Badass: The Birth of a Legend—Spine-Crushing Tales of the Most Merciless Gods, Monsters, Heroes, Villains, and Mythical Creatures Ever Envisioned

Ben Thompson, Harper, $16.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-200135-1
In his first book, Badass, Thompson, creator of the Web site badassoftheweek.com, focused on warlords, samurai, pirates, and gunfighters who actually existed; in this follow-up, he turns to mythological badasses throughout history. From Anubis and Zeus to Capt. James T. Kirk and Godzilla, Thompson delivers detailed and adrenaline-fueled screeds on 40 characters "whose stories of ball-crushing conquest are still awesome enough to make even the tamest readers want to snatch up a sword and go hunting for dragon meat." Subjects include El Chupacabra ("this freakadelic ass-reaming spawn of Satan"); Diomedes ("the wanton slaughter of faceless jobbers is just the beginning of [his] awesomeness"); and, in a long-overdue tribute, the Daleks from Doctor Who ("these murderous, automated salt-shakers are vile constructs of pure evil"). Fortunately, the book includes badass women as well as men, and Thompson's overheated prose rises even further when describing the Indian goddess Kali: "When she's not consuming the entrails of the gods, getting drunk on human blood, performing her Dance of Annihilation... she shoots blood out of her mouth like a fire hose... she's pretty much the most totally metal being ever." (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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