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Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,710 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews

Seventy-year-old F.X. Toole has exploded onto the literary scene with this astonishing first collection of stories drawn from his own experiences in boxing. In these powerful and moving tales, he reveals a complex web of athletes, trainers, and promoters and their extended families, all players in an unforgiving business where victory, like defeat, comes at a dark and pain

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Ecco (first published January 1st 2000)
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The name F. X. Toole was the pseudonym of Jerry Boyd (1930-2002).

He was a boxing trainer and his writing in these stories clearly display his great knowledge on boxing.

His stories are through various characters in the boxing arena. He tells them through the eyes of the fighter female and male, the trainer and manager and the cutman. He sticks his characters amongst problems in society crime, racism, brutality and politics. He takes his characters through courage, lose, love, hope and triumph.

Učitaj se!
Apr 17, 2016 Učitaj se! rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
F. X. Toole spisateljski je pseudonim boksačkog trenera Jerrya Boyda, a ova je knjiga pomalo autobiografska zbirka priča o njegovim iskustvima i doživljajima iz, kako i sam naslov kaže, 'iz kuta' boksačkog ringa.

Zbirka se sastoji od 7 kratkih priča i novela, uključujući uvodnu, kao i onu naslovnu, koja je, po mom mišljenju, ujedno i jedna od najboljih. Sve priče ispričane su preko nekog promatrača, 'iz kuta' (bilo da je taj promatrač boksački trener ili i sam boksač), ili iz trećeg lica.

Iako se
Debbie Zapata
Mar 14, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
Boxing is not a sport for people with weak stomachs. It can be brutal. It can be deadly. It can be gut-wrenchingly ugly. But it can also be magic, sweet, and pretty....even beautiful. My Grandpa was a Golden Gloves boxer in his younger days and when I was little he still had a speed bag in his garage. He could make that bag sing even then. I loved to watch him with it. I would have loved for Grandpa to have read these stories by F. X. Toole. He would have said Yes, the man knows boxing.

This is a
Os livros têm destas coisas: põem-nos muitas vezes a ler sobre coisas que não nos despertam o mínimo interesse na vida real. Boxe era uma das últimas coisas sobre as quais me ocorreria ler, mas, ainda assim, este livro encontrou caminho para chegar até mim e, apesar de não ter sido uma leitura propriamente marcante, acabou por se revelar positiva pelas baixas expectativas com que a iniciei.

F.X. Toole é pseudónimo de Jerry Boyd, já falecido, que dedicou boa parte da sua vida ao boxe, fosse a com
Call it a low-blow (idiotic boxing metaphors get you a blurb on the back of the movie tie-in edition, right?) but it's not hard to see why Jerry Boyd "battled rejection letters for forty years." To use a favourite adjective of the cutman-author's, his writing ain't pretty. It's beset by sloppy, obtrusive exposition and grating attempts at mimicking racial speech patterns. Fine, whatever, I can deal with every Spanish-speaking character in "The Monkey Look" being saddled with seemingly endless it ...more
Saman Kashi

اين نوشتار نه نقديست دربارهي فيلمي كه از اين رمان ساخته شد و نه بررسي و يا تشريح و ستايش همهي عواملي كه اين فيلم را جزو آثار برتر سينماي جهان كرده است. بهانهي نوشتن اين چند خط كه در پايين خواهد آمد، گفت و گويي بود بين من و يكي از دوستانم كه چند وقت پيش هنگام پيادهروي با هم داشتيم. دوستم از من پرسيد: سامان، ميتونم ازت يه سئوالي بپرسم؟ گفتم: البته. گفت: تو خودت رو آدم خوشبختي احساس ميكني؟
پاسخ دوستم را در حد و اندازههايي كه دوستيمان اجازه ميداد، دادم كه صد البته اينجا محلي براي بازگو كردن آن گفت و
May 22, 2009 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 2009

I’ve never really cared for boxing, but in recent years I developed some interest in boxing fiction, and tough-guy manly-man fiction in general, starting with Thom Jones, moving on to Craig Davidson and mumblemumbleChuckPalahniukmumble (who hasn’t exactly written about boxing, but close enough). I know there are others--many others--but I haven’t read them yet. Now I can add Toole to the list. He was a lucky find: I haven’t seen the film Million Dollar Baby so I didn’t know the connectio
Feb 17, 2008 sydney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't be fooled- this book was originally published as "Rope Burns," and one story in it, "Million Dollar Baby," was turned into the movie with Hilary Swank. It's not one of those weird cheesy books that gets written after a movie comes out.

