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The NinJew by Richard Walters
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The NinJew

by Richard Walters

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Richard Walters’ book, The NinJew, is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. Its biggest problem is it can’t decide what it wants to be when it grows up. It is part autobiographical (I think), part body builder’s guide, part diet guide for fitness oriented goals, part secret agent fantasy and part parody of Chic Comics style religious tracts, but with a Judaic twist. While entertaining, it never succeeds at anything it tries.

If you are familiar with Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill section, you will recognize the opening scenes as being of real places. There is a real person, looking really pumped, doing real exercises in the first portion as well, so I am OK with believing what I am reading. The exercises named and depicted will certainly the job, but the instruction falls far short of any weight training guide. There is no indication of how to select a weight range for yourself nor how many reps constitute a set and how many sets should be done for a routine. It is not a weight training manual.

This is also the first work I’ve encountered where the author says to see the appendix and the appendix immediately follows; this is done twice, in fact. Unless I’m mistaken, the Appendix of a book follows the main material and is presented at the end of the book. Compared to other faults, it is minor, but I think I’d be remiss as a reviewer if I didn’t mention it.

The next segment involves a Secret Agent fantasy. While training someone, our hero hears a burglary in progress and armed only with a flashlight and a small spool of wire, single handedly subdues a bunch of bad guys. OK . . . that’s stretching credibility, but it is still within the realm of possibility. Are we told any of our hero’s martial arts techniques? No. So this is not a martial arts manual either, but he does detail a famous Bruce Lee movie scene.

Now we step far away from reality as, while on a bike ride through Schenley Park, our hero stumbles on some type of secret military style maneuver. He recognizes a name on the truck as belong to an Arab company he knew from his college days in Youngstown. This company is a front for al Qaeda. Yeah, right. But wait, the fantasy gets deeper, right down to a showdown between our hero and his side kick and a whole army of trained terrorists. James Bond would be proud to have these two guys on their side. Heck, it sounds like they could kick the hummus out of Batman, Robin and Hulk Hogan without even breaking a sweat.

To the author’s credit, he never really says that last part really happened, he just tells you the story. This does serve to underscore one of the themes, and there are a lot, of the book: we should all be fit, aware and ready to protect ourselves if need be. That part of the book I have no problem with. He just goes about telling you this in a very unorthodox way.

While entertaining on many levels, I just don’t know how broad an appeal this book will really have. If you are a Pittsburgher, you will find the locals used very realistic. If you are Jewish, you will probably like Richard Walters. I don’t see much for the martial arts student or serious weight trainers to be attracted to, but a good student will always learn something.

Overall, slightly under average. ( )
1 vote PghDragonMan | Jun 4, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080596794X, Paperback)

Combining his knowledge of weightlifting, strength training, and martial arts with a solid foundation of philosophy, Richard Walters sets out to right wrongs and foil evildoers as The NinJew, an exceptional Jewish warrior.

In this exciting half-biography, half-fictional account, Richard Walters spins a compelling tale of foiling a complex plan of terrorist actions in his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and neighboring Youngstown, Ohio, with his strength-training and clean-living sidekick and student, Barry. As they pursue their goals of healthy eating and weight training, Mr. Walters provides guidance, tips, and suggestions to the reader to achieve total fitness, including a sound diet and strength-training instructions. Their constant vigilance about their abilities stand them in good stead when they find themselves confronting the most evil terrorist in the history of mankind, one who is determined to exterminate Jews from the face of the earth and wreak havoc on the population of America in the process.

Skillfully weaving his invaluable knowledge of diet and exercise as part of a life planned along with philosophy and a flair for the dramatic, Mr. Walters has penned an entertaining and educational look at the life of an average man with awesome abilities who is determined to be a champion for freedom and justice.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:28 -0400)

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