SQUARING OFF by Leonard Todd


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Willy, almost 14, looks up to his father; but he discovers--in this understated, quietly antic comedy--that he no longer has to look quite so far. Trag, a brawny ex-Marine, is a god-like figure to Willy--but the seeds of discord are sown when Willy is smitten by LuJane, a local bar's dazzling new stripper, and then finds her in his own kitchen the next morning. Trag's embarrassment is nothing to Willy's mortification when he's later caught backstage during LuJane's act. He flees Savannah in Trag's truck, with his acquaintance Champ Womack--an ambitious young black boxer--as unwilling companion. Impressionable Willy decides that prizefighting's the life for him, too--until he meets his mammoth first opponent. In a climactic scene, after seeing Trag decked by man-mountain DeeFoy Lollis, Willy and Champ work together to knock out the huge boxer. A wacky cast--dimwitted DeeFoy, stereotypically warmhearted LuJane, etc.--and the generally low brand of humor should keep readers entertained until the end, when Trag and Willy go home with a little more mutual respect in their relationship.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Viking