Wrestle Maniacs is a collection of dark, often humorous fiction based in the world of professional wrestling.
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Many of the stories are inspired by behind-the-scenes events, veteran performers or storylines that happened in the past. That’s not to say all the stories are riffs on genuine circumstances; some are wildly original – Patrick Lacey’s “Kill To Be You”, a sci-fi infused tale about a struggling wrestler turned actor, being my favorite of the bunch.
A few stories veer into the uncomfortable. Adam Howe’s “Rassle Hassle”, although gut-bustingly funny, along with Jason Parent’s “Canadian Donkey Punch”, had moments that were nearly gag-inducing with overly graphic descriptions. I’d like to think I have a strong stomach but even I found myself pulling away from some of the more extreme scenes. I’m not sure if this is a compliment or a complaint.
I appreciate Adam Howe’s effort to bring the sordid world of professional wrestling into the realm of weird and violent fiction. Wrestling is tailor-made for some truly screwed up tales given the litany of the you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me true stories. If you’re a fan of the grappling arts, you’re guaranteed to find something in here to latch onto but leave your pretentious perspective at the door.