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Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal Paperback – April 1, 2007

2.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Irv Muchnick knows wrestling like Anna Wintour knows fashion, and his intriguing collection of ring tales is written with passion and savage humor."  —Frank Deford, bestselling author and National Public Radio contributor


"Wrestling Babylon is the literary link between fans (including closet intellectuals) and intellectuals (including closet fans)."  —John Heindenry, executive editor, The Week magazine


"The wrestling version of Alice in Wonderland: You fall into the hole and you discover a world you never dreamed of. But Muchnick didn't dream this stuff up, he dug it up."  —Scott Ostler, sports columnist, San Francisco Chronicle


"Muchnick on wrestling is a surreal thing."  —Roy Blount, Jr.


"Like his uncle Sam Muchnick, Irv is a great reporter. But Irv is also a great writer."  —Larry Matysik, author, Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling


"A few hundred years from now some archeologist is going to dig up a copy, alongside a box of men’s neckties, and wonder which aspect of our culture was stranger . . . In a world of timid, formulaic scrivenings on sports and entertainment and sports entertainment, Wrestling Babylon is a sock on the jaw."  —Bert Randolph Sugar, from the Foreword


"The only problem with this wonderful book is that it ends too soon."  —BeyondChron


"Loaded with detailed and well-researched goodies."  —New York Post

About the Author

Irvin Muchnick is a writer whose work has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times to Penthouse. He is the nephew of legendary wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick. He lives in Berkeley, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550227610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550227611
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,613,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a huge pro wrestling fan and an avid read of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Because of that I already knew much of the information in this. I really only got it for the Jimmy Snuka chapter which is good but leaves you wanting more. It's written in a really messy style and it's a little hard to read. It's not a bad read but it's not the best.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. I always found that things that go on outside of the wrestling ring are fascinating to learn about. I am surprised with some of the details in this book, but overly not impressed with it. It doesn't reveal as much as it claims to on the cover (so don't let that fool you.) If you buy this book, I wish you the best at reading it because it's a tad confusing.
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I ordered this book after being sucked in by the title. The combination of wrestling and babylon is not something you hear often and it sounded (to me) like it would be an inquisitive, revalating read.

The truth was quite the opposite. First off, I should have checked that the book 152 actual pages. That's ...nothing.

Second the content is sub-par, old overwritten--it's all available online. Further the content in this book is often inaccurate or at least needs to mention alternative conclusions and the reasons for or against those.

It's not worth a dime. In one word this book is: Wrestling Garbage. At best.
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Format: Paperback
This covers various scandals in the sport, and seems complete (ends before the Benoit deaths). It is readable for fans and non-fans alike. It ends with a chronological list of deaths of wrestlers under the age of 50 (and its a fairly long one). Could be more detailed.
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Tone of voice overtly subjective, sources uncited, making the whole literature one-sided for the sake of naming and shaming. How can a reader verify the information without date, location or any other confirmation on events?
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The book collates material that the author has written about over the years. Goes through the well-known scandals of Superfly Snuka and his girlfriend dying, Hulk Hogan and steroids, Pat Patterson and the allegations of ringboys etc.

The material is readable but nothing new to wrestling fans who have read other books.
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Format: Paperback
This book is one of the worst professional wrestling books I have ever read. The book is filled with information that is well known among most fans and is presented in a lazy and unorganized manner. Muchnick uses old articles to fill the pages of this books. Amazon says this book is 200 hundred pages long, but it barely makes it over 160 and most of that is pictures or his long winded and boring articles written for previous magazines.

Don't buy this book.
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Wrestling Babylon is a real eye opener. It blasts open the gritty underside of professional wrestling. This book is basically a compilation of articles written over the past two decades by Irvin Muchnick, a nephew of legendary wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick of Minnesota. The book presents insider information about the overuse of anabolic steroid in pro wrestling during the past two decades and other forms of drug abuse which stems from wrestling promoters preference to employ those who possess highly inflated and cartoonish physiques. It also reveals the sexual abuses which do happen behind the scenes. The book content is written with a great deal of humor and obvious love of professional wrestling. It perhaps appears to be a contradiction to say the author loves "rassling" and yet maintains a hard edged objectivity when discussing what actually happens behind the scene, however Muchnick has been able to successfully balance the two opposing sentiments. He is simply presenting wrestling as it is. It is only through awareness that positive change can happen. I only wish that Muchnick had been able to tie the story of professional wrestling from the early years of the television era and linking it to its current evolutionary stage and leading to a discussion about its possible future. Perhaps that is meant for another book. Are you listening Mr. Muchnick?
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