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The Squared Circle Audiobook

The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling

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Publisher's Summary

Grantland and Deadspin correspondent presents a breakthrough examination of the professional wrestling, its history, its fans, and its wider cultural impact that does for the sport what Chuck Klosterman did for heavy metal.

The Squared Circle grows out of David Shoemaker’s writing for Deadspin, where he started the column “Dead Wrestler of the Week” (which boasts over 1 million page views) - a feature on the many wrestling superstars who died too young because of the abuse they subject their bodies to - and his writing for Grantland, where he covers the pro wrestling world, and its place in the pop culture mainstream. Shoemaker’s sportswriting has since struck a nerve with generations of wrestling fans who - like him - grew up worshipping a sport often derided as “fake” in the wider culture. To them, these professional wrestling superstars are not just heroes but an emotional outlet and the lens through which they learned to see the world.

Starting in the early 1900s and exploring the path of pro wrestling in America through the present day, The Squared Circle is the first book to acknowledge both the sport’s broader significance and wrestling fans’ keen intellect and sense of irony. Divided into eras, each section offers a snapshot of the wrestling world, profiles some of the period’s preeminent wrestlers, and the sport’s influence on our broader culture. Through the brawling, bombast, and bloodletting, Shoemaker argues that pro wrestling can teach us about the nature of performance, audience, and, yes, art.

©2013 David Shoemaker (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (254 )
5 star
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Story
3.9 (237 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Andrew B 06-13-16
    Andrew B 06-13-16 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    58
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    "Good stories, bad editing"

    While I question the order these stories are told in they are all interesting, important stories about the history of wrestling. However the editing of the audio book leaves something to be desired. You can clearly tell when they had to edit together multiple takes which is a bit distracting.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Kalmes 10-01-15
    C. Kalmes 10-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Story...Sound Engineering Questionable"
    Where does The Squared Circle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Squared Circle is a solid book from a story perspective, and the writing itself is generally solid and well-researched. It's a great look into the history and modern-day mythology of professional wrestling and, even if you're not even remotely a fan of the sport, is an interesting read.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of R. C. Bray?

    I actually think R. C. Bray does a very commendable job as a narrator - not sure I would change him out at all.


    Any additional comments?

    While the story and writing are solid, keeping the content fresh and interesting throughout - the actual audio of this book is terrible. R. C. Bray does a fine job narrating, but whomever engineered/produced the sound on this should be fired. There are *numerous* obvious audio edits that are very poorly patched in, making it sound more like a mix tape recorded together on an old boom-box vs. a professionally mastered and edited audio book. Definitely should be re-recorded...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 09-02-15
    Ian 09-02-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Maj book, Repug recording."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Squared Circle to be better than the print version?

    I really liked this book, but the piss poor editing of the audio can really take you out of it. additionally, the narrator is clearly a good older than the author, which makes some of the autobiographical details in the book sound extra strange, but that's just being knit picky. Truly awful sound quality though. This thing is audiobook adjace.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Gaston San Antonio, TX USA 04-28-16
    A. Gaston San Antonio, TX USA 04-28-16 Listener Since 2000
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    "Excellent book with poor narration."

    A fascinating book that covers some of the history of wrestling. It focuses on many of the legends lost and the reasons why. I found it a very respectively told story despite the tragedy involved.

    The narration for the audio book is awful. Audio quality fluctuates when it sounds like sections were updated to correct errors. On top of that the book is still full of mistakes where the narrator clearly misspoke or mispronounced a word and the error was just left in. I would recommend reading the book over listening to the poorly recorded garbage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Monteiro 01-10-17 Member Since 2016

    Memory is Hunger - Hemingway

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    "Terrible overdubs"
    Any additional comments?

    The overdubs are so bad in volume and texture, some just sound like they where done on over the phone at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 01-06-17
    Anthony 01-06-17
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    47
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    "Couldn't turn it off"

    The stories and histories are great. An enlightening overview of the fascinating world of pro wrestling. As a fan, it was fantastic to hear the both real and embellished tales behind wrestlings greats. Even non fans should be able to appreciate the uniqueness of the world these men and women inhabited. The wrestlers profiled experienced epic highs and tragic lows all in search of glory and recognition. The writer does a great job bringing the culture to life and making it accessible.

    It is unfortunate that the narration is a major let down. It's robotic and poorly edited together. A history of a world based on charisma and spectacle should be read by a narrator with more personality and emotion. Even so, I couldn't turn it off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce 12-30-16
    Bruce 12-30-16
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    "Love this gem of a wrestling book!"

    A great book about pro-wrestling, its history and pro-wrestlers. It starts with a hilarious anecdote about the author's initiation to wrestling as a kid drawing on his experience to go see wrestling matches with his father. There he kind of learns that pro-wrestling is an intricate intermingling of reality and fakery. The book briefly describes how pro-wrestling came about along with its more legitimate cousin (as a sport), boxing, and then embarks on the introduction of various wrestlers in loosely chronological order. I was a pro-wrestling fan as a kid and, though I don't follow pro-wrestling anymore, this book's superb story-telling really packs tons of entertainment for me. This is an audiobook I want to come back to over and over. A real keeper in my book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RJ 12-29-16
    RJ 12-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great history on some of pro wrestling."

    A lot of detail on pro wrestlings darker side, very good in that aspect. Lacked in performance though, just no heart behind it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 03-04-16
    Josh 03-04-16
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    "The wrestling bible"

    There is no excuse. If you are a fan of wrestling in any capacity u NEED to read and/or listen to this. It is purely and simply the greatest history lesson/expose of the business ever written. The chapter on the lives and deaths of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit was one of the most poignant and haunting things I've ever heard. Give the man who read this an Oscar and give the author a Peabody award. It is that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 06-21-15
    Anthony 06-21-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Good read"

    The reviews that say the recording is poor is very overblown. I almost didn't get the book due to these reviews. Good job over all. A few edits and mispronunciations, but not distracting. There isn't a whole lot of unknown info given for wrestling fans but overall a good cautionary tale of heroes I grew up loving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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