Come and read both #1 International Bestsellers in one place. The Blood Red Turns Dollar Green is a series of crime novels set in the pro-wrestling world. It has been officially endorsed by WWE Superstars, Mick Foley and William Regal....
|Title||:||Blood Red Turns Dollar Green Duology|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||616 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Blood Red Turns Dollar Green Duology Reviews
Note: Whilst this is attached to the first and second books in the trilogy, it acts as an overview for the entire series.“Mr King, can I get your signature, sir?” Lenny pulled out the magazine from his back pocket.“Fuckin’ mark,” Proctor said as he marched straight past and to the phone booth. Lenny didn’t expect anything less from Crazy King. He thought he might have been disappointed if he turned out to be a nice guy.Professional Wrestling has its roots in the Carnivals of the late 1800s. Alongside all your usual side attractions and oddities was the wrestling challenge. A strongman, ideally one with an amateur wrestling background would challenge locals to bouts. With a cash prize on the line it was always a popular attraction as men, eager to impress, stepped up to the line. Often these cash prizes would be won by relative unknowns. The unknowns, of course, were also in the employ of the Carnival thus ensuring the money stayed firmly in the pockets of the shadowy figures pulling the strings. Time moved on, and as we entered the 20th century the outcome of Professional bouts became more and more predetermined, although occasionally fighters would go into business for themselves. As a result, backstabbing, double crosses and unplanned title changes continued to happen.As the 20th century progressed the focal point of professional wrestling continued to shift from genuine competition to spectacle entertainment. It left the Carnival and made its way into the wider world. Shows were promoted, tiers were established and promoters, whilst still in competition with each other, started to work together in the hope of controlling their talent and preventing upstart promotions taking away from their box office takings. In 1948 this group had a name as the National Wrestling Alliance was formed, and despite being comprised of a number of individual territories and regions they all agreed on one thing: Their World Champion was the only World Champion, and he would travel from promotion to promotion, elevating not only his own stature (and by proxy his bosses) but that of the local talent who he worked with. Whilst the territorial system would eventually fall by the wayside due to the rise of the McMahon Family run WWF (now WWE) and the Ted Turner owned WCW (Now defunct, with its assets owned by the WWF/E) for the majority of the 20th Century if you weren’t with the NWA, your chances of success were slim. With clearly defined boundaries and rules, clandestine meetings, shell companies to hide income and the omnipresent ‘Kayfabe’ (wherein wrestling was portrayed as legitimate competition both inside and outside of the ring) there have often been comparisons drawn between the Cartel of Wrestling Bosses and the other great American institute of organised crime and mob bosses.“It’s okay. Luscious knows how to keep kayfabe.”That was a word that was used around Lenny a lot. Kayfabe. Over the years, Lenny grew to understand it to mean “shut the fuck up, here comes someone from outside the business” and it usually meant him.If you’re thinking ‘This sounds like it’d be an amazing environment for a series of crime novels’ then you’d be right. In fact it’s somewhat astounding that it took until 2012 for such a book to emerge. The fact it took this long speaks as to how well protected that era of Professional Wrestling has remained. ‘Kayfabe’ in the modern wrestling world has lost all meaning but for many of those that lived and breathed the territories it’s still alive and well. This makes ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ all the more astounding as it comes not from a grizzled veteran of the squared circle, but from Paul O’Brien, a playwright of 15 years who hails from Wexford Ireland. Pauls novel not only received critical and commercial success but was openly embraced by a number of key figures within the wrestling community including some who were astounded at the level of accuracy with which the territories were portrayed. Some wanted to know who squealed on the business and the truth is no one did; O’Brien is just that damned good.The story of ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ is at its base one that is familiar in crime fiction; Lenny Long, a low level underling with a misguided sense of loyalty and some big dreams finds himself elevated into a situation he is not equipped to handle in a world he is not fully allowed to understand. All he knows is he has a written off van, an unconscious giant and a wrestler who has disappeared save his boot (which itself has a surprise inside). Over the three books we get drawn further and further into this shadowy world, where handshakes are golden, money is power and business gets personal. We meet a world of characters very few of whom are as they seem and most of whom should never, ever be trusted.In a ‘straight’ crime novel this story could walk dangerously close to being clichéd, but by positioning itself in the weird and wonderful world of wrestling it pulls itself back from that brink on multiple occasions. Where a mob story would stay right, the wrestling world pulls a sharp left. Much like the industry it portrays, it’s as much about the unexpected as it is the predictable. Too much of one or the other will cause your interest to wane. Maintaining the balance is difficult. Wrestling isn’t just a backdrop, it’s integral to the story and much like reality the story in the ring is of less importance than that outside.Babu ripped through the curtains and immediately started rearing up on the crowd. He dared them to come from the stands and get in his face. Tonight was a new night for Babu. The realness of the situation meant he could leave his African gimmick backstage and just be himself out there.One of the concepts it is important to grasp at an early point of this novel is that time is fluid. As the story continues there are frequent departures from the present (1973) to show how our cast of characters ended up in their current (occasionally footless) situation. At times this can make for a tricky narrative to follow, but as the book unfolds and we witness the same events from multiple perspectives it all begins