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The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment Hardcover – 15 Feb 2012
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Voice of Reason The mixed martial artist explores his life and sport, the U.S. political and social scene, and everything in between. Full description
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But what I have no interest in are his arrogant & bigoted Republican political views - and this book is full of them - in fact, that's pretty much all you get. It's fine if he holds those views; that's his deal - but it's also safe to assume people buying his book are UFC/MMA fans - not people looking for a political lecture. But his book is terrible - it has little to do with fighting, MMA, or UFC. He talks about his love for Nixon & how Nixon was set up by the "hippy" liberal press for Watergate, he discusses Vietnam, Occupy Wall Street, God, his real estate & testosterone scandals (which still make no sense when he explains them, since he acts faux-naïf when he tells both stories - Chael is the 'confused' victim in both scenarios). He also has a go at endangered species, conservationists, Bill Maher, Obama, The Godfather 1 & 2, Native Americans, etc, etc - the list goes on; and having a go at liberals (or anyone not right wing) is a running theme. And to be clear - I'm not "offended" by any of these views - I just don't care. It's boring & his points are made in such a biased & OTT manner, that he's not convincing in the slightest.
We all know his promos are OTT and we don't really take them seriously - it's mostly a laugh, so we suspend our disbelief & go with the flow - it's entertainment - but he also puts across his political agendas in the same way in this book - in an OTT promo-style, 100% one-sided, and full of hyperbole. It really lacks credibility. So it's not as if I can even take away any political lessons or education from this book, because I simply don't believe what he's saying.
Anyway - If you want to hear Chael discuss MMA, you'll be sorely disappointed. He talks about his high school wrestling coach, slags off Anderson (no new material though), slags off every other martial art, and discusses entrance music choices - that's all the MMA related material you get. The first chapter is him travelling to the Brian Stann fight - and the last chapter is him during the fight - they're pretty good chapters, although he also tries to crowbar in as many big words as possible in his descriptions, in an attempt to sound poetic and/or profound. Everything in between the first & last chapters is just conservative/republican opinion. Although I like the chapter about his Dad - that was heartfelt & legit
Also - the book is way shorter than it looks. I read it in 3 hours. And to re-iterate - I'm a huge fan of Chael's promos & fights - but this book was a huge disappointment.
I realise the clue of what this book is about is in the title - but this is being sold as a "Sport" bio book by Amazon & everywhere else, as well as being marketed by the MMA media as such. But it's 90% a book about his own personal political opinions... not sports.
What I do not like about Chael is his book. I was expecting something on paper akin to what I see on the screen. 220 pages of Chael Sonnen being the Chael I love to watch. What I did not want was 200 pages of politics. I am not American, I'm from the UK, so reading nothing but Republican topics is not how I want to spend my time. I bought this book to get an insight into Chael's life (which, for small parts, you do. And those small parts are brilliant). It is just a sad fact that the large part of the book is not what I class as something I want to spend my time reading.
A shame, as he is truly my favourite personality in all of sports.
The book starts and ends with the Brian Stann fight from UFC 136 and really is the best part of the book as Sonnen describes the build-up to fight week and the hard task of cutting weight as well as the actual fight, it's a pity he couldn't have covered more of his fights from his career such as both Paulo Filho fights from the WEC days. We get a chapter on why Richard Nixon was the best president ever as well as some love for both George Bush's. Chael gives movie advice, such as what movie he thinks is vastly over rated. Also covering music Sonnen lists his eleven best walkout songs that fighters should use and also lists a few they shouldn't use.
There are some funny stories about Donald Cerrone and C.B Dolloway and the book would have benefited from more of these types of stories. Instead Chael bashes loads of different types of Martial Arts and tells us why we shouldn't use social media even though he has a twitter account, its obvious the book isn't meant to be taken seriously.
Yes Chael sonnen is one of the most entertaining MMA fighters in the world today however this book could have been so much better as he could have given us an insight to the early days of the legendary Team Quest days which had Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindeland all as members back in the day. Of course he could be saving a real life autobiography for when he wins the title from Anderson Silva.
I was hoping for a book full of funny stories about training, fighting and travelling throughout Chael's career. Instead this is kind of a mash up book on how to live your life and how to be. Of course almost everything is tongue in cheek. There is one very strange chapter dedicated to why Chael hates Liberals and why you should too.
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