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“Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary.”—Rocky Mountain News “How to Allocate Your Free Time This Month[:] Devouring Craig Davidson’s gruesome debut novel, The Fighter.”—Esquire “This is more than a stunning debut. It reminds me how vacuous, banal and insipid most highly-touted fiction is. Craig Davidson “Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary.”—Rocky Mountain News “How to Allocate Your Free Time This Month[:] Devouring Craig Davidson’s gruesome debut novel, The Fighter.”—Esquire “This is more than a stunning debut. It reminds me how vacuous, banal and insipid most highly-touted fiction is. Craig Davidson asks—and answers—some big, uncomfortable questions about the nature of our humanity. The Fighter is an essential novel, destined for cult status at the very least.”—Irvine Welsh “While the novel’s brutal fights will entice readers of other virile allegories like Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Davidson’s story takes a more nuanced, realistic approach.”—Kirkus Reviews Everything has been handed to Paul Harris, the son of a wealthy southern Ontario businessman. But after a vicious beating shakes his world, he descends into the realm of hardcore bodybuilders and boxing gyms, seeking to become a real man, reveling in suffering. Rob Tully, a working-class teenager from upstate New York, is a born boxer. He trains with his father and uncle, who believe a gift like his can change their lives, but he struggles under the weight of their expectations. Inevitably, these two young men’s paths will cross. Craig Davidson was born in Toronto and now lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Rust and Bone, which was published by W.W. Norton in the United States, Penguin in Canada, Albin Michel in France, and Picador in the United Kingdom. From the Trade Paperback edition.


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“Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary.”—Rocky Mountain News “How to Allocate Your Free Time This Month[:] Devouring Craig Davidson’s gruesome debut novel, The Fighter.”—Esquire “This is more than a stunning debut. It reminds me how vacuous, banal and insipid most highly-touted fiction is. Craig Davidson “Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary.”—Rocky Mountain News “How to Allocate Your Free Time This Month[:] Devouring Craig Davidson’s gruesome debut novel, The Fighter.”—Esquire “This is more than a stunning debut. It reminds me how vacuous, banal and insipid most highly-touted fiction is. Craig Davidson asks—and answers—some big, uncomfortable questions about the nature of our humanity. The Fighter is an essential novel, destined for cult status at the very least.”—Irvine Welsh “While the novel’s brutal fights will entice readers of other virile allegories like Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Davidson’s story takes a more nuanced, realistic approach.”—Kirkus Reviews Everything has been handed to Paul Harris, the son of a wealthy southern Ontario businessman. But after a vicious beating shakes his world, he descends into the realm of hardcore bodybuilders and boxing gyms, seeking to become a real man, reveling in suffering. Rob Tully, a working-class teenager from upstate New York, is a born boxer. He trains with his father and uncle, who believe a gift like his can change their lives, but he struggles under the weight of their expectations. Inevitably, these two young men’s paths will cross. Craig Davidson was born in Toronto and now lives in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Rust and Bone, which was published by W.W. Norton in the United States, Penguin in Canada, Albin Michel in France, and Picador in the United Kingdom. From the Trade Paperback edition.

30 review for The Fighter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Quote: They stood on the fringes, some singly, others with their backers. All of them scarred or disfigured or broken in some way. And their eyes-the newer ones had this look of sheer psychic terror. The older and more mutilated showed no emotion at all: faces a fretwork of scars, eyes blank as a test pattern. Then there were those hovering in the middle ground., neither new nor old: they had the look of men who'd realized their lives were irretrievably lost and they could only await the Quote: They stood on the fringes, some singly, others with their backers. All of them scarred or disfigured or broken in some way. And their eyes-the newer ones had this look of sheer psychic terror. The older and more mutilated showed no emotion at all: faces a fretwork of scars, eyes blank as a test pattern. Then there were those hovering in the middle ground., neither new nor old: they had the look of men who'd realized their lives were irretrievably lost and they could only await the inevitable passage into the final stage. Rob Tully is a 17 year old youth, schooled in boxing from the age of ten by his father, Reuben, who sees boxing as a way out of an existence and future with no real prospects. Rob is a gifted boxer, but his hearts not really in it. Rob comes from a family of bare-knuckle brawlers. His uncle, Tommy, is one of these, who gets $15 a round as a punchbag for sparing in his local boxing gym. Tommy was never a contender & he is renowned for being able to take a punch, rather than delivering them. Paul Harris is the spoiled, coddled son of a wealthy vineyard owner. Paul's father wants his son to have everything he didn't have. An education and the social privileges he himself did not have. Paul wears $800 suits, drives the latest BMW and enjoys those privileges in life afforded to other young men of his class. Paul is however, deeply unhappy. One night, whilst on a date, Paul gets pummeled by a brute in a bar. Paul has an epiphany, of sorts, and sets out to 'prove' himself as a man, eventually by joining a boxing gym and seeking out illegal bare-knuckle bouts, to both prove and punish himself. Paul's not a very skillful boxer, but he has a lot of heart, which verges on the masochistic, if not crossing that line. The reader can tell, fairly early on in this story that Robbie Tully and Paul Harris's paths are destined to cross in the ring. This is my first book by Craig Davidson and I'm interested to read more of his work. 4 stars from this reader. Recommended.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

