Catherine's Reviews > Sonny Liston was a Friend of Mine

Sonny Liston was a Friend of Mine by Thom Jones
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 31, 2008

really liked it
Read in July, 2008

This is the first Thom Jones book I've read, and I was impressed. There's something really earthy about this writing, or maybe down to earth. It's tempting, because of his many boxing stories, to make a lot of boxing analogies about his writing, but I guess that'd be trite at this point. Still, the writing is really solid, and he does punch the hell out of his characters. No one has it easy; very few catch a break. But the stories aren't bleak; they can be quite funny.

Jones reminds me a little of Hemingway, a little of Raymond Carver, but he isn't really like either except that he's kind of a man's man writer. What I mean by that is, back when I worked at a bookstore, it was harder to recommend fiction to men than it was to women--some authors were just safer bets than others. Jones would be another safe one.

Teachers everywhere will feel satisfied by the story "Tarantula"--a vice principal jackass gets what he deserves. There's a series of stories about soldiers in Vietnam. Many of the characters in various stories have mental problems, abuse the same drugs, and wanted to be boxers--I found the title story particularly charming and well-done, regarding boxers.

I've read some reviews that say Jones's earlier stuff is better. We'll see.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Sonny Liston was a Friend of Mine.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.