- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 4197 KB
- Print Length: 156 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J8VJ6S4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Smoke & Mirrors and Steven Seagal: The Burning Pants of Popular Culture Kindle Edition
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In this new book he tackles a variety of subjects - the phenomenon of the TV psychic, the terrifyingly self-delusional world of professional wrestling, an urban legend about Bill Murray stealing a chip off someone in the Crouch End Wimpy, and more.
The one thing all of the subjects in the book have in common is the blurring of fact and fiction - which Millard does his best to get to the bottom of in his own unique, uncompromising - and hilarious - way.
Every single chapter has laugh-out-loud moments that you will find yourself sniggering about hours later, and I recommend the book in its entirety.
However, I have to make special mention of the chapter on Brian Pillman.
This is, quite simply, the best writing on professional wrestling that I've ever read. And believe me, I've spent/wasted most of the last 25 years reading about the subject.
In equal parts funny, moving, insightful, and filled with original content and research, this is a must-read for any fan of the pseudo-sport.
This book deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience, so buy it now before a bloated Millard hooks up with Zoe Salmon and starts working on the new series of Dani's House.
But secondly, it's also perceptive and informative in its analysis of some jaw-dropping showbusiness lies - from televised hoaxes (Ghostwatch; professional wrestling) to light-ent fibbers (Derek Acorah; James Hydrick) to Hollywood urban myths (the strange phenomenon of the 'Bill Murray story'). Millard has an excellent eye for detail and also brings an appealing personal touch to these stories of showbiz deception, drifting occasionally into nostalgic playground reminiscences and entertainingly vitriolic personal diatribes.
Despite its subject matter and despite Millard's frequently acerbic style, there's a real warmth and enthusiasm to this book - you get the impression that the author is genuinely enjoying telling you these often outlandish tales, in the manner of your pop-culture-trivia-obsessed mate in the pub who always has a brilliant insider anecdote to share that's just spot-on when it comes to the off-kilter details that make it doubly fascinating.
I read through this book in a single sitting and will be recommending it to a number of friends - it deserves a much wider audience. Stuart Millard clearly knows that if there's one Hollywood quotation you should never abide by, it's 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain' - every strange and revealing chapter of this book proves that it's almost always the man behind the curtain who is the most interesting thing on the stage.
I recommend this book to anyone.
The other chapters are similarly illuminating - of particular note is a look at famed BBC mockumentary Ghostwatch, an evisceration of noted fraud Derek Acorah, and an exploration of the repeated Bill Murray encounters.
The tome is shot through with personal anecdotes of childhood, which is clearly where Millard encountered the majority of the figures and events dealt with. This is reinforced by the conscious decision to sprinkle the pages with immature jokes about penii - meaning the book works on several levels, unless you're a massively thick stuntman who IMDB says hasn't worked for eight years, in which case books without pictures may not be for you.
I would buy this book immediately, and then buy another one for a friend. Also, if I were to lose my Kindle and also my password for my Amazon account, I would buy another copy without hesitation.
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