to make sense. What seemed like a straight up double-cross will take on new meaning. Those whose path seemed clear become muddied, and the lines of who is good in this world will not so much be blurred as completely erased.Characterisation is one of the series strong points. Initial broad strokes provide you with enough to get hooked and as we go along the finer detail is painted in, sometimes in unexpected ways. Monsters revealed to have a heart of gold, the corruption of innocent minds, the desire for redemption from a condemned man. The three books span a period of around 15 years, and whilst not all characters survive the journey those that do change dramatically. Without wishing to spoil the conclusion, happy endings in the world of ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ come with a price.Whilst the world of ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ is a fictional one, those familiar with that era of wrestling can spot familiar personalities and icons amidst the men and women contained within. Even the most casual of fans will read Babu the African Giant as the 8th Wonder of the World André René Roussimoff (commonly known as Andre the Giant), and whilst none of the other characters are as obvious in their homages, it is very easy to imagine some of the dastardly deeds portrayed within the pages of these three volumes being carried out by some of the less scrupulous promoters and wrestlers of the day.The buildings, venues and locations are also realized with an alarming level of detail. O’Brien has gone on the record stating he researched everything from the colour of the goods elevator at Madison Square Garden to the tiles used in a particular Japanese steakhouse. Whilst the events portrayed may be a work of fiction, the world they live in is very much a snapshot of that period in history.“You have to sell the move, son. And work the crowd. Do you know what that is?”Luke shook his head.“Working the crowd means you make them believe you’re injured. It’s the most important think in all of wrestling. If the audience doesn’t believe you they don’t care. Ready?”With all the above there could be the danger of alienating those who aren’t aware of the inner workings and terminology of professional wrestling. Your average reader might not understand the importance of going over, a clean finish, maintaining kayfabe or why a face should never be seen with a heel. O’Brien takes what could be a limiting factor and turns it into a benefit. Whilst I entered this book with a decent understanding of the terminology and workings of the wrestling business I almost envy those who’ll approach it with a clean slate. My 20+ year tenure as a fan has jaded me to many aspects of this form of entertainment and the destruction of Kayfabe means many of the businesses secrets are already common knowledge to me. The uninitiated will get the most immersive experience as they follow Lenny on his journey and learn alongside him as he is ‘smartened up’ to the business. As a result this can allow for a greater level of investment in his character and the trials he suffers as a result of his infatuation with the world of professional wrestling.“You have ten fucking seconds to use that gun or I will. I want you to suffer through this for years. You hear me? I want your family to know that you killed someone. I want you to know what it feels like directly.”Is there any criticism to be levelled at these books? Despite my enthusiasm I can’t say they’re flawless. The pace of the novels is brisk, leaving little space for attention to wane. It encourages the reader to devour and continue and therein lies the problem… the books to me ended too quickly. This isn’t to say that I was disappointed in the ending, I just wish I hadn’t reached it quite so quickly. It made me hungry for more, not just by continuation but by expansion. There are so many plot threads weaved into the narrative that I would have loved to have seen expanded. There was almost a hint of frustration in my mind when I reached the words ‘The End’ on the final page of Volume 3. I wanted one more page, one more twist, one more betrayal. I didn’t want this to be my last glimpse of Babu, I wanted to know how things turned out for Lenny and his family, I wanted to know more of how the other territory bosses were adapting to the changing face of wrestling in the 1980s. Perhaps then what I perceive as the series greatest weakness is also its greatest strength. I can’t remember the last time I finished a series just wanting more.This raises the question of ‘will there ever be more?’. Currently the answer to that question is as much in the hands of Hollywood as it is Paul O’Brien. The first two novels were optioned for television, O’Brien himself has been on hand to work with the script, and with luck it will find its way onto our screens in the coming years. If it proves successful a TV Series would soon catch up with the literature it’s sourced from, and it has been stated that if that was the case a continuation could be in the pipeline.Much like these books broke new ground for the depiction of wrestling in literature so too would a television series break new ground for the small screen. The only mainstream exposure it has received in recent years has been on the big screen via Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’, which focused less on the industry and more on the individual, in this case Mickey Rourkes ‘Randy the Ram’, and his inability to cope with his twilight years in the industry and fall from popularity. So whilst the cat is mostly out of the bag about the true nature of professional wrestling, it has yet to be exposed as part of an ongoing narrative, and appearances are reserved mainly for episodes of popular crime dramas and even then, it’s frequently portrayed as being ‘hokey’ and ‘camp’. A series of ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ could address this balance, and despite its exaggerated storylines and set pieces prove to be an important document of an era the reality of which may never be fully exposed.Whilst season 1 of ‘Blood Red Turns Dollar Green’ may still be a few years away the three volume set is here and now and available in both paper and digital formats through a number of vendors including Amazon, iBooks, and others. Despite the frustration you may feel when you reach the end of book 3 the journey there is a fascinating one, and one I encourage you to take. If there’s one thing that Paul O’Brien has learnt from the wrestling industry it’s that you should always leave the marks wanting just that little bit more.