Greg Sushinsky’s Review: Prologue of MSM Vol III Book 1
This came in from Greg Sushinsky:
Esteemed author Randy Roach continues to weave his mesmerizing tale of the history of bodybuilding, with the tantalizing release of the prologue for his upcoming Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors, Volume III, Book 1, “The Comebacks.”
While the title refers to the returns to victory in competition by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu on the Olympia stage, those events are really the onstage entry points for Roach’s continued exploration into the larger bodybuilding drama, this time circa the 1980s.
For those who’ve followed the massive bodybuilding saga Roach has detailed in his first two landmark volumes of MSM, this new prologue hints at so much more sweet reading.
In this prologue alone, Randy Roach has given some quick brush strokes that are sure to intrigue anyone interested in a vivid bodybuilding canvas as to how bodybuilding grew into what it was and what it’s become today. Consider: Roach’s sketch lines up not only the usual suspects, such as Arnold, Weider, along with Arthur Jones lurking close by, but Wayne DeMilia—a far more important figure in the history of bodybuilding than many know—along with a cameo by the under-appreciated Dan Lurie.
The brilliance of Roach’s work stems from more than his large talent and diligence; everything is always meticulously researched and carefully considered. Indeed, you might say that if Randy Roach doesn’t know something about bodybuilding, he knows somebody who does and will find out, or else it isn’t worth knowing or doesn’t exist. But there’s more. Roach sees the way things work and fit together in the sport in its largest sense with singular insight. Roach’s analytic searchlight not only shines on and uncovers important—often key—information and people who had a major impact on the sport, but he finds what seems to be obscure yet shows how that impacts as well. Such a seemingly obscure event as the Dan Lurie-President Ronald Reagan White House arm wrestling escapade, instead highlights the continued mainstreaming of things bodybuilding.
No other author has achieved the titanic accomplishment of weaving together the seeming disparate strands of the sport, and this prologue indicates that will continue, the tapestry will grow. After all, in a few short prologue pages alone, Roach touches on Ben Johnson and the public’s introduction to steroids, the fat phobia and the rise of carbohydrates, the emergence of cinematic Arnold, and the curious continued growth, often in spite of itself, of the sport of bodybuilding.
Roach’s prologue promises nothing but more brilliant work and fabulous reading on this, the ongoing story of bodybuilding.