Monday, August 8, 2011
Bad Kung Fu Series #2: An Obese White Gentleman in No Apparent Distress
In our continuing series on "Bad Kung Fu" (relating to any bad martial art book) we take a quick look at "An Obese White Gentleman in No Apparent Distress" by Riki Moss.
The book is an attempt at something that should probably never be done; a novel that mixes the life of a real person with fiction.
The target of this misplaced effort is the fascinating and enigmatic Aikido master Terry Dobson. Dobson's lover, Riki Moss penned a grief-stricken tale of the aging Dobson as he battles illness, waxes nostalgically about his dysfunctional upbringing and his time spent in Japan learning Aikido from it's founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
Moss writes in the voice of a distressed lover that can't quite get a rope around Dobson's neck. This is a shame, because Dobson is a larger-than-life character that plows through life smoking weed and womanizing, something that a few of us can relate to.
Looking at Dobson's Wikipedia page I see there are other biographies of Dobson available which may depict a more complete history. But in this case, Riki Moss presents her case as that of a jilted lover, one that can never fully own her man - in part because Dobson is still trying to discover himself.
I am sorry to say that I just couldn't finish the book.