    Originally posted at The Velvet: In Craig Davidson's "debut" novel (having previously published some genre fiction under a pseudonym), two pugilists from opposite sides of the tracks (in this case, substitute rails for the Falls of Niagara) each fight for the wrong reasons. Rob Tully, who came out of the womb swinging in a working-class family of boxers, has no passion for the sport, though his natural skill may punch his ticket to a better life. In the other corner is Paul Harris, a privileged Originally posted at The Velvet: In Craig Davidson's "debut" novel (having previously published some genre fiction under a pseudonym), two pugilists from opposite sides of the tracks (in this case, substitute rails for the Falls of Niagara) each fight for the wrong reasons. Rob Tully, who came out of the womb swinging in a working-class family of boxers, has no passion for the sport, though his natural skill may punch his ticket to a better life. In the other corner is Paul Harris, a privileged heir who got sand kicked in his face one too many times and renounced the cushy family biz to forge his scrawny ass into steel through a cocktail of performance enhancers and general misanthropy. Plot-wise, well . . . that's pretty much it. Of course things happen on the road to the middle, but the tale is the (un?)making of these men, and the final act inevitable. It's sort of the literary equivalent of one of those HBO fight-pimping documentaries where they paint the opponents as Yin and Yang while crosscutting their parallel narrative paths to the ring. Except this world is far more brutal. Sure, they train gloved in stank gyms, but all the real blows come bare-knuckled in makeshift rural arenas and on city streets. There's even a brief Fight Club homage, likely meant to acknowledge and dispel the inevitable comparisons. Minor characters reflect the fighters' worlds throughout, whether it's the gym bums waxing barbershop nostalgic at ringside, dogs as punchy as their owners, or the lady companions and relatives they keep at a distance who provide convenient (if sometimes clichéd) exposition. The plot may be straightforward and character development a bit thin, but the prose is where Davidson shines like a detached retina under a penlight. He puts the viscera in visceral. I've winced at words before, but can't recall having ever actually recoiled from a page until now. A flashpot went off inside Paul's braincase, a tiny superheated sun that scorched the walls of bone; the light froze in thin sharp icicles that dangled, luminous, from the roof of his skull. A clubbing blow sent him to the ground again. He backed away on his palms and heels, skittering like a sand crab. The world acquired a pinkish tinge, the buildings and streets and cars spun from cotton candy. Davidson's vocabulary is impressive without giving the reader a complex about it. He stops short of sending you for your dictionary because the meanings remain clear through well-constructed sentences. And his similes are among the best I've read, connecting some quite disparate subjects. Adjective abuse runs rampant, however, and colorful as they may be, few nouns are spared: The spiraling coils of a hydroelectric plant reared in solitary abandonment against the night sky. Farther on, a rutted dirt path rounded into a sprawling farmstead. In a very clever-yet-subtle move, the prologue establishes first-person present tense, then the rest flashes back to past tense in the third person. This serves at least two purposes: maintaining suspense over which fighter becomes the man described in the prologue, while underscoring that transformation by detaching from his former self through point-of-view. A common theme has nearly all the fighters in the book feeling conflicted about hurting their opponents, whether out of guilt, or some professional code of ethics. And they all pay for this perceived weakness with pounded flesh. This book is perhaps known less for the words inside than the abuse the author endured to research and later promote it. In this Esquire article, Davidson details the savage toll his steroid experiments took upon his body and mind. He also staged two public boxing matches against other writers, taking a beating in both, which in a way sets a more fitting tone for the reading experience. Davidson's short-story collection Rust and Bone is one of my all-time favorite reads, and I believe a better introduction to his writing talents and potential.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Anderson

