From legendary wrestling announcer Jim Ross comes a candid, colorful memoir about the inner workings of the WWE and the personal crises he weathered at the height of his career.
If you’ve caught a televised wrestling match anytime in the past THIRTY years, you’ve probably heard Jim Ross’s throaty Oklahoma twang. The beloved longtime announcer of WWE is already an icon to generations of wrestling fans, and he’s not slowing down, having just signed on as the announcer of the starry new wrestling venture All Elite Wrestling. In this follow-up to his bestselling memoir Slobberknocker, he dishes about not only his long career, which includes nurturing global stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena, but also about the challenges of aging and disability, his split from collaborator Vince McMahon, and the sudden death of his beloved wife, Jan. The result is a gruff, endearing, and remarkably human-scale portrait, set against the larger-than-life backdrop of professional wrestling.
Ross’s ascent in WWE mirrors the rise of professional wrestling itself from a DIY sideshow to a billion-dollar business. Under the Black Hat traces all the highs and lows of that wild ride, in which Jim served not only as on-air commentator, but talent manager, payroll master, and even occasional in-ring foil to threats like Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Undertaker. While his role brought him riches and exposure Jim never dreamed of growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, he chafed against the strictures of a fickle corporate culture and what he saw as a narrow vision of what makes great wrestlers—and great story lines. When suddenly stricken with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis that makes it impossible to smile, he stared down his greatest fear—being cast out of the announcing booth for good.
Picking up where Slobberknocker left off and ending on the cusp of a new career in a reimagined industry, Under the Black Hat is the triumphant tale of a country boy who made it to the top, took a few knocks, and stuck around—just where his fans like him.
This is the third adventure of the unlikely space heroes of the cult TV hit Red Dwarf – Lister, Rimmer, Kryten, Holly and the Cat – as they continue their epic journey through frontal-lobe-knotting realities. We join them just as Dave Lister has finally found his way back to planet Earth – which is good. What’s bad, however, is that time isn’t running in quite the right direction. And if he doesn’t get off the planet soon, he’s going to have to go through puberty again – backwards. If his crewmates can’t help him, Lister will carry on growing younger until he becomes a baby, then an embryo, meeting a very sticky end indeed.
The web has its own language, aesthetics, issues, and problems; yet the infrastructure and rules of web site design are still in their infancy. Here, the author discusses how Web designers should collaborate with editors and engineers, have an acute understanding of the concept of real-time, master hypertext, know their audience, be wary of multimedia, and create sites that emphasize simplicity and clarity and that users can move through quickly. Includes numerous color reproductions of web pages.
In April 1999, Entertainment Weekly asked its readers what many Americans were surely wondering to themselves: how did wrestling get so big?
As a consequence of the heated ratings competition between World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the spectacle had taken over Monday nights on prime-time cable television. But in a departure from the family-friendly programming produced by the last industry boom – the 1980s wave, which made household names of Hulk Hogan, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and Andre the Giant – the new era of wrestling combined stunning athleticism with a raunchy sex appeal, engrossing story lines and novel production techniques that reflected a changing society and its shifting values.
Once again, wrestling was a ubiquitous phenomenon – only this time, it seemed as though the fad would never end. With both WCW and WWF expanding into other forms of entertainment – movies, video games, music and the like – the potential for growth appeared to be limitless.
But with uncertainty surrounding its corporate future, and increasingly uninspired programming eroding its audience, WCW stood on the verge of collapse. Three years into a five-year plan devised by its charismatic leader – a former Blue Ribbon Foods salesman named Eric Bischoff – the company whose unexpected ascension initiated the entire boom was operating on borrowed time.
For by the end of the five-year plan, WCW ceased to exist.
But NITRO is a story about much more than WCW and the Monday Night Wars. It is a story of an era, a time in which the media and cultural landscape precipitated – and later supported – pro wrestling’s mainstream popularity. It is a story of how a company made in the image of an intuitively brilliant risk-taker betrayed its original promise. It is a story of how a handful of men, each struggling with their own limitations, facilitated a public obsession that changed television forever.
And so, with the inside knowledge of a journalist, the perspective of a historian, and the passion of a fan, author Guy Evans provides a fresh look at an unfortunate inevitability – the downfall of World Championship Wrestling. Bolstered by exclusive interviews with over 120 former TBS and WCW employees, NITRO is the definitive picture of the last wrestling boom.
