Mad Dog by Bertrand Hebert & Pat Laprade

September 2, 2019

A comprehensive biography of Maurice Vachon, this will appeal to fans of the territorial era.

The book, originally published in French, has been flawlessly translated by George Tombs. It’s well researched and, unlike some bios, the details that are included — particularly about Vachon’s youth — are there to give context and explain Vachon’s character, rather than shoehorned in for the sake of it. The detail is in the stories and accounts where it matters, rather than through excessive inclusion of dates and locations that don’t contribute to the narrative.

It’s also very balanced, presenting Vachon as a rounded character and not being afraid to highlight shortcomings in his family life or his less successful spells in the wrestling business.

It’s perhaps a step below the top-tier historical wrestling biographies such as those of Gorgeous George or Mildred Burke, though that’s more because Vachon’s career was less revolutionary or era-defining than it is the quality of the writing. Even with that said, it’s definitely worth a look if you have any interest in Vachon and his era.

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