Ugly As Sin: James Newman
Reviewed By Steve Stred
“Of course, what fun would it have been if they stopped there?”
For most of my youth I was a massive WWF fan. Back before the company became the WWE, I was spending a lot of my free time at my grandparents’ house, just down the street, watching wrestling, playing wrestling with all of my action figures (it didn’t matter if it was GI Joes versus Thundercats or Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant, all of the action figures were fair game!).
I stopped watching Monday Night Raw sometime in my early 20’s. I don’t really remember why I stopped, something along the way either grabbed my attention and pulled it away, or I lost interest.
To this day I still enjoy watching old WWF matches and I have a friend who is now in the WWE and I’m beyond excited to see what heights he can go.
Ugly As Sin is tailor-made for all of us wrestling fans who grew up watching the biggest, baddest sports entertainers in the world. The ones who broke our hearts when they turned heel, and the ones who set out imaginations running wild, when we’d take the cushions off of our couches and then jump from the arm to the floor, turning into Macho Man throughout our entire fall from the top turnbuckle.
The story follows Nick Bullman, aka The Widowmaker. He’s the superstar wrestler of the GWA, playing his role so believably, that one night he gets kidnapped and brutalized.
After his recovery life isn’t the same anymore, until his estranged daughter calls and begs him for help.
So Nick returns to the small town of Midnight, where he grew up before getting rich and famous and vows to help.
What comes after is a mild ride through the small town, where nothing is what it seems. Where each day brings new clues and Nick starts to unravel just what is behind everything.
I’ve recommended this book to a bunch of my fellow old-school wrestling friends, and each time I’ve said it’s essentially “The Undertaker playing Liam Neeson’s role in Taken.”
I loved every page of this book and over a very short time, Newman has become one of my favourite writers. I haven’t read a single thing from him that I haven’t enjoyed and the fact that I have two more of his books sitting on my TBR makes me smile.
Newman writes what he knows and the beauty of that is, what he knows is what I grew up with. While the books themselves may not specifically be ‘coming-of-age,’ me reading them is a ‘coming-of-age’ reading experience, if that makes sense. He transports me back to a different place in my life, where I had no bills, no rent and no stress about how to stretch my paycheque.
If Newman isn’t on your TBR you need to check out his stuff ASAP and if you are a fan of old school wrestling, revenge tales, action movies and a riveting read, then I highly recommend Ugly As Sin.
Ugly As Sin
Nick Bullman was a wrestling superstar. His alter ego, The Widowmaker, was the monster heel all the marks loved to hate.
Now, after a brutal encounter with two psychotic fans left his face horribly disfigured, he’s just a monster.
Yanked from the spotlight and thrust into the shadows, these days Nick tries to live the life of an average Joe. He avoids mirrors. He’s angry. He’s alone. And he likes it just fine that way…
Until he receives a desperate phone call from a young lady he barely knows—his daughter.
For the first time in over thirty years, Nick returns to his hometown of Midnight, North Carolina. There he will come face to face with old demons, forge new friendships, and make enemies far more dangerous than those who ruined his face, all in a quest to save the granddaughter he’s never met…and maybe find a little bit of redemption along the way.
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Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here