Featuring exclusive interviews and comments from:
Eric Bischoff, fmr. President of World Championship Wrestling; Harvey Schiller, fmr. President of Turner Sports; Jamie Kellner, fmr. CEO of Turner Broadcasting System; Bill Burke, fmr. President of TBS network; Joe Uva, fmr. President of Turner Entertainment Sales and Marketing; Scot Safon, fmr. SVP of Marketing for TNT network; Kevin Nash, WWE Hall of Famer and 5-time WCW world champion; Diamond Dallas Page, WWE Hall of Famer and 3-time WCW world champion; Vince Russo, fmr. WCW writer; Marcus ‘Buff’ Bagwell, fmr. WCW superstar and 5-time world tag team champion; Kevin Sullivan, fmr. WCW superstar and head booker; Hugh Morrus, fmr. WCW superstar; Neal Pruitt, fmr. WCW Feature Producer and voice of the nWo; David Crockett, fmr. WCW Vice President of Production; Dick Cheatham, fmr. Group Controller for TBS; Alan Sharp, fmr. WCW Director of Public Relations; Mike Weber, fmr. WCW Director of Marketing; Rob Garner, fmr. WCW Vice President of TV Programming and Sales Jerry Jarrett, legendary wrestling promoter and booker…
A posthumous collection of writing by Aaron Swartz, the computer genius and Internet hacktivist whose tragic suicide shook the world
In his too-short life, Aaron Swartz reshaped the Internet, questioned our assumptions about intellectual property, and touched all of us in ways that we may not even realize. His tragic suicide in 2013 at the age of twenty-six after being aggressively prosecuted for copyright infringement shocked the nation and the world.
Here for the first time in print is revealed the quintessential Aaron Swartz: besides being a technical genius and a passionate activist, he was also an insightful, compelling, and cutting essayist. With a technical understanding of the Internet and of intellectual property law surpassing that of many seasoned professionals, he wrote thoughtfully and humorously about intellectual property, copyright, and the architecture of the Internet. He wrote as well about unexpected topics such as pop culture, politics both electoral and idealistic, dieting, and lifehacking. Including three in-depth and previously unpublished essays about education, governance, and cities, The Boy Who Could Change the World contains the life’s work of one of the most original minds of our time.
One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.
For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.
Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.
Did you know that these twenty-six words are responsible for much of America’s multibillion-dollar online industry? What we can and cannot write, say, and do online is based on just one law–a law that protects online services from lawsuits based on user content. Jeff Kosseff exposes the workings of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has lived mostly in the shadows since its enshrinement in 1996. Because many segments of American society now exist largely online, Kosseff argues that we need to understand and pay attention to what Section 230 really means and how it affects what we like, share, and comment upon every day.
The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet tells the story of the institutions that flourished as a result of this powerful statute. It introduces us to those who created the law, those who advocated for it, and those involved in some of the most prominent cases decided under the law. Kosseff assesses the law that has facilitated freedom of online speech, trolling, and much more. His keen eye for the law, combined with his background as an award-winning journalist, demystifies a statute that affects all our lives -for good and for ill. While Section 230 may be imperfect and in need of refinement, Kosseff maintains that it is necessary to foster free speech and innovation.
In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been.
In Lurking, Joanne McNeil digs deep and identifies the primary (if sometimes contradictory) concerns of people online: searching, safety, privacy, identity, community, anonymity, and visibility. She charts what it is that brought people online and what keeps us here even as the social equations of digital life—what we’re made to trade, knowingly or otherwise, for the benefits of the internet—have shifted radically beneath us. It is a story we are accustomed to hearing as tales of entrepreneurs and visionaries and dynamic and powerful corporations, but there is a more profound, intimate story that hasn’t yet been told.
Long one of the most incisive, ferociously intelligent, and widely respected cultural critics online, McNeil here establishes a singular vision of who we are now, tells the stories of how we became us, and helps us start to figure out what we do now.
“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999–and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it–fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.
What was I thinking? Another autobiography? A third? Who did I think I was, Winston Churchill? Why would I want to set my pen loose on hundreds of sheets of notebook paper unless I really felt I had something worth writing about?
