I am here sitting down, fulfilling both you and a publishing company a promise of making a book review as I listen to KISS' Destroyer album. I am not a big KISS fan, but this one has Detroit Rock City in it and I am trying to copy that song into my computer's drive, since I rented the CD at the library. And, talking about books, I have one for you today whose title is nothing but befitting. In what has been more or less a series of articles written by yours truly, I have reviewed the biographies of Sugar Ray Leonard and Rusty Rosemberger, and have yet to finish the last chapter of Binnie Klein's, the woman (Klein) who took up boxing at the age of 50. This time, I bring you the third book in this "series", named Bamboozled (Microcosm Publishing, 2008, written by Joe Biel and Joey Torrey, ISBN-10: 1934620319, ISBN-13: 978-1934620311, all rights reserved). This is a small book that you will enjoy because it is intriguing and almost reads like a crime story.
Joey Torrey here tells us his biography, about how he went from Olympic hopeful to jail inmate in the California system. Joey is friends with Carlos Palomino and many other west coast based boxing greats, and also with Darryl Strawberry, Paul Molitor and Eric Davis. He answered fan mail for Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan-(how can those two have fans!!??) and, upon release during 2003, he traveled to Nicaragua to greet Alexis Arguello. He lived in Mexico for some time. He had the company of the likes of Bob Arum, Bruce Trampler and Sean Gibbons, from (Gibbons formerly from) Top Rank. Or........did he-is he?
The book, when you read it, reads like a script for a movie such as Blood In, Blood Out or Pulp Fiction or Get Shorty. In it, Torrey, who is actually Puerto Rican and not Mexican or Central American as his California living led me to believe, talks about life on the gangs, drug addiction, crimes, romantic love, the FBI, the mob, fight fixing, and what he seems to be searching for his ultimate redemption. The book could be made into a movie and I bet it would develop a cult following in pay movie and boxing channels like Showtime and HBO. But the thing about it that prevents you from keeping it down for too long, is Biel's writing interludes in which he gives his opinion that many of the things Torrey claims may be lies or embellished truths. Which makes you wonder, because some of the things he spoke about are actually on public record (like the fact that the FBI did investigate Joey's lone professional fight, a win, suspecting it had been fixed) Clearly, the book tells everything Joey wanted it to say, but you have to remember, that paper will hold everything you write on it and communicate it forward. Just if I write on paper that I am the father of Madonna's children does not mean that I am! (I wish I was!) But like I said, some of the things he mentioned are facts of public knowledge. Biel, however, keeps the reader interested by pointing out at things that do make you wonder the veracity of Torrey's writings. Therefore the appropriateness of the book's title "Bamboozled". I too was Bamboozled.
The book is 64 pages long, which means that you will take about 4 days reading it. That is as fast as I have ever read a book from start to finish and that, or less, is how long it will take you, because it keeps you wanting more and more of it.
And for a suggested retail price of $3.99, its not a bad deal on the pocket's end either!
Get it and you too will become Bamboozled! Is he being honest or lying....is he being honest or lying.....is he being honest or lying.......?