In this breezy first novel, teenager Louden Swain is slimming down and shaping up--and it's surprising how much attention you'll be willing to pay to the process. He's slimming down because he's slated to wrestle his crosstown rival Shute (the two of them have recently shared a column-inch and a photo in Sports Illustrated) at 147 pounds, and the match is just about the biggest event ever at David Thompson High School in Spokane, Washington. How does Louden slim down? With lots of spinach and Nutrament. With lots of sex, thanks to live-in girlfriend Carla. (Dad doesn't mind--he's a cool guy, a local Honda dealer with his own sleep-overs.) And with a generally visionary view of what we're on this earth for. Best of all, however, Louden is one sweet kid: he has nosebleeds, reads serious and semiserious books, wants to be a doctor--and in Davis' loping, no-big-deal style, it's all believable. Yes, even Loudon's asceticisms of training are made irresistible; for instance, he goes down to the laundry room, gets the dryer going so it's good and hot in there, slips into a rubber sweat suit under a cotton one, puts on his cassette recorder, and skips rope: ""By the time I get to the long version of 'Layla' I believe myself to be the toughest, meanest, most inshapest, baddest-ass kid on the block. I'm also near death."" Move over, Rocky. Here's Louden--in a sunny and deft novel for lovers of wrestling, wit, and hang-loose talent.