    If I have learned anything about the wonderful world of fiction in the last few years, it's that Craig Davidson must be the most woefully underrated and unknown author of this generation. Being on a literary kick lately has definitely broadened my horizons and introduced me to some new authors, but none have had the ability to grab me and keep my attention the same way that Davidson has. While The Fighter is his first novel under his real name (discounting the Cutter and Lestewka pseudonyms), it If I have learned anything about the wonderful world of fiction in the last few years, it's that Craig Davidson must be the most woefully underrated and unknown author of this generation. Being on a literary kick lately has definitely broadened my horizons and introduced me to some new authors, but none have had the ability to grab me and keep my attention the same way that Davidson has. While The Fighter is his first novel under his real name (discounting the Cutter and Lestewka pseudonyms), it has so far been the best (although Cataract City seems to garner even more favorable reviews). The subject matter isn't exactly new, but unlike the overrated and far less talented Palahniuk who covered the same basic material in Fight Club, what Davidson writes is raw, brutal, and gritty, yet still told in a flowery, literary language that very few have managed to achieve. For example: "People were jogging and dog-walking along the canal. He thought how easy it would be to skip the curb, accelerate across the greenbelt, slam into one of them. He pictured bodies crunpling over the hood or ruptering under the tires with red goo spewing from mouths and ears and assholes; he saw smashed headlights embedded in faces, saw windshield wipers fliying at murderous velocity to sever arms and legs" Or perhaps this jaunty little description is more your style... "His target was riding one of those idiotic recumbent bicycles. He wore a shiny metal-flake helmet, royal purple, like the paint job on a custom roadster. Paul figured he'd hit him broadside and crush him against a dock pillar, or else clip his wheel and launch him into the ice-cold sky, a flailing purple mortar crashing through the canal ice [. . .] The cyclist caught sight of the car barreling down on him and pumped his pedals as if to outrun it. Paul had a heart laugh- what bravado!". I don't know about you, but those paragraphs, from only one short section of the book are so well-written, so damned distinct and detailed and perfectly executed that I just can't get enough of them. Aside from that, it depicts roid-rage in a stark, unflinching clarity, with no apologies given...or even warranted. I'd add the graphic prose of Davidson's portrayal of rough sex, but I think it'd be far better if you read it yourself cuz damn son, it's amazing! It's the brutality and nakedness of the sport, the various aspirations and desires of the fighters, the heartbreak and pride and emotions of the characters and the unflinching look that propelled The Fighter to the top of my 2016 list. I also know that the sweat and blood that Davidson himself went through when writing it has a huge part to play. As everyone knows, Davidson must really love the sport (or idea at the very least) of boxing and bareknuckle fighting since he's had some aspect of it in every single one of books. That being said, the execution and plot of The Fighter were far and away the best he's done. I mean, I guess when your entire novel is based on the subject and when you take steroids and competed in a honest-to-goodness match in promotion of this novel yourself, it's gotta be, right? Right!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vince Darcangelo

