Thursday, January 2, 2014

BADASS: THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND / Ben Thompson / 384 pages

The actual full title of this book is: BADASS: THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND: SPINE-CRUSHING TALES OF THE MOST MERCILESS GODS, MONSTERS, HEROES, VILLAINS, AND MYTHICAL CREATURES EVER ENVISIONED. Don't you just love a book with a really L--O--N--G subtitle ... :-)

Picked this one up on a whim -- it not only reminded me of my teenage interest in mythology but it just looked like fun. I was right, it is fun plus easy to read due to the arrangement - there are individual chapters for each 'mythological' entity and occasional sidebars for shorter entries on related subject matter. The author stretches the definition of mythology just a bit by including characters from film and television but that just makes the reading even more entertaining. The book is broken up into four main sections with headings such as: '
Gods, Goddesses, and Other Kickass Celestial Beings', 'Heroes, Heroines, and Over-the-Top Do-Gooders', 'Villains, Sorcerers, Antiheroes, and Psychotic Merciless Bastards', and 'Monsters, Fiends, Hellspawn, and Worse'.

Thompson has a rather snarky (and sometimes crude) sense of humor but also appears to have a genuine fondness for his topic. And readers may actually learn a bit (I did say "a bit") about actual figures from mythology or literature by perusing this title but DO beware of the snark! My only complaint is that while 'Dirty' Harry Callahan and Captain Kirk both got their own chapters in the book, there is no mention of similar FEMALE icons such as
Xena: Warrior Princess or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These strong, badass women, using Thompson's own terminology, deserve to be included!! :-)

Want even more snark, check out Ben Thompson's website at:
http://badassoftheweek.com/

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