Thumbs Up by Joe Cornelius

May 29, 2019

This is a hugely entertaining story of a British wrestler’s career and life, but it’s most definitely not for the easily offended.

Cornelius was a successful heavyweight in the 1950s and 60s, working across the UK as well as touring continental Europe and Japan. He went on to act in films and on stage, including being a regular entertainer at the London Palladium.

The book doesn’t explicitly break kayfabe, but it’s easy enough to read between the lines when he’s explaining how he would liven up a bout for the benefit of the crowd.

It’s the tales outside the ring that really stand out however. His activities in the world of not-entirely-legitimate goods trading are lively and entertaining, while his recollections of sexual antics are eye-raisingly explicit at times.

There’s not really enough here for anyone but an enthusiast for the period to go out of their way to read, but if you spot a second-hand copy at at a bargain price, it’s worth a buy.

Buy on Amazon

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