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 stories in their own words.

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

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 95 minutes.

OK for children.

This is based on the true story of the kidnapping of Dutch brewmaster billionaire Freddy Heineken (Anthony Hopkins) in 1983. When Hollywood says that a film is “based on” something, you can generally take facts and accuracy directly to the trash bin. However, in this instance award-winning crime journalist Peter DeVries wrote an exhaustively researched, best-selling book of the kidnappers with whom he spent a lot of time and gained their trust. So he refused to option the book to anyone unless he could be assured that what happened would be presented on film as accurately as possible.

Actor Mark Van Eewen, who actually plays one of the kidnappers, Frans Meijer, in the movie won the trust of DeVries after spending several days with him and was awarded the option on the book. DeVries wanted to be assured that they would tell the actual story without embellishment.

So what you see is apparently pretty close to the truth. For a movie that doesn’t have a lot of action in it director Daniel Alfredson (who directed the two fine Swedish films about the girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest), has made a film that has relatively good pace considering that the actual kidnapping occurs in the first half-hour and the rest of the film tells how the kidnappers, none of whom was a criminal before participating in this enterprise, waited for a resolution to what they had done.

Hopkins doesn’t appear in that many scenes, but he gives a good performance, as do all the kidnappers including Jim Sturgess and Sam Worthington. Also giving a performance worth mentioning is Jemina West, who plays the wife of one of the kidnappers. This is really more educational than entertaining because I really wasn't aware of it, so I'm glad I saw it.