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news... This review originally appeared in the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS 'Fighter' not quite a knockout Vince Darcangelo, Special to The Rocky Published July 27, 2007 at midnight Plot in a nutshell: Davidson's debut is at once a class study, a gritty two-fisted slobber-knocker, and a lowbrow exploration of the world of illegal boxing. In its finer moments, it delivers its dark social commentary like a right hook to the jaw. At other times, particularly when describing http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news... This review originally appeared in the ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS 'Fighter' not quite a knockout Vince Darcangelo, Special to The Rocky Published July 27, 2007 at midnight Plot in a nutshell: Davidson's debut is at once a class study, a gritty two-fisted slobber-knocker, and a lowbrow exploration of the world of illegal boxing. In its finer moments, it delivers its dark social commentary like a right hook to the jaw. At other times, particularly when describing human interactions outside the ring, Davidson telegraphs his punches. The Fighter's plot unfolds through the mirrored lives of two characters: Paul Harris, the privileged son of a wealthy winery owner, and Rob Tully, a working-class teenage boxing prodigy. Paul is pampered and apathetic; in his late 20s, he still lives with his parents and works for his father. Then one night, he is savagely beaten in a bar fight, causing him to take up boxing. Meanwhile, Rob is the product of a close-knit and loving family. Rob isn't passionate about boxing, but doesn't have any other career options. Their stories intersect in a rural farmhouse that hosts brutal, underground boxing matches. Like Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, The Fighter features a protagonist, Paul, who disdains the "softness" of the 21st century male and wants to get back in touch with his primal roots. Humanity has gained much through social evolution, but, the book seems to ask: In shedding its most basic survival skills, is humanity evolving into extinction? Sample of prose: "Didn't every organism seek the easiest pathway to survival? Then what of the organism reared in an environment without predators or obstacles, its every need provided? Paul pictured a flabby boneless creature, shapeless, as soft and raw as the spot under a picked scab." Pros: Like a great pugilist, Davidson's fight scenes contain no wasted motion. They are swift and smooth, graceful yet vicious. Few stomachs are stronger than mine, and even I was grimacing at the brutality. Cons: Davidson excels at describing society's underbelly, but struggles to illustrate the upper-crust existence of Paul Harris. These scenes (which make up a good portion of the book) are slow, the characters and plot turns contrived. Final word: Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary. Davidson has penned a disturbing treatise on the cost of human evolution.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    When a debut novel comes bearing blurbs from Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Thom Jones (The Pugilist at Rest), and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), readers should be primed for a visceral story. On that count, the book definitely delivers -- but that's probably the best thing I can say about it. I haven't read Fight Club, but I did quite like the film version, and it's hard to get away from that 1996 novel when reading this. The story here revolves around 20-something Paul, the privileged son of a When a debut novel comes bearing blurbs from Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Thom Jones (The Pugilist at Rest), and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), readers should be primed for a visceral story. On that count, the book definitely delivers -- but that's probably the best thing I can say about it. I haven't read Fight Club, but I did quite like the film version, and it's hard to get away from that 1996 novel when reading this. The story here revolves around 20-something Paul, the privileged son of a farmer who reinvented himself as a winemaker, and Rob, a teenage boxing prodigy who seems destined to fulfill the dreams of his father and uncle. With that kind of framework, you know their paths are going to cross, and that encounter is likely to be the climax of the book. Like the unnamed narrator of Fight Club, Paul is drifting through a comfortable but empty life. After being beaten to a pulp outside a bar, he concludes that he needs to reassess what he's doing, and embarks of a course of grueling manual labor, intense gym and boxing training, and not a few steroids. Meanwhile, Rob's uncle earns $15/round as a sparring partner for up-and-comers plus whatever he can make in the underground bare-knuckle circuit, Rob's father works a graveyard shift at a bakery, and Rob bears the weight of being the one who has the talent to escape the dead-end neighborhood. Paul's over-the-top transformation into a literal masochist is just barely credible, even factoring in the steroids. Rob's arc is a little more plausible for the first two-thirds of the book, and then also comes on too strong. But then again, perhaps greater subtlety and nuance are a bit much to ask from a book whose primary strength is the incredibly vivid descriptions of fights and the resulting disfigurements. These burning flashes aside, it's hard not to come out the other end of the book without feeling like you've just sat through a soap opera of sorts, but for guys.

  6. 5 out of 5

    George Ilsley

    As I was reading this I remembered what happened reading Davidson's short story collection — the more you read the less there is. This novel is like one of the stories, just inflated beyond belief. There are two story lines, and they do not intersect for the first 200 pages. Then one should skip the next 50 to the end. I know I did, because I could not bear to read it, having already read more or less the same thing several times already. Also, if you reach page 200, you will have just read one As I was reading this I remembered what happened reading Davidson's short story collection — the more you read the less there is. This novel is like one of the stories, just inflated beyond belief. There are two story lines, and they do not intersect for the first 200 pages. Then one should skip the next 50 to the end. I know I did, because I could not bear to read it, having already read more or less the same thing several times already. Also, if you reach page 200, you will have just read one of the most ridiculous, preposterous sex scenes ever committed to print. The character "Paul" is unconvincing from start to finish. He grew up in the town he lives in, but seems to have no friends, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, nothing, although he is on a date when we first meet him. No context or mirroring except his parents? C'mon! The one friend that is interjected, just to be used as a punching bag at his parents' party, is then glimpsed again as a kind of Paul doppelganger, having become an animal right extremist. Yes, over the top become predictable, and therefore, completely uninteresting. When finished with this book, I went back and read the ending, which is found at the start. This made me hate this book even more. Ridiculous. A talented writer who is trying too hard.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie

