The Ballad of Ricky Risotto by Marc Cavella

The Ballad of Ricky RisottoThe Ballad of Ricky Risotto by Marc Cavella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nacho Libre meets Quentin Tarantino...

It' outrageous and hilarious, yet The Ballad of Ricky Risotto has the same kind of sweet poignancy its author Marc Cavella brought to his previous novel, ‘Tabernacle’. It’s a wonderfully written and richly descriptive novella with brilliantly drawn characters and settings. The author weaves a well-crafted sports fiction with a generous sprinkling ‘barbed-wire-sharp dialogue, and old-school roster packed with outrageous personalities’. The story had every element a good story should have. A solid plot, attention to detail, but best of all fleshed out, well-written and well-rounded character development. There’s an abundance of well-illustrated scenes that make you feel you are right there in the story, and that’s something I look for in a good book.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘t's 1979, and the world of professional wrestling is about to change forever. Small regional promotions are in danger of going extinct, gobbled up by greedy promoters from New York looking to monopolize the industry and make it acceptable to the masses… Ozark Championship Wrestling is determined to avoid that fate. They're about to produce their first Pay-Per-View show, which will make or break their fortunes. But there's one small problem: Their champion has no plans to relinquish his title at the match—hell, he might not even show up at all. And Waylon Pritchards—aka Ricky Risotto—is the only one who might be able to talk some sense into the champ and save OCW's tenuous future . . .’

I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book’s mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much.

The contrast between tone and content is a characteristic talent of only a few authors. Cavella pays as much attention to his sentences as he does to his plots, shifting or merging meaning with the use of a single word. His writing is impeccably honed, full of juxtapositions and qualifications that help to create a humorous atmosphere that will leave you laughing out loud.

This for me was a phenomenal read. It was one of those books that stayed with me for several days after I finished reading. The vivid descriptions of the settings, situations, and the people were stunning and realistic. The author’s use of genuine dialogue further added to the overall atmosphere of authenticity. It’s one of those stories that come along occasionally that makes you want to read it non-stop until you get to the end. I’m giving nothing further away here. And this, I hope, will only add to the mystery and enjoyment for the reader.

Highly recommended and a well-deserved five stars from me.

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