Besides, I had a wrestling comeback to prepare for, mentally and physically, provided I could get Vince McMahon and the WWE creative staff to embrace what I was sure was the single greatest storyline of my career.
Then it hit me: the storyline. I would give WWE fans unprecedented access to World Wrestling Entertainment, covering everything from conception to completion. I would recount how I felt about specific interviews and matches, whether they helped or hurt. I would expose the backstage politics, shed some light on my rocky relationship with Vince McMahon, offer insights into my personal dealings with WWE Superstars, and tell stories about my favorite Divas.
But I wasn’t interested in writing just a wrestling book. I wanted to share moments from my personal life as well, from a humorous look at my unlikely dinner with polarizing neocon Paul Wolfowitz, to my haunting meeting with a severely burned boy in Afghanistan, to my peculiar obsession with a certain jolly old elf.
I knew I could make the fans care about this storyline, provided I could once again find the passion to make the story come to life in arenas around the country and on television sets around the world.
Most importantly, I had to ask myself a vital question, one upon which this whole idea, and therefore the book you hold, hinges: Was I willing to become the first voluntary member of the Vince McMahon “Kiss My Ass Club”? I sat on the idea for a few days, to let the idea ripen and mature in my mind, like a fine vintage wine, and to figure out if I was really willing to kiss his ass. I mean, literally kiss a man’s ass. Sure, I’d been kissing the same guy’s ass figuratively for a decade. But this was different. Did I really have the testicular fortitude required for such a task? In front of millions? Including my wife and kids?
In Foley Is Good, Mick Foley — former Commissioner of the World Wrestling Federation, aka Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind — picks up right where his smash #1 New York Times bestseller Have a Nice Day! left off, giving readers an inside look at the behind-the-scenes action in the Federation. With total honesty and riotous humor, Mick Foley shines a spotlight into some of the hidden corners of the World Wrestling Federation. From the ongoing controversy surrounding “backyard wrestling” to the real story behind his now-infamous “I Quit” match with The Rock, Foley covers all the bases in this hysterically funny roller-coaster ride of a memoir.
Mick Foley is a nice man, a family man who loves amusement parks and eating ice cream in bed. So how to explain those Japanese death matches in rings with explosives, golden thumbtacks and barbed wire instead of rope? The second-degree burn tissue? And the missing ear that was ripped off during a bout-in which he kept fighting? Here is an intimate glimpse into Mick Foley’s mind, his history, his work and what some might call his pathology. Now with a bonus chapter summarizing the past 15 months-from his experience as a bestselling author through his parting thoughts before his final match. A tale of blood, sweat, tears and more blood-all in his own words-straight from the twisted genius behind Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind.
For this rousing, revisionist history, the former head of exhibitions at England’s National Maritime Museum has combed original documents & records to produce a most authoritative & definitive account of piracy’s Golden Age. As he explodes many accepted myths (i.e. walking the plank is pure fiction), Cordingly replaces them with a truth that is more complex & often bloodier. 16 pages of photos. Maps.
Countless writers and artists have spoken for a generation, but no one has done it quite like Chuck Klosterman. With an exhaustive knowledge of popular culture and an almost effortless ability to spin brilliant prose out of unlikely subject matter, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America: reality TV, Internet porn, Pamela Anderson, literary Jesus freaks, and the real difference between apples and oranges (of which there is none). And don’t even get him started on his love life and the whole Harry-Met-Sally situation.
Whether deconstructing Saved by the Bell episodes or the artistic legacy of Billy Joel, the symbolic importance of The Empire Strikes Back or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry, Chuck will make you think, he’ll make you laugh, and he’ll drive you insane — usually all at once. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is ostensibly about art, entertainment, infotainment, sports, politics, and kittens, but — really — it’s about us. All of us. As Klosterman realizes late at night, in the moment before he falls asleep, “In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever ‘in and of itself.'” Read to believe.
The legendary Frank Zappa, one of the most influential, innovative and controversial musical artists for the past 20 years, takes us on a wild, funny trip through his life and times. Along the way, Zappa offers his inimitable views on many things such as art, politics and beer.
