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Ugly As Sin by James Newman

Ugly As Sin

by James Newman

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Nick Bullman is all about fortune and fame until he's badly mutilated by psychotic wrestling fans, effectively ending his career as the Widowmaker. A complicated man who's problems started long before being attacked, Nick receives a phone call from his estranged daughter. He learns he has a granddaughter who's gone missing and according to the sheriff she's a murder suspect. Beginning the Widowmaker's quest for his granddaughter and the truth.

A fast pace thriller i think should've been a graphic novel (it'd do the action some justice). Author James Newman does superb job of bringing this gritty tale to life. Scene by scene it felt like I was there; from the diner to Leon's trailer. The depth of character development, main and secondary, was glorious. I felt like I knew each character personally; Leon was my favorite, his fate shocking to say the least. I enjoyed the ugliness off it all; the storyline, the characters and their settings. Mr. Balfour was such a curiosity he deserved more pages! I'd definitely read book about his wretched life. Can this be made possible?!

The only complaint is have the ebook version I read had fragment sentences or periods where there should have been commas which ruined the flow of things at times. ( )
  rebel_duck | Jun 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I didn't really know what to expect when I started this book, but something about the summary got my interest. Definitely not the fact that the main character was a former wrestling star, a sport that doesn't mean anything to me, but maybe the bittersweet smell of human tragedy it exuded. With that, I entered a whole new world of writing, where each character was a damaged soul in their own way and for the first time ever I think of the word 'poetic' to describe an author's talent for forging words into stories. However, I often use the phrase 'human monsters' and again, I found a story that perfectly fits into that category, where the true monsters are not recognizable by their looks, but have an inner ugliness perfectly hidden from view. But if evil would always be recognizable just by the looks of it, stories could get very boring and many great works just wouldn't exist.

From the first sentence, I was drawn to the story and despite all his past failures, mainly him leaving his family for the sake of commercial fame, I couldn't help but sympathize with Nick. While I surely pitied him for his disfigurement, it marked the turning point of his life and made him a better man, as I'm sure he would not have followed his daughter's call for help had he still been big in business.

The plot was very suspenseful, while at the same time very emotional. His writing seems to flow so effortlessly, while at the same time carrying a depth I have seldom encountered before. Also the characters in the book, even minor appearances, show a dense complexity that give you the feeling of standing right next to them and being part of the story.

Mr Newman is a true master of his art and with this one book he already earned a permanent place on my list of favorite authors.

(Thanks to Librarything, the author, and the publisher for a copy of the book, all opinions are my own) ( )
  misspider | May 31, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A wonderful tale, but no Disney product, no bunnies and good fairies; but rather a story which draws you in while simultaneously repulsing you. The main character, having worked hard for fame and fortune, has lost it all due to misfortune, ignorance and inability to control his emotions, only to discover that he's also lost an opportunity for a meaningful life without the trapping of celebrity. The story is one of redemption, or rather the beginnings of redemption, as well as the rescue of his granddaughter from evil. At the end we hope that he will be an adult and content with the meaningful relations a family can bring. As said, this work quickly draws you in and is consequently a fast read, recommend highly to those that enjoy a good noir tale. ( )
  dmclane | May 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This a quick, suspenseful revenge story that also focuses on family relationships. I was surprised by how brutal a few of the scenes were, incorporating elements of horror, but it was all well-written and I enjoyed it, even if it did make me a bit queasy. No knowledge of pro-wrestling was necessary to enjoy this. Even though it is short, you feel like you know the protagonist. ( )
  rosapoma | May 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
'Ugly As Sin is' my first outing into the mind of James Newman. I came close to losing my dinner during chapter one... or was it chapter two? I can't remember. It was, after all, the middle of the night.

In the morning, as I finished the book, I fell into a fitful doze peopled by psychotics carving off my face. Daddy, Noooo! Slap. Oh, where was I?

If you love a seriously good bit of noir, then read 'Ugly As Sin', do. It ticks all the boxes, and certainly won't be the last James Newman I read. Wicked peachy it is. Wicked peachy. More, please.

I received a copy of 'Ugly As Sin' as a Librarything Early Reviewer. ( )
  Camy-Sussex | May 5, 2017 |
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Haiku summary
Faceless ex-wrestler's
Granddaughter gets abducted,
and he kicks some butt.

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