BOXING'S BEST SHORT STORIES by Paul D. Staudohar

BOXING'S BEST SHORT STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Muhammad Ali called it “just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” Now, any boxing anthology that calls Hemingway’s “Fifty Grand” not one of his best stories and doesn’t include it must keep its guard up. As it happens, Staudohar (Business Administration/Cal. State, Hayward; The Sports Industry and Collective Bargaining, 1996), editor of “best of” books on baseball, golf, and football, has wrapped up as nifty a sheaf of stories about the sweet science, a sport admired even by Keats and Byron, as is likely to be gathered. These authors are stylists of the deft stab and jab, not of the long looping John Updike or William Gass roundhouse sentence, and their stories move. Even so, several are more about life, love, and character than about knocking people senseless. Authors include John O’Hara, Jack London, James T. Farrell, Damon Runyon, Irwin Shaw, Nelson Algren, Ring Lardner (represented by the marvelously bitter “Champion”), and even P. G. Wodehouse at his most irresistible, telling of a would-be manager who finds a diamond in the rough—Battling Billson—who lacks only the killer instinct. Strong themes about men with heart, though none about violinists with a killer hook in the ring.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-55652-364-5
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1999