liquor and whores.

That was the plan, anyway, until I found myself in my local bookstore looking at what is undoubtedly the single greatest work of fiction ever produced in the English language.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

BIG APPLE TAKEDOWN




You're probably going to want to buy this immediately, because this book will not only change your life, but once we all embrace it, it will serve as a written guide to a new golden age, the likes of which have never been seen. And how do I know this?

Allow me to explain with the ad copy from the book's back cover (with my emphasis added, naturally):

December, 2001:
Vince McMahon steps out of a snowy night into a diner in upstate New York for a meeting with old friend Phil Thomson, now a highly placed government official. Thomson has a strange proposition: creating a new covert black-ops group using the Superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment


The description goes on, but I'm going to go ahead and stop there because that is literally everything you need to know about this book. And as of this writing, "Pro wrestlers as undercover NSA agents battling drug dealers funded by vaguely European terrorists" has officially joined "rocketed to earth from a doomed planet" and "gorilla with a jetpack" as one of the greatest high concepts of all time.

As the jacket text points out, professional wrestlers are naturally suited towards work that requires a lot of travel, as their work takes them all across the country, and "no one would find it unusual to find them in a town one day and gone the next," although I've got to say: If you want any spying done on Monday, Tuesday, or one Sunday out of the month, you're pretty much out of luck. Still, though, it's a solid plan.

Except for that whole thing where these are undercover agents who are on television every week and known primarily for their distinguishing physical characteristics. I mean, if it were the Brooklyn Brawler, sure, but half these guys have been in movies. Fortunately, writer Rudy Josephs addresses this right up front: When he poses as an underworld security expert to infiltrate Dietrich Masterson's sinister methamphetamine operation, Triple H manages to avoid having his cover blown by slicking back his hair and putting on a pair of glasses.

Pure. Genius.

Aside from infiltration expert/Cerebral Assassin Triple H, our ersatz A-Team is also made up of: Vince McMahon, who--in what may be the most thinly-stretched metaphor I've ever written--functions as the Charlie Townsend for our group of Sports-Entertainment Angels; John Cena, who goes so far as to drop his "You can't see me" tagline before choking a generic mercenary out with his legs, like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon; Chavo Guerrero, whose computer hacking skills are hilariously employed throughout; Torrie Wilson, who is hot; and Batista, who not only thwarts a terrorist plot, but overcomes his own fears in the single best use of claustrophobia since Storm stopped freaking out every time she went inside.

That scene, incidentally, wherein Chavo and Batista have to sneak under the terrorists' recondition Brooklyn Warehouse via the sewer, provides me with my second-favorite line in the entire book, which comes right after five long pages of Batista forcing himself to climb down a ten-foot ladder:

"For not the first time in his life Batista cursed his size, wishing he had more of a cruiserweight build like Chavo."

I can't explain why, but it cracks me up every time.

My actual favorite line in the book? Easy:

"'I totally understand,' Torrie said, as if she totally did.'"

Sadly, with all this boundless perfection, there was bound to be a drawback somewhere, and while I was prepared for the unfiltered pandering to the audience by establishing the villains early and almost unbearably often as pretentious loudmouths (as opposed, of course, to honest, hardworking salt-of-the-earth wrestling fans), I wasn't ready for--and I can't believe I'm about to type this--a thoroughly dismal lack of violence.

Seriously: You have a book where pro wrestlers are fighting drug dealers. There should be, at a bare minimum, a Figure-Four Leglock applied no fewer than once every three chapters. There's some brawling towards the end, of course, but even that lacks the obvious embellishment of having the wreslters dispose of the enemies of our country using their signature finishing moves! I mean really: If Wesley Snipes can suplex a vampire in Blade II, then Triple H ought to be able to drop a Pedigree on somebody over the course of 277 pages.

But instead, Rudy Josephs only works in a Torrie Wilson dropkick to an assailant in an alley, Batista applying the Sleeper Hold to a meth dealer, and a couple instances of the tag-team classic, The Meeting of the Minds, which anyone who has ever seen the Three Stooges should be passingly familiar with. That's it. Three moves. You'd think Hulk Hogan was writing it.

