It must be said that this is the first wrestling novel we've seen, and of sports stories the one most concentrated on the physical and mental benefits of pain. Except for a few exchanges with worded parents, highschool wrestler Wade Williams is hardly seen outside the gym here. Summer vacation goes by in an awkward shift between paragraphs. His mind never seems to wander; he never thinks about schoolwork and only once mentions a girl. Not, that is, until his final championship match when a concussion knocks him ""out of his skull,"" and he has no memory of winning until he sees the films from his hospital bed. Whether one looks on this as masochism or competitive grit, Wade's devotion to a grueling training program and the victory of will over agony holds a certain fascination. This, and numberless scenes of action on the mats, may compensate some for its ungainly form and underdeveloped psychology.