about the book about the author news & appearances reviews & press links


September 9, 2009
Bulldog's Bookshelf
Canadian Bulldog, WorldWrestlingInsanity.com
"Calhoun does an excellent job capturing the promotion's bizarre history, its rabid ECW-like fans, the death threats he received over the Counte Dante name, and even backstage politics... At times, it reminded me of reading something out of Rolling Stone."

August 9, 2009
Creepy KOFY Movie Time
KOFY TV-20, San Francisco
TV horror host and alternative rock DJ No Name picks Beer, Blood and Cornmeal as his book of the week on the Creepy KOFY Movie Time during a Saturday night showing of Prehistoric Women (1950):

June 22, 2009
Incredibly Strange Wrestling
Jason S. Ridler, Ridlerville
"It's been the most engaging pop culture read I've had since the carney memoir "Eying the Flash," and forcing me to put down both a biography of Eisenhower and the philosophical musings of Pema Chodron! Now that's bad ass! Check it out if you want a worm's eye view of a unique and bizarre example of trash culture done right!”

April 2009
Because Ideas Matter... Recommended Readings
Professor J. Rocky Colavito, Butler University
"Calhoun intricately traces the developmental trajectory of the promotion, and though the promotion’s flame out comes as little surprise, it still saddens us because of how well we have come to know the players... Highly recommended.”

January 2009
My Dinner with Dante
Dan Kelly, Roctober #46
"A torrid collection of tales of bizarre wrestling matches between sasquatches, leather daddies, devil chickens, and more, intermixed with booze, punk rock and blizzards of tortilla shells, Beer, Blood and Cornmeal also charts a forgotten period of SF music history...”

October 7, 2008
The Invisible Web Episode 20
Bob Calhoun talks BBAC, ISW, the BDFS, Lee vs. Kirby and the Gene LeBell controversy with the podcast devoted to "anomalous phenomena, combat sports, civil rights, and other subjects not usually addressed by mainstream media."

September 4, 2008
Pinning a Lion, Tortillas Flyin’
Dan Kelly, Chicago Reader
"Calhoun describes it as a moment where wrestling grappled with surrealism, and surrealism won out with a suplex powerslam—a scene where audience members whipped corn tortillas through the air while watching chickens engaging in less-than-mortal combat with lions, Scientologist boy bands taking on leather-daddies, and racist clowns battling Hasidic Jews.”

September 1, 2008
Incredibly Strange Wrestling's Geeks, Freaks and Tortillas
Lewis Wallace, Wired.com
"A breezy and hilarious read, Beer, Blood & Cornmeal tells how a loose group of musicians, horror movie fans and a few actual professional wrestlers pushed lucha libre beyond the limits of taste and safety.”

September 2008
Incredibly Strange Tales from an Incredibly Strange Wrestler
Carl Macki, Punk Globe
"...It is painfully exciting and Calhoun is a master at weaving you in, a grappler to the end. "

August 27, 2008
Beer, Blood & Cornmeal
Steve Duin, The Oregonian
"...An epic and ribald account of seven years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling.”

July 1, 2008
Some Visitors were Proud but not Loud
Leah Garchick, San Francisco Chronicle
Calhoun's reading on the sidewalk in front of the closed down Cody's on June 30, 2008 earns a mention from The Chronicle columnist. Also: check out the blurbs and blogs on Calhoun and Cody's on Shelf Awareness (about halfway down the page) and the East Bay Express. If you missed it, here's video of the reading courtesy of FORA.tv:

July 2008
Maximum RocknRoll Reviews "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal"
Craigums, Maximum RocknRoll
"This book was like candy--I could not stop eating it up: maybe it's because I knew half the people/bands mentioned or maybe because I was party to the dotcom-cum-bomb era of San Francisco, 1995-2003 when all of this takes place, or maybe because I am a sucker for road tales involving unreal characters willing to do unbelievable things? Or maybe because it's just a great read."

June 3, 2008
Tabassum Siddiqui, Quill and Quire
Canada's leading publishing mag covers The Count's BEA appearance on their blog site.

