Blood Red Turns Dollar Green (Volume 1) by Paul O’Brien
Review / April 5, 2019

Between the wrestling book boom sparked a decade ago by Mick Foley and the growth of the e-reader making self-published titles ever more viable, numerous wrestling “novels” have appeared in recent years. Sadly most have been badly written and poorly researched, the worst examples being little more than poorly hidden sexual fantasies about real-life wrestling performers. That run has come to an end with Blood Red Turns Dollar Green, the first truly professional novel about professional wrestling. While this is Paul O’Brien’s first book, he has years of experience writing for the theatre and it shows here. The plot and feel of the book lies somewhere between the wrestling territories of the 1970s and a Soprano’s-style mafia tale. It covers a four-year period during which rival promoters across the US work together while also battling to control the booking rights to the world title and in turn the business itself. While both the plotting and storytelling are top-notch, the most impressive skill here is using recognisable traits from real wrestling promotions, owners and grapplers to produce engaging and believable characters, without simply turning it into a thinly-veiled ripoff. Lead characters like New York promoter Danno Garland and behemoth title contender…