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4.6 out of 5 stars14
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2013
I recently finished reading "Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops" and found it informative, interesting and thoroughly entertaining throughout.

The book looks at all aspects of the UK wrestling scene, through the eyes of promoters, wrestlers, fans and other observers. I was enthralled by the stories people in the business told of their experiences and hopes for wrestling going forward. Wrestling in the UK is going through a real revival at the moment but at the same time there is a lot of work to be done to reach the hights that people with a love of wrestling would like to see. Carrie Dunn has managed to tease interesting and often openly frank responses from the many subjects that she interviewed and this helps to give a really good picture of the challenges faced to the current participants in UK wrestling.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, not just to committed fans, for who i think it is a "must buy", but those that have only had a passing interest before. Carrie Dunn's book is an excellent account of the blossoming UK wrestling scene. I wish her very well with this book and also her future literary efforts!

Tom Livermore
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on 1 July 2013
Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops provides a unique and in-depth look into the sometimes overlooked world of British pro wrestling.
The book allows wrestling fans to take an exciting look into the workings of the modern British wrestling business. The interviews and information are presented in a way that makes it easy to follow, meaning that a reader who was not familiar with the British pro wrestling scene would be able to understand and enjoy the book. Speaking of interviews, there are many of them to enjoy, as the author has spoken to everyone from experienced wrestling promoters to wrestlers to referees.

Not only does the book focus on the different roles played in current British wrestling, it also gives the reader a look at different wrestling promotions around the UK and their aims, showing us just how diverse the current British wrestling scene can be.
The book also delves into topics such as the current state of British women's wrestling, a very interesting subject made more so with the inclusion of the POVs of some of the top female wrestlers in the country.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in British pro wrestling, whether it be a life long fan or someone who has just discovered it.
I will definitely be looking out for future works from the author.
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on 13 July 2013
Now, I'm not one to give out 5 star reviews willy-nilly but this book deserves it.

It's pretty fantastic that someone is writing about British wrestling. It's been quite a while since British wrestling has been as popular as it is now and hopefully books like this will encourage more people to dip their toes into the water. While British wrestling may not be as popular as its American cousins, what we DO have is a fantastic array of characters and personalities. Long gone are the days of overweight behemoths like Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy. Carrie Dunn has secured interviews with some of the biggest names in British professional wrestling for this book, and her obvious love of the business shines through on every page. Well researched, well written and there's some fabulous stories in here!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I hope that Carrie decides to write more.
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on 6 September 2013
This book is very well written and sympathetically uses the voices of a variety of characters to tell interesting and entertaining stories. As journalism it's definitely a worthy successor to Simon Garfield's The Wrestling. It doesn't have quite that book's quirky quality which is understandable given the difference of era and shorter time span of history.

The structure of the book skillfully takes us through different aspects of the wrestling business whilst building and overlaying different characters and stories. One of the most interesting threads was the story of Hammerlock wrestling and Andre Baker. This runs through more than half the book including catching up with the Channel 4 programme Faking It participants through to the bitter recriminations of the original crew leaving and a short lived ITV2 Transatlantic wrestling show. Some of this was vaguely familiar to me but the differing voices captured through the journalism brought it alive. The personal stories of the participants, the sacrifices made and their passion to be in the business also shone through alongside the outbreaks of backstabbing among wide boys.

The book shifted tone with an epilogue of recommendations for the industry. This section is interesting, well argued and obviously reflects a passion for the subject matter but muddied for me the overall approach of the book from reportage journalism to involved participant/fan. There is nothing wrong with the latter whatsoever and indeed I'd enjoy a book by the same author on the same topic taking that approach and a more personal experience led view. In the body of the book there was also a singular but jarring change in tone to assert something just before the wrestler confirms it presumably in response to author's question.

I'd recommend the book to anyone - whether a fan of the UK wrestling scene, someone who hasn't been to a live UK event since childhood (me) or a complete newcomer to the wrestling scene. It was a cracking read and I was sad to finish it after devouring it in one afternoon in the sun.
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on 2 March 2014
This is an really interesting book. For many wrestling is WWE and TNA, but British wrestling exists and is slowly gaining popularity.

Carrie's excellent book covers so many aspects of the UK wrestling scene as it is today. Broken up into sections to cover different aspects of it works well. If it does have a downside you do get left wishing each chapter was longer.
It helps having input from UK's talent all of whom seem to be honest in their opinions.

Hopefully Carrie will do another book, focusing just on the fans. As I have seen at many UK shows I have been too, they are an interesting bunch. It's one thing to pay to see the wrestlers you see on WWE and TNA at Wembley or other large arenas and another thing entirely going to a show that barely draws 100 people and in some cases aren't great shows or the in ring talent are poor, yet they just keep going regardless.
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on 19 August 2013
I have read lots and lots of books on wrestling, mostly autobiographies. This book takes a whole new approach. An in depth look at the world of British wrestling. It is broken down into logical chapters, which mean you can either sit and read it as a novel, or dip in and out as you please.
The author has obviously done considerable work and research talking to people from all levels within the industry including the fans. This keeps the book fresh and interesting.
It is a must read for any British wrestling fan for sure.
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on 27 July 2013
An excellent guide to the current British wrestling scene, written with zing and humour, and full of interesting first-person quotes and interviews. Seems to be very well-researched and good on the details, and as such provides a fascinating insight (rather than just being a hastily-written attempt to cash in as books on this sort of topic can sometimes be). Highly recommended!
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on 26 August 2013
Carrie Dunn steps inside the world of British Wrestling, talking to wrestlers, promotors and fans from past and present. This book gives you a true and often funny account of what goes on behind the curtain and how British Wrestling is once again beginning to thrive.
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on 13 August 2013
What a superb read extremely enlightening and well written,I admire and respect the honesty of opinions and cannot agree enough about how unprofessional promoters squabbling like toddler's damage the product and play a key role in restricting growth. Top work.
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on 22 February 2014
A very good overview of a much neglected sport, or if you insist, entertainment.
Details the struggles involved in bringing the sport to the public arena in the modern age, plenty of background information from past and current personalities.
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