Cover image for My father's fighter : a novel
My father's fighter : a novel
Fried, Ronald K., 1955-
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Publication Information:
Sag Harbor, N.Y. : Permanent Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
175 pages ; 23 cm
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It is the willful destruction of neurological matter for the entertainment of many and the profit of a few. It is the rich exploiting the poor. It is the sacrifice of human flesh. Yet, it has its appeal. This is the often degrading, sometimes exhilarating world of boxing, where questions of race, class, violence, and sexuality linger in the air. In My Father's Fighter, Vincent Rosen, a 35-year-old Manhattan English teacher, inherits the management of a prize fighter from his father Solly, a prosperous garment district wheeler/dealer. The fighter is Mickey Davis, a white, light-heavy-weight contender with a doomed air, a reputation for dirty fighting, and more neuroses and sexual obsessions than Vincent's privileged adolescent students. With his Ivy League education, inherited wealth, and bookish nature, Vincent defiantly does not share his father's passion for boxing. Yet he is slowly seduced by the fight world. Vincent must soon do business with Mickey's trainer, Harry Gainesworth, an autodidactic former fighter with theories on everything from race relations to why fight managers are no better than pimps. Lurking in the background are Solly Rosen's loquacious ex-con bookies and Solly's attorney, a cherubic charmer who always has a table at the best mob joint in town. Vincent's sexy, droll, doctor wife Elizabeth, the beautiful daughter of a Park Avenue building superintendent, quickly comes to see her husband's encounter with the fight world as a crucible that will determine their future. My Father's Fighter is a comic tale that moves from the privileged streets of the Upper East Side and the masculine milieu of boxing gyms to the high roller casinos and down-and-out bars of Las Vegaswhere Vincent Rosen is left to contemplate the ways he is both like and unlike his unlucky fighter.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

From the author of the well-received Corner Men: Great Boxing Trainers comes a light-footed tale about surviving in the gritty world of boxing. Vincent Rosen, a mild-mannered high school English teacher in New York City, is thrust into the brutal arena of boxing when his father, Solly, a prizefight manager, dies and bequeaths him the family business. Vincent is a fish out of water-while he compares boxing to brutal scenes from classic literature, everyone else talks about booze, sex and right hooks-but he decides to do his best for Mickey Davis, a crass, self-obsessed white boxer who was Solly's best prospect. Soon enough, Vincent finds himself setting up a marquee fight between Mickey and his notorious black rival, Josiah "Nightstick" Johnson, a fight that becomes more of a race war than a boxing match. From the Upper East Side of New York to the gritty streets of Las Vegas, Vincent must successfully handle bookies, reporters and promoters in order to catapult Mickey to the next level and keep his own life in order. Fried takes a refreshingly comical approach, giving visceral descriptions of combat in the ring but managing to avoid clich?. The ending could use a little more punch, but Fried's clever, well-developed characters help make this book a literary knockout. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved