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.

Kill Your Darlings (2/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 100 minutes.

Not for children.

Pardon me if I do not genuflect at the altar of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. If I had to quantify my interest in either of these people, it would be close to, or below, zero.

This is a film about the people who defined the Beat Generation, a group of writers influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion and known especially for their use of nontraditional forms and their rejection of conventional social values, that is based on a murder (or homicide) that occurred when Ginsberg (Daniel Radclife) was a nervous, overly strict with himself freshman attending Columbia University in 1944.

There, according to this film, anyway, he was emotionally seduced by bohemian Lucien Carr (Dane Dehaan) and imposed into Carr’s dissolute lifestyle that involved drugs and homosexuality. Carr is involved with David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), who pursues him voraciously. Later he becomes involved with Kerouac (Jack Houston), a former college football running back who had lasted only 8 days in the U.S. Navy. The other person involved in this group of libertines was medical school drop-out, former door-to-door insect exterminator and drug addict aborning, William Burroughs (Ben Foster). Burroughs was the oldest, at 29 while Ginsburg was only 18. All were to become famous or notorious, depending on your POV.

Radcliffe is best known as the star of the Harry Potter movies. I didn’t read those books and walked out of the only two movies I attended when I couldn’t take any more of the phantasmagorical nonsense, after enduring almost two hours of the tortuous stories. This one is no better, although it is a lot shorter, which allowed me to remain until the end.

With abundant, explicit gay sex scenes, the film is inspired by the murder that occurs near the end of the film. Up until then it is a tangle of talk that is marked by how uninvolving it all is unless you buy the credibility of the fame of these people. I know very few people who have read anything written by any of them. As more time passes, their meager accomplishments are outweighed by their controversial lifestyles.

It is produced, directed and co-written (with Austin Bunn) by John Krokidas, who has a style of quick cuts and time warping jumps that is more annoying than entertaining. As with most films “based on” a true story the only interesting part of the movie came before the end credits when graphics indicate what really happened to the characters.

I still didn’t care.

September 23, 2013