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Who's The Daddy?: The Life and Times of Shirley Crabtree (The Biography of Big Daddy) Hardcover – Illustrated, 18 Aug 2013
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About the Author
Ryan Danes was born in Plymouth in 1975, just as Big Daddy was bursting on to the scene and out of his leotard, and he considers the man a childhood hero. Since then Ryan has had various publishers, BAFTA award-winning directors and authors in head-locks and wedgies as he's tried to sell his work, until somebody finally submitted to his demands.
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Now 20+ years later I have a greater appreciation for the life of a professional wrestler and having read a number of great autobiographies about American wrestlers who spanned a similar era I was very interested to learn more about where Big Daddy had originated from before his twilight I remembered.
All this hope and excitement died within a few chapters after being bludgeoned by the haphazard writing style of the author. I’ve not finished the book, I simply can’t bring myself to go through it any more, and despite being a fair few chapters in I don’t think I’ve learnt very much. The narrative bounces back and forth in time so much that you can’t get a feel for where in the linear life of Shirley Crabtree you truly are, the style is anecdotal and it strikes me the author has written as he speaks. Sadly he speaks like an old man telling tales round a fire in a pub on a Tuesday afternoon, tales which meander and spin out rather than getting to the point, tales that quite simply no one cares about or wants to listen to.
I hope someone else comes along and has another go at telling the tale of Shirley Crabtree, I have no doubt it would be an interesting one. Until then something is not better than nothing.
The book is poorly written.It is difficult to understand why the author decided to include pieces of contemporary history.They only detract from a very interesting story.The author adopts a sort of "jack the lad" approach in his writing which is rather unhelpful.Despite all this it is an interesting if sad story.Of a wrestler who entered a faustian pact and paid the price.A far better read is Simon Garfield's "The Wrestling".
The author attempts to be amusing, yet comes across as a narrow minded Daily Mail reader, I understand why he puts the bits in, as he is attempting to give the time frame context but it quite simply doesn't work. or he couldn't make it work.
I found out very little about the man (he has two children somewhere along the way which just pop out), and his first marriage is given all of about 6 words. Even the bits about the wrestling seem to be limited.
Understandably it is very hard to write a biography on someone - require family and friends assistance, and to be critical, but this doesn't seem objective at all. Shirley was this big hearted Yorkshireman who was a man of the people.
So why 3 starts? I was a young boy in the 1980's, and this is about Big Daddy - I couldn't completely slate it.
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