It's a collection of short stories about the world of boxing. Toole's writing is clean and straightforward, almost scientific. Half of the excitement happens in the ring, where Toole narrates each blow like a former boxer reliving the glory days. The other h
Jose Miguel
May 12, 2015 Jose Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compilation of short tales from different character's point of views, Toole narrates the boxing world with style and emotion, describing what would seem to be personal experiences. Million Dollar Baby, Cold Water and Rope Burns are the real deal in this collection.
Chad Durham
Sep 17, 2014 Chad Durham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief warning: this novel is very rough in the language department. The vulgarity is aptly used in service of some of the more shady characters, however. This short story collection was violent and compelling and descriptive and evocative. You can smell the gyms and hear the speed bags and feel the sweat flopping from the faces. Each story explores various aspects of boxing and they are illuminating. You can tell that Toole has been around the game in an intimate way. It serves the stories so ...more
May 03, 2008 Windry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
sebelumnya, saya benci tinju. buku ini dengan mudahnya mengubah pandangan saya *saya baru mengerti sekarang, kenapa saya dipaksa membaca buku ini. damn good!* habis sekali baca sepanjang perjalanan pulang dari Jogja-Jakarta (Bintaro) dengan pesawat berlanjut bis damri.

buku ini diterjemahkan oleh Banana dan menurut saya, ini salah satu buku terjemahan yang bagus. memang benar tampaknya, sebaiknya penerjemah itu bukan sekedar lulusan sastra Inggris aja tapi juga seorang penulis yang baik, biar tid
syam asinar
Jun 25, 2007 syam asinar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dunia tinju ternyata bisa menjadi ide cerita yang luar biasa. Tinju bukan hanya gedebak-gedebuk! Ia juga punya filosofi, pelajaran hidup, dll. F.X Tolle bukan mengarang-ngarang. Ia mencatat, mengamati, belajar dan berjuang bersama para petinju. Million $$$ Baby yang kemudian diangkat menjadi film dan diperankan oleh Clint Eastwood dan Hillary Swank hanyalah satu dari 7 cerita pendek di buku ini. Ditulis oleh FX Tolle sebagai buah pengamatannya selama menjadi seorang cut-man alias perawat luka di ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Quiet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entirely brilliant. F.X. Toole's collection of short stories here are representative of the very best of fiction.

Toole works with the subject of boxing for each story, yet utilizes the unspoken elements of the sport to showcase the broad range of diversity that brings people of all races, class, and history to it.

These are brutal stories, and will gut you one after the other. Toole portrays unapologetically a platter of intense subjects, with a particular focus towards racism, and each story wil
Eddy Allen
Apr 01, 2014 Eddy Allen rated it really liked it

Seventy-year-old F.X. Toole has exploded onto the literary scene with this astonishing first collection of stories drawn from his own experiences in boxing. In these powerful and moving tales, he reveals a complex web of athletes, trainers, and promoters and their extended families, all players in an unforgiving business where victory, like defeat, comes at a dark and painful price.

F. X. Toole breathes life into vivid, compelling characters who radiate the fierce intensity of the worlds they
William Johnson
Wow. . .to use a cliche, this book was winning all the rounds and then just got stupid, forgot to think, and got dropped before becoming a champion.

This collection of boxing short stories is brilliant at times. . .actually every story until the final one. . .that it is sad to think I can't put it as a classic.

The book promises boxing fiction and it delivers for the most part. It is darker then the more uplifting boxing stories people are used to as it focuses on corruption, racism, and the cruel
Jan 07, 2009 Endah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
aku baca edisi Indonesia terbitan Banana Publisher (2006)

Judul Asli : Rope Burns
Penulis : F.X. Toole
Penerjemah : Basuki Heri Winarno & Yusi A.Pareanom
Penyunting : Akmal N.Basral & Yusi A.Pareanom
Cetakan : Pertama, Oktober 2006
Tebal : 357 hlm.

Saya tidak pernah suka nonton (pertandingan) tinju. Sejak dulu, sejak zaman keemasan Muhammad Ali hingga Si Leher Beton, Mike Tyson. Saya ingat betul, setiap kali TVRI - satu-satunya siaran televisi yang ada waktu itu - menyiarkan secara langsung pe
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, fiction
The story of the 69-year-old author of this astonishing first fiction collection is a salutary one; he wrote between gigs tending boxers in their corners as a "cut man" (who stanches the blood flow and allows fights to continue), finally got a story published by a small literary magazine, was spotted by a keen-eyed agent and achieved book publication.

It's amazing it took so long, because Irish-born Toole, now living and working in Los Angeles, is a natural. His knowledge of the bizarre world of
Jun 28, 2010 Fence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, sport
I bought this because I saw the film version and wasn't impressed. I'm not going to go into why I felt it was way over-hyped here, but it did interest me enough to read this book.

And I'm glad I picked it up, because these short stories are a lot better than the film. The author, F.X. Toole, was a cut-man and professional boxing trainer, and so he knew the business. He knew the people and the atmosphere and all of that comes across in the stories.

The best of the stories, imo, is Rope Burns. That
Alice Bola
Aug 09, 2013 Alice Bola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first attempt at reading boxing-centric stories. The main reason I requested this collection of short stories from NetGalley is because I am a fan of boxing and movies* about boxing. I loved Million Dollar Baby and wanted to read the story because we all know the book is always better than the movie. I am glad I took a chance on something that was far from my usual reading material because Million Dollar Baby: Stories from the Corner is one of the best short collections I have ever re ...more
kinu triatmojo
Setelah Opera Jakarta dan Opera Jakarta-Hongkong karya Titi Nginung (pseudonim-nya Arswendo Atmowiloto)rasanya belum ada lagi buku fiksi Indonesia mengenai tinju. Langka memang. Oleh karenanya menemukan (diberi sih tepatnya :D) buku ini -meskipun bukan ditulis oleh orang Indonesia-cukup memberi kesegaran.

