Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

The Raven (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 110 minutes.

Not for children.

The facts are that Edgar Allen Poe killed himself in 1849 because he was, basically, loony, and apparently unable to reconcile himself to the early death of his wife in 1847 at the age of 24. However, even that relationship was weird. They were first cousins and were married in 1835 when she was only 13 and he was 26. It's been speculated that the marriage was never consummated, but nobody knows. Anyway, those are the known facts.

Screenwriters Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare have reimagined the last few days of his life and created a fictional tale of what might have happened and why he killed himself. Unfortunately, the story is so bizarre that it doesn't leave one speculating on their thesis after seeing the film because it's clearly nonsense.

They blend fact and fiction and create a fictional serial killer who bases all his crimes on Poe's macabre tales. The protagonists are Poe (John Cusack) and detective Emmett Fields (Luke Evans) and the crime is the kidnapping of Poe's fictional betrothed, Emily Hamilton (Alice Eve). Poe and Fields are ostensibly trying to find Emily and the dastardly fellow or lady who is killing all the people and who kidnapped Emily.

This could have been a lot better were it not a semi-gothic horror film, marred by lurid scenes like a man being cut in half that leaves nothing to the imagination. The way Emily is treated is ghoulish. Director James McTeigue seems intent to pull out all the stops to make the film difficult to watch. Of course Poe was a writer who seemed to have no compunction against shocking his readers, so maybe McTeigue's approach is appropriate. Even so, I would have enjoyed the movie a lot more had it not occasionally slipped into the horror genre.