The latest book release from the DK Publishing/WWE partnership dropped at the beginning of the month, and as you would expect it’s a pretty good one. If you’re a fan of pop culture books, you may have seen some other DK’s other “Absolutely Everything You Need To Know” books for Star Wars, Marvel, and LEGO.
WWE: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know is presented in that same style, and you can get an idea for what the entire book is like by the header image above and the image down below.
The hardcover book is packed with 200 pages (about 190 of actual content) with a different wrestler or subject taking up two pages each. It’s broken up into seven section: Icons (12 + Hall of Fame), Superstars of Today (18 + 7 general profiles for things like Cruiserweights, Smackdown Superstars, Scary Superstars, etc.), Championships (6 current championships + King of the Ring and retired championships), Factions and Tag Teams (14), Big Events (10 + Monday Night War and ECW), Superstars of Tomorrow (not specific ones, just 8 NXT profiles) and finally Beyond the Ring (this includes things like WWE history, the Network, movies, Total Divas, merchandise, etc.)
WWE: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know is filled with some basic information and trivia broken up into bite size pieces and simply delivered. A superstar quote, some trivia, some factual information about wrestler (like birthday and hometown), by the numbers stuff, and some opinion lists.
I’m not going to critique the book on what it should be, but rather on what it actually is using this pretty standard format for a DK “Everything You Need to Know” book. It doesn’t really contain useful information; if you’re a new fan or fairly casual in your watching then you might learn a thing or two. It’s just a book of a few, per topic, fun facts that runs about a sentence each. There’s some interesting content for sure, but that’s mostly stuff found in the Big Events and Beyond The Ring section.
It’s not a book on the level of the fantastic encyclopedias (which contain the same superstar information) or the history books like 50 Years of WWE or 30 Years of WrestleMania that have paragraphs, at least not content wise. It’s not meant to be. It’s not a book that you read so much as it is a book that you casually glance through and read the tiny section that catches your eye or seems interesting. And that’s all fine.
WWE: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know takes a proven formula that has been used for other popular properties, and gives it the WWE flavor. It works, and there’s a lot of folks who enjoy this format. It’s like the ever popular Top 10 or 20 lists you see on so many websites that are just a picture followed by a sentence or two oftext that you have to click next 25 times just to get through the entire list.
Now you may have read the above and think that I don’t care for the book, or rather this type of book. And that’s not true. It’s not necessarily my preference, as I would always prefer more substance, but for what the book is it’s actually pretty great.
It’s a decent sized hardcover book with thick, glossy paper. It looks great, and as always with DK it’s brilliantly put together and all around just top notch quality. Quality of the physical book wise, it’s on the same level as those books I mentioned earlier. It’s certainly a big step up from the previous WWE/DK book (The Book of Top 10’s.)
If like me you’re a collector, obviously get it. It’ll look great on the shelf alongside all the other mostly excellent DK books. You probably won’t get much out of the actual content included in the book aside from casually flipping through it once or twice, but if you have a child or a young sibling or whatever who enjoys the WWE product then this would make an excellent book for them. I’m pretty sure kids are more the target audience for this anyway, which is perfectly fine and reasonable.
I think young fans will enjoy this a lot. The book released on October 3rd, this review is being posted on the 11th, so as of the time of publication we’re getting close to Christmas. If you know a child that likes wrestling, this would make an excellent present that’s pretty cheap. You can buy it now from Amazon for $15.96.
WWE: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.