Buku ini merekam dunia tinju jauh lebih dalam dari yang umumnya dikenal awam. Alih-alih bertutur petinju sebagai sentral cerita, Toole justru bercerita tentang orang-orang di belakang kesuksesa
Britt Aamodt
Feb 02, 2016 Britt Aamodt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Killer prose

I have been meaning to read this collection ever since I saw the Clint Eastwood film. Why did I wait so long?

O'Toole writes with the grittiness and aptness of a Damon Runyon, a Hunter S. Thompson. His prose has as much punch as his boxers and cut men and dreamers. And the stories work you over like a heavyweight with fists full of lead.

This is an incredible collection. Now I don't know what to read as a follow up. Suggestions welcome.
Austin Zook
Apr 11, 2016 Austin Zook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of boxing-themed short stories; there was only one that didn't captivate me, and that was probably just me having a bad day. "The Monkey Look" and "Rope Burns" (the opener and closer to the book, respectively) were definitely highlights. Toole does a great job giving his characters a voice and working in boxing jargon and describing the fights in a way that draws you in but doesn't make you feel excluded if you're not a devotee of the sport.
Jan 23, 2015 Gimena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es una recopilación de relatos que el autor escribió basándose en su experiencia como entrenador de box. Lo que rescata muchísimo a este libro es justamente el relato que le da nombre, del cual luego hicieron una película que aún no vi. Esa historia tiene un final impactante pero "realista" y eso me encantó (mi marido me odió cuando vio la película, ya que yo le había dicho que el libro era muy bueno). No todos tenemos los mismos gustos...
J Hyde
Nov 15, 2010 J Hyde rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

What I thought about my book was that it was pretty good. I have read better but overall it was pretty good. I recommend it to people who like action.
The setting was usually in a boxing arena but for a short period of time it was in the boxer’s home. The plot was a guy that was a good boxer and he retired but his friends encouraged him to go back and to box again.
The characters are the boxer, the boxer’s trainer, the boxers opponent, the baby was probably the most important character of the
Patrick McLean
Sep 25, 2014 Patrick McLean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Writers usually don't know very much about fighting. And the ones that do, generally don't know very much about writing. F.X. Toole is a glorious exception to this rule. This is beautiful writing about the sweet science of boxing, the lure of fighting and, ultimately, the human condition itself. There's something wild and pure here.

If you've ever taken a punch or thrown one -- or if you've ever wondered, "Geeze, why do people get so worked up about this senseless brutality" you will like this b
Jun 01, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
This is the collection of short stories that included Million Dollar Baby. The book was retitled that and sold as a movie tie-in. And it sort of makes sense as Million Dollar Baby really is the best, most alive, story in the collection.

Written by F.X. Toole, a former cut-man, the stories are incredibly detailed about the art and science of boxing, from balance and breathing to adrenaline and below-the-belt punches. Most of the stories suffer from too much boxing detail and too little character a
Nov 03, 2012 James rated it it was amazing
This is second time I read these stories about boxing. One of them is "Million Dollar Baby", which became a notable movie with Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank, but I read the book before they made the movie. Good movie, better story. And, in my opinion, it's not the best of the bunch.

This is one of those sports books which transcends the sport. Despite the fact there's a ton of interesting information about pro boxing and it's lifestyle, or "the fancy" in the author's words, a combination of t
Luis Perez
Apr 15, 2013 Luis Perez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me. I think the second or third. A sure sign that I think a lot of it that I keep coming back to it now and then. I like short-story collections in general anyway, so bonus points for that. I think most readers who like short stories will appreciate this effort even if they are not boxing fans.

These are gritty stories, full of despair but also hope and they offer a lot of life lessons applicable to much more than just a ring of combat. It's a shame the author didn't live l
Mar 21, 2014 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent collection of stories that cover the whole range of emotions associated with the "sweet science" of boxing. Originally titled Rope Burns: Stories From the Corner, it was republished Million Dollar Baby after Clint Eastwood adapted the central story of the collection into the Best Picture-winning film about an aging boxing manager who forms a father-daughter bond with the young woman he trains to be a boxing champion. The film also features strands from the other stories featured in ...more
Christopher Patrick
Didn't initially hook me. I thought the writing used too much jargon. It got better, and the politics and dynamics are impressive. I didn't think anything would top Darrell Spencer's Bring Your Legs With You, but this book gives it a run for its money.
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F. X. Toole was the pseudonym of Jerry Boyd (1930–2002), a boxing trainer and author whose work inspired the award-winning film Million Dollar Baby. In 1988, Boyd began writing about boxing, using the pseudonym F. X. Toole to keep his hobby secret from his colleagues in the boxing world. One of his stories caught the eye of a literary agent, who sold Rope Burns, a collection of Boyd’s stories, in ...more
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“I just hope he went someplace where he could find a little peace... somewhere between nowhere and goodbye...” 4 likes
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