A very different dog story. The surface attraction here is learning about the illicit business of breeding and training fighting dogs, about the rules which govern a pit fight, and about the men who gamble on whether one dog can worry another to death. The setting is contemporary New England and Peter Ledge, the young misfit who tells the story of his apprenticeship to the master supplier and trainer of pit bulls, Starkey, lifts this above the class of interesting fictional expose. Ledge absorbs old man Starkey's dedication to the disciplines of a sadistic sport without Starkey's readiness to connive or drug dogs to run a bet up. Ledge is an out of bounds realist needing to succeed at something. In mastering dog fighting, he comes to believe he's mastered himself after passing the ritual tests of loneliness, patience and self-restraint in training a superb fighting dog. It's a man's book with a greyhound speedability-readability.