May 20, 2008
Alan Wojcik Reviews "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal"
Alan Wojcik, Pro Wrestling Daily
"...Quite possibly the funniest book on wrestling not written by a current WWE superstar... From clubs closing due to the dotcom boom of the 90's buying them out to wrestlers getting injured or just flat out leaving the promotion, Calhoun’s writing makes you care about ISW and the people that were part of it. Buy it and enjoy it, it will make you appreciate the art of professional wrestling.”

May 8, 2008
Getting Bloody with Count Dante
Andrew Tweedy, Ottawa XPress
"He (Calhoun) manages to portray the sheer ridiculousness of ISW without ever coming across as ridiculous himself, weaving it all together with his great sense of self-deprecating humour and downright disbelief.”

May 4, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle Best Sellers
Beer, Blood and Cornmeal debuts at #9 on the San Francisco Chronicle's Bay Area Bestseller list in quality paperbacks.

April 28, 2008
Irony is a Bitch
Laury Silvers, Slam! Wrestling
"Well-observed and sharply funny. (Calhoun’s) characterizations nicely communicate the wrestlers’ addiction to performance and risk-taking in and out of the ring.”

April 22, 2008
Look Back in Anger
Michael Leaverton, SF Weekly
"...(Bob Calhoun's) memoir of those turbulent times, Beer, Blood and Cornmeal, reveals more than what we have any right to expect from a man who presided over matches pitting lions against Christians and a pedophile against a young boy."

April 17, 2008
'Beer, Blood and Cornmeal': Wild wrestling
Reyhan Harmanci, The San Francisco Chronicle
"...a behind-the-scenes look at one of the best oddities to come out of the Bay Area over the past few decades: Incredibly Strange Wrestling."

April 17, 2008
Alex Marvez's weekly look at professional wrestling
Alex Marvez, Scripps Howard News Service
"'...Wrestling is a form of theater designed to produce mass hysteria.'"

April 16, 2008
Our weekly picks; What to do April 16-22, 2008
Johnny Ray Huston, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Bob Calhoun is qualified to write Beer, Blood, and Cornmeal (ECW Press). For one thing, as Count Dante, he ruled the San Francisco-based, lucha libre– and Cash Flagg–inspired phenom known as Incredibly Strange Wrestling, even taking on a Sasquatch in the ring. For another, he loves to grapple with colorful words. Calhoun traces his passion for writing back to a childhood spent prizing the comic books and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines on spinning racks at dime stores. He celebrates the release of his latest literary labor with a reading at Edinburgh Castle, where he's often told an extra large, if not tall, tale. Will the fish-and-chips fly like the tortillas once did?"

March 5, 2008
Wrestling With Suburbia
Gary Singh, The Metro (Silicon Valley)
"('Beer, Blood and Cornmeal') just makes you want to don a leopard skin and get paid 20 bucks to go in the ring and beat up a dude in a chicken suit."

Oct 20, 2007
Festival Report : After the (Lit)Quake 2007
Suzanne Kleid mentions Bob Calhoun's reading at Litquake 2007 in
KQED blog.

August 23, 2005
Pub pays tribute to a true Scot -- Canadian James Doohan
Jane Ganahl, San Francisco Chronicle
"Writer Bob Calhoun, in a closing toast, offers a compromise: "Let there be no more arguing about which city should honor Scotty! I say put his plaque at the steps of the Scottish Parliament!" And glasses are lifted with a "Hear, hear!" Scotty the Fixer would have been proud.

December 22, 2004
The Pub in Publishing: Readings and writings at the Edinburgh Castle
Karen Zuercher, SF Weekly
"Bob Calhoun brings a preacher's zeal to his satiric evangelism in praise of obesity. Several tubby Santas cheer in support. It's over in an hour, and then a band takes the stage."

Sunday, July 14, 2002
Edinburgh Castle a literary fortress in the Tenderloin
Anne N. Marino, San Francisco Chronicle
"Later that night a Count Dante from Incredibly Strange Wrestling does a God-knows-what performance art piece about the surgeon general"