No one is free from advertising. Whether on television or radio, plastered along streets and highways or on trains and buses, ads for everything from films to hair gels vie for the attention of consumers. Of course, ads have long been a cultural presence, though in our shrinking world of mega-corporations they have infiltrated every nook and cranny our lives, turning both public and private spaces into unadulterated selling zones. Designer Ji Lee has come up with a way to reclaim our urban environments. It’s called Bubbling. Blank bubble stickers are put up on ads. Passersby fill them in with their own messages, some as funny as they are profound, and instantly transform the corporate monologue into a true public dialogue.
If you wanted to build a machine that would distribute propaganda to millions of people, distract them from important issues, energize hatred and bigotry, erode social trust, undermine respectable journalism, foster doubts about science, and engage in massive surveillance all at once, you would make something a lot like Facebook. Of course, none of that was part of the plan. In this fully updated paperback edition of Antisocial Media, Siva Vaidhyanathan explains how Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging. It’s an account of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit, and an ideology that sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it’s an indictment of how “social media” has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump’s election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines. Both authoritative and trenchant, Antisocial Media shows how Facebook’s mission went so wrong.
In Liberty Defined, congressman and #1 New York Times bestselling author Ron Paul returns with his most provocative, comprehensive, and compelling arguments for personal freedom to date.
The term “Liberty” is so commonly used in our country that it has become a mere cliche. But do we know what it means? What it promises? How it factors into our daily lives? And most importantly, can we recognize tyranny when it is sold to us disguised as a form of liberty?
Dr. Paul writes that to believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust in the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions. It is the seed of America.
This is a comprehensive guide to Dr. Paul’s position on fifty of the most important issues of our times, from Abortion to Zionism. Accessible, easy to digest, and fearless in its discussion of controversial topics, Liberty Defined sheds new light on a word that is losing its shape.
From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.
Sedaris remembers his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy.
With Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why his work has been called “hilarious, elegant, and surprisingly moving” (Washington Post).
Would you like to make a living with your writing?
This book will show you how.
I spent 13 years working as a cubicle slave in the corporate world. I was miserable in my job and my creativity was stunted by the crushing daily grind.
Then I started writing books and blogging, using my words to create products and attract readers. In September 2011, I left my corporate job to become a full-time author and creative entrepreneur and since then I’ve grown my business year on year “” all based on my writing. More importantly, I’m finally living the happy life I always wanted.
I’m not a Kindle or blogging millionaire and this is not a get rich quick scheme. But I will share with you how I make a six-figure income from writing books, blogging and marketing in an ethical manner.
We’re living in the best time ever to make a living with your writing! Read on to learn more.
The book includes:
Overview of how I make a living and income split
Tips on writing and productivity
Tips on mindset
Part 1: How to make money from books
It’s not just one book
Your publishing options: Traditional publishing
Changes in the publishing industry
Your publishing options: Becoming an indie author
How to self-publish an ebook
How to self-publish a print book
How to self-publish an audiobook
Part 2: How to make money online in other ways
A business powered by content marketing
Consulting or coaching
Advertising and sponsorship
Tips for content marketing
The transition and your next steps
Plus/ Companion Workbook so you can answer the questions in the book for yourself.
If you’d like to make a living with your writing, this book will help you take the next steps.
Guided by “Akira-sensei,” John comes to realize the greatest adversity on his journey will be the challenge of defeating the man in the mirror.
This powerful story of one boy’s journey to achieve his life long goal of becoming a samurai warrior, brings the Train to be CLUTCH curriculum to life in a powerful and memorable way.
Some things you will learn… —No matter how it feels, you are always building your own house. —How and why you must surrender to the outcome in order to be at your best. —Why you never want to have your identity wrapped up in what you do. —Why your strength lies in faithfulness to the little things. —How to develop a heart posture of gratitude. —How to use the biggest challenges as a training ground for greatness. —Why the process is more important than the goal. —Why comparison is the thief of all joy. —How to develop a growth mindset. —Why talent is more of a curse than a blessing.
Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres–science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. A basic understanding of biology, physics, engineering, and medicine will help you create more realistic stories that satisfy discerning readers.
This book brings together scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help you: Understand the basic principles of science, technology, and medicine that are frequently featured in fiction. Avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions to ensure technical accuracy. Write realistic and compelling scientific elements that will captivate readers. Brainstorm and develop new science- and technology-based story ideas. Whether writing about mutant monsters, rogue viruses, giant spaceships, or even murders and espionage, Putting the Science in Fiction will have something to help every writer craft better fiction.
