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.

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

The Invisible Woman (1/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 111 minutes.

Not for children.

On our way to the screening, my guest said, “You’re going to hate this.” “What?” said I, “This is the story about Charles Dickens and his young mistress. Surely that will be interesting.”

Alas, my guest was right. This is the most boring movie I’ve seen since Spielberg’s glacial Lincoln. In some movies I fight to stay awake. In this one I was fighting to go to sleep so the time would pass

When we were exiting the movie we were behind two elderly ladies. One looked at the other and said, with a serious look on her face, “Powerful.” My guest and I looked at each other perplexed. I knew my guest had liked it a little better than I. But she beat me to the punch. “Powerful?” she asked. “Did she see the same movie we saw?”

Maybe the problem is that the director is Ralph Fiennes, who has made his mark as an actor in such dirges as Maid in Manhattan, In Bruges, and the ultimate drag, The English Patient. Acting in those things that would make an ant crawling across the screen pretty exciting might have made him think that movies are an art form for lack of pace and involvement.

If so, he has done himself proud. Although the production values are exceptional, especially the costuming (Michael O’Connor), this is about as captivating as watching paint dry.

Apparently this is based on Claire Tomalin’s 1990 biography of the 18 year old actress, Ellen Ternan (Felicity Jones), and the affair that Charles Dickens (Fiennes) had with her, starting when he was 46. God, there must have been more to it than this. If not, I feel for poor Charles.

There’s not even any sex in it to liven it up. They both remain chastely clothed throughout. The only nudity is of Dickens’ rotund wife, Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), and there’s nothing sexy about that.

Since both Dickens and Ternan burned all their personal letters, everything about their affair is speculative, but it does seem established that she lived with him for the last 13 years of his life.

I generally like period pieces and strain to give them the benefit of the doubt. This one didn’t measure up.