Seth Singer's Reviews > The Contender

The Contender by Robert Lipsyte
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Oct 09, 11

In the novel The Contender, a boy named Alfred Brooks lives with his aunt, and drops out of high school so he can work full time at the grocery store where he works. Alfred's aunt, in the book called Aunt Pearl, takes care of Alfred after he lost both of his parents. Alfred's best friend, James, loses his relationship with Alfred after he is arrested and gets addicted to drugs. Mr. Donatelli is the owner of a gym that Alfred joins to box when he decides that he wants to find meaning in his life. The setting of the book is in the ghetto of a town near New York City. The time period is around the present. Throughout the book, Alfred learns more and more about what he lives for, and the importance of not quiting. Whether he loses his fight or not, Alfred gets stronger.
After reading this book, I feel it deserves four stars. The author, Robert Lipsyte, does a great job keeping the reader's attention throughout the book. The moral of the story was also very interesting to me as well, and it is that no matter where you start from, you can always reach the top. The only problem I had with the book was the lack of details at certain points. The genre of the book is realistic fiction.
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