Stanko's Reviews > The Barfighter

The Barfighter by Ivan G. Goldman
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U 50x66
's review
Mar 23, 2009

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

Booklist Review

February 15, 2009

The Barfighter.
Goldman, Ivan G. (Author)
Apr 2009. 248 p. Permanent Press, hardcover, $28.00

At 41, Lee Cheskis is a part-time junior-college instructor and day laborer. He learned to box in college. Drafted in 1965, he boxed to avoid being sent to Vietnam. Articles he wrote after his discharge about the Bay Area counterculture won him a job with the New York Times, but his career and his marriage ended in four years. Now, two decades later, he’s living in a garage apartment, unloading moving vans, working out in a boxing gym, and getting into fistfights in bars. In a court-mandated anger-management class, he meets and subsequently becomes the manager of a gangbanger who wants to learn to box. Boxing has fallen off the professional sports map, and it’s unlikely that many readers under 40 have ever read a boxing novel. Ideally, this fine book will change that. Goldman, a columnist for Ring magazine, illuminates a largely unknown world and tells an engaging tale of redemption filled with vividly drawn characters. The Barfighter is wryly funny, insightful, and warmly human. —Thomas Gaughan
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