Anyway, despite the lack of a single chairshot, the Superstars end up, as you might expect, saving the day and riding a commandeered train full of smuggled AK-47s to their gig at Monday Night Raw, and everything works out okay. It's a bold finish, and it not only caps off one of--if not the--most inspirational books I've ever read, but it also sends a strong message to the vaguely-European, meth-dealing enemies of America: If you attack us, we will pretend to fight you.

If neccessary, we will pretend to fight you to the last man.




BONUS FEATURE: Amazon Users Speak Out!


If you didn't take your opportunity to follow the above link, you're not only missing out on your chance to buy Big Apple Takedown, but you're also missing out on some of the best user reviews that site has ever produced. Personally, I'm partial to these two.

First, "MikeSC," of my own home state of South Carolina, offers this:

In my life as an English Professor, I have had the joy of reading any of a lare selection of classic books, brilliant treatises on the human condition, and some of the most brilliantly revolutionary prose that hallmarked the great movements in human history. I feel, though, that my faith in literature has been increased to a level I truly did not feel possible after reading this book.

It is truly rare when a book changes your life in a fundamental way. For some, the Bible was their path to a new and better life. Others feel that Paine's Common Sense is a truly great piece of political propaganda that tries to raise humanity to a higher level. Others, on the other hand, are partial to Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.

I say "A pox on ALL of these houses".

Like a very special episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger", WWE's "Big Apple Takedown" manages to simultaneously make one weep at the emotionally taut imagery, laugh at the rapier-sharp wit, and contemplate the deep, inner discussions of the soul that are the hallmark of sweaty guys with questionable drug habits.

And, honestly, the book is a little infuriating. Why IS the government wasting its money paying for a military with many nuclear missiles when ALL that is needed to save the world from evil and chaos are the occasional errant chair shot, a knee to the groinal region, followed by an overly elaborate finishing sequence?

The decision to use WWE superstars --- "wrestlers" does not remotely do legends like HHH justice, let's be frank --- to sniff out a drug cartel is the kind of inspired genius that makes lesser authors like Poe weep in their beer. You didn't see George Orwell use imagery as subtle as a glistening body of pure, pent-up, moderately eroticized squashing drug kingpins in 1984, did you?

I tell you, next to this book, Madame Bovary has as much plot as a 3rd grader's book of Mad Libs.

I, personally, enjoyed the discrete reference to another classic of American literature --- "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", with a plot that, bluntly, ripped off this book's plot in the most diabolical and sinical of manners.

Kudos to you, WWE. You have clearly demonstrated that the dramatic masterpiece that is the average episode of RAW is not an accident. This is the book that makes one appreciate the subtlety of a good fart joke or an unexpected "puppies" reference. I can only hope they keep Mr. Josephs on the payroll to produce storyline that can even approach this level of inspiration.


...which is immediately followed by this review, courtesy of "MATT":

I HAVENT FINISHED READING THIS BOOK YET BUT I AM CLOSE TO FINISHING IT. THIS BOOK IS ABOUT 6 WWE WRESTLERS(BATISTA,CHAVO GURREO,TORRE WILLSON,JOHN CENA,HHH,AND THE OWNER OF THE WWE VINCE MCMHAON) JOIN A SECRET AGENCY CALLED THE NSA. THERE MISSION IS TO TAKE DOWN A BIG DRUG RING AND THEY ALL GO UNDER COVER TO GET ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO ARREST THE PEOPLE IN THE DRUG RING AND THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE DRUG RING. THE BOOK IS GREAT AND IT HAS LOADS OF SUPENSE. AND I HEARD THE ENDING WILL SUPRISE YOU. IF YOUR A WWE FAN(LIKE ME) BUY IT. OR IF YOU ARE NOT A WWE FAN YOU SHOUD STILL BUY BECAUSE YOU WILL LOVE IT.

Both, of course, offer up a rating of five stars.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Crowded House said...

Holy freakin' shit. That...that is so awesome that I must now travel through time to 2468 when human technology will have advanced far enough for me to properly enjoy this much awesomeness without having my face melt. I mean...wow.

9/12/2006 1:48 AM

 
Blogger McGone said...

I'm sending you a mental high five Chris, because I am laughing - as I often do at your postings - but tonight is BWAH-HA-HA-HA Giffen-era-JLA laughing. And I am anything but a wrestling fan. Good stuff brother.