    Well, if you ever wanted to get into the heads of boxers, street fighters, underground fighters, "'roid ragers" etc, this book will take you deep into the underworld of fighters and it is not s pretty place. Davidson is a brilliant writer, you feel every punch, smell the blood and sense the danger and hopelessness. The descriptions of the run down neighborhood were spot on. Less so for me were the descriptions of the upperclass homes and their inhabitants, to me they felt cliched and is seems Well, if you ever wanted to get into the heads of boxers, street fighters, underground fighters, "'roid ragers" etc, this book will take you deep into the underworld of fighters and it is not s pretty place. Davidson is a brilliant writer, you feel every punch, smell the blood and sense the danger and hopelessness. The descriptions of the run down neighborhood were spot on. Less so for me were the descriptions of the upperclass homes and their inhabitants, to me they felt cliched and is seems like they were an afterthought. Not for the faint of heart, this book is gritty, bloody, angry and grim, but Davidson knows how to write!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christy Stewart

    I'm not well-versed in the boxing/combat lexicon, although I do count the WWE as one of my favorite soaps and I've seen a handful of movies with this book's premise, but the book is written in a great way that is recognizable to those in-the-know and relatable to those who aren't. The character are well written, the relationships cliche. This isn't a book that's going to stick with you but it a great selection for the sub-genre.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Jasinski

    A really entertaining read kept from 5 stars by a few deus ex machina sorta interventions. Spoilers Paul is a rich kid (well, youngish adult)working at his dad's company until a beatdown outside a bar convinces him he needs to toughen up and completely change his life. He ends up doing steroids and training like a crazy person. Rob is the son of a poor boxing coach and has all the natural talent in the world but no passion for the sport. I kinda wish Rob's lack of passion was made a bit clearer, A really entertaining read kept from 5 stars by a few deus ex machina sorta interventions. Spoilers Paul is a rich kid (well, youngish adult)working at his dad's company until a beatdown outside a bar convinces him he needs to toughen up and completely change his life. He ends up doing steroids and training like a crazy person. Rob is the son of a poor boxing coach and has all the natural talent in the world but no passion for the sport. I kinda wish Rob's lack of passion was made a bit clearer, but you do get the idea well enough. Paul ends up in an illegal bout with Rob's uncle that leaves the uncle brain dead. Rob wants to avenge his uncle, beats Paul senseless, then beats his hands to a pulp in a rage over how life goes. He'll never fight again. Overall I was well entertained, horrified, yet understanding of the characters and their motivations. Once again, I wish Rob were a bit more fleshed out, but maybe that's intentional- he's like, 16, he doesn't know himself yet either. The book's message on fatherhood is magnificent, subtle, and poignant- both fathers hurt their children by assuming their kids want what they want, and having the two juxtaposed against each other works really really well. They aren't monsters, they aren't assholes, they're not even necessarily bad fathers- they just don't understand the human condition enough to see their sons' eagerness for things different from their own lives. I only have two real complaints- 1) The steroid binge scene is just a bit much. In terms of both realism and the fact that Paul wasn't arrested. Like, idk, it just feels kinda unnecessary and over-the-top. The dude goes on an insane crime spree and gets away with it because of his rich father, it's just not realistic to my mind. 2) The big deus ex machina is Paul's punch that fells Rob's uncle- it's just kinda outta nowhere. It's not really clear to me how Tommy gets so injured, and it just feels kinda.. false. The writing is so good through the rest of the book, but then there's a lucky punch and the dude is close to death and that's it. Like, come on, I saw this coming the whole story long, and that's fine, but you gotta sell it to me at least. Tommy's a former pro, Paul a man in his first fight- that's an incredible amount of luck and an incredible amount of damage from one punch. Maybe I missed it but I'll just fill in the blanks- Tommy's head hit the cement floor or somethin? Just felt like the scene flew by and was incredibly unlikely anyways. Those quibbles aside, Davidson can write real good and the deeper message is well-done. Great stuff, much preferred to his "Sarah Court." Think of "Fight Club" but with much better writing and a less obvious message. I'll definitely consider more Davidson in the future.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tommy

    I'm glad I bought this one a whim I bought this a long time ago and it sat in my Kindle and I stopped reading for a bit then I came back and started reading this again. The writing is real, raw, and gripping. As a fighter myself I felt a lot of it and laughed at some of the over the top stuff like snorting dbol. You can kind of feel how it's going to end but I wouldn't say it's predictable, more inevitable. I wish it were longer, didn't want it to end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    There were clear moments that showed early signs of Craig Davidson's talent; some great passages and turns of phrase to describe characters and situations but it didn't add up to much.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Very emotional,vivid writing style. But the two most important plot points were very predictible.

