Ivan G. Goldman The Barfighter

ISBN 13: 9781579621827

The Barfighter

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When he was an army boxer fighting to stay out of Vietnam, Lee Cheskis obeyed a brutal reflex, and only years later does he learn the tragic consequences. Staggered by regret, he throws himself off a career ladder at the New York Times to express his rage in bar fights against other troubled souls. Ultimately Cheskis seeks redemption guiding the career of L.A. gang member and promising heavy weight Marvin "Quick" O'Brien. The Barfighter takes the reader on an often whimsical journey deep inside the heart of boxing, which can turn from sweet to savage with the snap of a punch, and where a sport that's not a game becomes an existential microcosm of the world around it. The story takes the reader from Folsom Prison to the fight capital, Las Vegas, stopping in diverse locales that include the now-shuttered infantry post of Fort Ord, California, Ken Kesey's hot tub, the L.A. County Jail, and the Cafe de la Paix in Paris.

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About the Author:

IVAN GOLDMAN is a columnist for The Ring magazine and a Fulbright Scholar. His work has appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone, Columbia Journalism review, The New York Times , and other publications. Kirkus Reviews calls his Where the Money Is: A Novel of Las Vegas, "an impressive debut...a stylish, twisty first novel."

From Publishers Weekly:

Goldman (Where the Money Is) brings to life the sleazy underbelly of professional boxing in the 1980s, where double crosses, thievery and cheating were commonplace. After instigating a bar brawl that leads to his arrest, former army-trained boxer and journalist Lee Cheskis lands in anger management class. There he meets Marvin, the former gangbanger who is desperate to box. Lee introduces Marvin to Eddie, the salty old boxing trainer and gym owner, who discovers that Marvin is a natural. As Marvin works his way up from small auditoriums to big arenas, it becomes obvious just how seedy and disreputable the boxing world really is as fighters, fights and allegiances are easily bought and sold. Goldman's ear for dialogue and snappy pace make this latest an entertaining read, and boxing fans may recognize some of the sport's famous personalities as inspirations for the characters. Though the boxing-as-salvation story is nothing new, readers will root for this little band of misfits to succeed against the odds. (Apr.)
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