9/12/2006 3:00 AM

 
Anonymous Tom said...

Face it, if Triple H slicked his hair back and put on glasses, you'd never recognize him. Instead, you'd think, "Wasn't he in some softcore on Cinemax?"

9/12/2006 7:54 AM

 
Anonymous dr. k said...

I'm dying to find out who this "MikeSC" is, if such a like-minded, fellow South Carolinian English professor really exists. Though I must say, I find his credentials dubious, as he misspells "cynical" and his writing features some serious subject-verb agreement problems.

And Chris, I'm glad you could get such pleasure out of this fine, fine purchase.

9/12/2006 9:30 AM

 
Blogger Ferrous Buller said...

Man, what is with the "famous celebrities make the BEST secret spies!" motif? Between this, Acapulco H.E.A.T., and The Leading Man, it's like I can't get away from it...

9/12/2006 11:37 AM

 
Blogger Kevin said...

I have to agree that a few more wrestling moves would have been appropriate. I mean, who doesn't want to see Chavo Guererro performing The Mexican Umbrella (actual move though I think its called the Mexican Surfboard but I find that name inferior to the Umbrella)on some evil drug lord?
Oh and this team HAS to be superior to the A-Team since this team's Mr.T (Battista) was able to overcome his phobia without the use of a drugged up glass of milk.
I can't wait for the second book in the series.

9/12/2006 12:14 PM

 
Blogger Kevin said...

Oh and Chris, would you mind revealing to us who the suprise Superstar is that appears in the book is?
I'm really hoping that its Bobby the Brain Heenan.

9/12/2006 12:23 PM

 
Anonymous Verbatim said...

Perhaps it's Rick Harrison, The Body Smasher!

http://www.bigelbow.com/stuffs/bodysmasher.html

9/12/2006 1:08 PM

 
Blogger Matt Brady said...

Well, now MATT has me curious. Is it true, Chris? Does the ending surprise you? I have to know!

9/12/2006 4:48 PM

 
Blogger Filthy McMonkey said...

"You'd think Hulk Hogan was writing it."

Awesome, man. Awesome.

9/12/2006 5:24 PM

 
Anonymous carla said...

I'll take two.

9/12/2006 10:18 PM

 
Blogger Derek said...

Thank you, Chris, for brightening my otherwise dreary day.

Oh, and I think I figured out why you like that one quote so much. All you have to do is change a few words.

"For not the first time in his life Batista cursed his size, wishing he had more of a cruiserweight build like Chavo."

becomes...

"For not the first time in her life Betty cursed her size, wishing she had more of a pixie build like Cheri."

9/13/2006 12:53 AM

 
Blogger sexy said...

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,按摩棒,跳蛋,充氣娃娃,情境坊歡愉用品,情趣用品,情人節禮物,情惑用品性易購,A片,視訊聊天室,視訊,視訊聊天,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,聊天室,UT聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,免費視訊聊天室

免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,免費AV,色情網站,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人影片,成人網站,A片,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,情色網,日本A片,免費A片下載,性愛

A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX,成人圖片區

情趣用品,A片,免費A片,AV女優,美女視訊,情色交友,色情網站,免費AV,辣妹視訊,美女交友,色情影片,成人網站,H漫,18成人,成人圖片,成人漫畫,成人影片,情色網


情趣用品,A片,免費A片,日本A片,A片下載,線上A片,成人電影,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,微風成人區,成人文章,成人影城,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,臺灣情色網,色情,情色電影,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,麗的色遊戲,情色論壇,色情網站,一葉情貼圖片區,做愛,性愛,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,美女交友,做愛影片

av,情趣用品,a片,成人電影,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,aio,av女優,AV,免費A片,日本a片,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,聊天室,美女交友,成人光碟

情趣用品.A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,情色視訊,情色文學,色情小說,情色小說,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,情色電影,色情遊戲,色情網站,聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,免費A片,日本a片,a片下載,線上a片,av女優,av,成人電影,成人,成人貼圖,成人交友,成人圖片,18成人,成人小說,成人圖片區,成人文章,成人影城,成人網站,自拍,尋夢園聊天室

12/13/2008 1:11 AM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home