  13. 5 out of 5

    KJ

    I usually reserve five stars for something I am going to re-read (which I won't be re-reading this book) but I was so impressed by this book I had to go all the way with it. Despite it being gory and very descriptive of blood and guts (which I am a wimp about) and being about boxing, something I care nothing about, I got into this book! Which, to me, shows how good the author is if I can get into something I'm normally not into. Loved the book! The story line, it 'took off, eh!' HA! OMG. I can't I usually reserve five stars for something I am going to re-read (which I won't be re-reading this book) but I was so impressed by this book I had to go all the way with it. Despite it being gory and very descriptive of blood and guts (which I am a wimp about) and being about boxing, something I care nothing about, I got into this book! Which, to me, shows how good the author is if I can get into something I'm normally not into. Loved the book! The story line, it 'took off, eh!' HA! OMG. I can't believe I went there. But I had to toss in a bit of Canadian lingo as a bit of a I-tip-my-hat-to-you to the author. I'm halfway through and loving it. It moves fast and I'm digging the characters so far. My squeamish-ness about blood and guts and what not makes it a bit icky to read at times but I'm willing to fight through it for the sake of the story. The author is Canadian and I'm impressed that he was able to dredge up such violence and aggression to write the book. I didn't think the lovely Canadians had it in them to be so, well, beastly and American. :P

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam McPhee

    Kind of a rich boxer vs poor boxer thing, set in St. Catharines, Ontario of all places. Characters and plot weren't very believable, but it was still fun. The fighting was way over the top, but in a good way. There’s one insane chapter about underground fighting in Vietnam where fighters are forced to cover their knuckles with methamphetamine while gamblers flick super hot coins at them. Call it a split decision in favour of the book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Get ready for gore. My friend Dora hooked me up with this book. Brutal and graphic, but I couldn't put it down. The ending is a little naive, but overall, it's hard to imagine that this is a first novel. If you like Ellis, Welsh, and Palahniuk, you will love this book. Full of post modern anger and aggression.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    Read this one a looong time ago, don't remember much about it, except for the scene where he's working in the fields with his father's servants, which I remember was pretty well-done. I got excited when I heard about a "The Fighter" movie with Mark Wahlberg, but later found out that it was totally unrelated to the book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clark

    I do not know how to even begin my review. The Fighter by Craig Davidson is a masterpiece work of fiction. It is not for the weak, this book will disturb you. Any book that makes me feel uncomfortable is worth my money. Boxing gives these characters something to live for, it makes them who they are. Read this book, I promise you will enjoy it. I am a better person after reading The Fighter.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kailash Maharaj

    This was a refreshingly macho read. It is really good to open a book and get a man's perspective on the world. The imagery painted by the author made my own testicles contract into my body with sheer sympathetic reeling. A brilliant, soul searching book for every man.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hetch Litman

    it took guts to write this book. and blood. I read it in a single sitting in a hospital room with a sick friend while he slept. powerful prose and really leads with head and finished you off with heart.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Todd Kalinski

    A sick, twisted tale of not giving a fuck. Craig Davidson, in the same vein as Irvine Welsh, carves out a tale of dangerous deceit. Deceit brought upon the self and relished. Of insular men with no valor or goal. Good Luck, Sailor.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daryl

    Great story about two fighters on two very different paths. Craig Davidson might not be quite as compelling as Nick Cutter, but he's pretty close. 4 out of 5 stars only because he tries to incorporate some fight club-type plot elements and they're out of place.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Will

    It was beyond winning or losing now. It was about the desire and willingness to approach the world with fists raised, always moving forward. To give everything of yourself without hesitation or fear.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Badass first novel. Shows what hormone injections and a spoiled childhood can turn a mofo into.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    Pretty brutal and over-the-top...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Richard Thomas

    This was the first exposure I had to Craig Davidson, and it is a fantastic book. Engrossing and well written, a wonderful book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peter Goutis

    I loved this book. Craig Davidson got everything perfect in it. The language. The pacing. Everything about it, I just really enjoyed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Can't get over how much I enjoy the work of Craig Davidson. Think I'll go out and get a couple of black eyes now.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Derrick McCluskey

    Another gem from Davidson. Great work on the father/son relationship.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    intense, brutal, disgusting, painful, engaging, sad, beautiful, wonderfully descriptive, some of the best writing about fighting i've ever seen.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marco

    Bleak and cynical...my kind of book.

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