Putting the Science in Fiction collects articles from “Science in Sci-fi, Fact in Fantasy,” Dan Koboldt’s popular blog series for authors and fans of speculative fiction (dankoboldt.com/science-in-scifi). Each article discusses an element of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in that field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.
An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.
Imagine a product that increases alertness, boosts creativity, reduces stress, improves perception, stamina, motor skills, and accuracy, enhances your sex life, helps you make better decisions, keeps you looking younger, aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart attack, elevates your mood, and strengthens memory. Now imagine that this product is nontoxic, has no dangerous side effects, and, best of all, is absolutely free.
This miracle drug is, in fact, nothing more than the nap: the right nap at the right time. The work of Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., a researcher at the Salk Institute and the leading authority on the study of the nap, Take a Nap! Change Your Life. is the scientifically-based breakthrough program that shows how we can fight the fatigue epidemic—which afflicts an estimated 50 million Americans—through a custom-designed nap. Take a Nap! Change Your Life. explains the five stages of the sleep cycle, particularly Stage Two, Slow Wave Sleep, and REM, and the benefits each one provides; how to assess your tiredness and set up a personal sleep profile; and how to neutralize the voice in your head that tells you napping is a sign of laziness. (Not that anyone would have called JFK, Churchill, Einstein, or Napoleon a slug-a-bed.) Using the unique Nap Wheel on the cover and interior graphs and charts, it shows us exactly when our optimum napping time is, and exactly how long we should try to sleep—even how it’s possible to design a nap to inspire creativity one day, and the next day design one to help us with our memory. There are tips on how to create the right nap environment, a 16-step technique for falling asleep, a six-week napping workbook, and more.
While other books give you tips on how to “write funny,” this book offers a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics and art of comedy, and the proven, practical tools that help writers translate that understanding into successful, commercial scripts. The Hidden Tools of Comedy unlocks the unique secrets and techniques of writing comedy. Kaplan deconstructs sequences in popular films and TV that work and don’t work, and explains what tools were used (or should have been used).
The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys, ”’Treasure Island’ has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!
The unexpected and complex relationship that develops between Silver and Jim helps transform what seems at first to be a simple, rip-roaring adventure story into a deeply moving study of a boy’s growth into manhood, as he learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage and honor—and the uncertain meaning of good and evil.
Both an exciting novel and high-spirited adventure film, BACK TO THE FUTURE is the unforgettable story of a modern time-traveling teenager whose journey to the past risks his very own future when he discovers surprises he never could have imagined.
A remarkable debut novel—given extraordinary life by its amalgam of energy, raw authentic language, and, at the core, a surprising gentleness.
It is the work of the constantly amazing wrestler-writer Mick Foley, whose two volumes of autobiography, Have a Nice Day! and Foley Is Good, were each number one on the New York Times National Best-seller List. It tells the story and speaks in the voice—at once innocent and too knowing for his age—of Antietam (Andy) Brown, named for the great-great-great- grandfather who died on that Civil War battlefield. Andy at seventeen is himself the veteran of a violent boyhood, having been locked up in the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center for killing a teenager who attempted to rape him.
Now, after seven years, he is out, free, at a crossroads, trying to make a fresh start, to fit into the life of Conestoga High School in the small upstate New York town to which he has been brought by his father—absent from his life since he was a month old. The man is certainly charismatic. He is also crude, apparently addicted to bodybuilding, beer swilling, and (his own words for his serial womanizing) “bareback riding.” He has no visible job, no known past.
Associated by the town with his father’s coarseness, hectored by the boorish football coach and the coach’s pack of steroid-pumping teens, feeling himself losing ground, Andy is stunned to discover that the most popular girl in town is attracted to him. Terri, the homecoming queen, the school beauty, every boy’s dream girl, a born-again Christian, a really nice girl. Andy can’t believe it. He is immediately head over heels in love—first love—and determined to protect Terri from everything bad on earth. Worried that his father, even he himself, might contaminate her, and determined for her sake to discover what his father is, Andy begins to delve into the locked rooms and dangerous currents of the elder Tietam Brown’s past and present. What happens is told in a novel that is appealingly direct, moving, and altogether pleasurable in its superb storytelling and celebration of the human spirit.