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"He's the toughest machine
I ever built." --Coach Izzy
IzzyDuzItFitness at Extreme Kung Fu Chicago


  Below, featured boxing book review:
  Lee Child, Never Go Back.

LEE CHILD, Never Go Back. A Jack Reacher Novel. New York: Delacorte Press, 2013. $20.
A thriller and not really a boxing novel, this book has great suspense, a thick and plausible layer of inside-information on military intelligence, and a sprinkle of references for boxing buffs.

As fans of the Jack Reacher novels know, Reacher is a one-man demolition derby. But he's also a lady's man, and at the end of this novel he turns out to have a literary flair, knowing more about the romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) than any reader has a right to expect.

There are three great fight scenes (ch. 1; ch. 45 & 46; ch. 66). The third of Reacher's 3 fights begins with Reacher wryly warning his opponent that there will be "No ear biting" (p. 378). He plans his moves, even while reflecting on his opponent's psychology, then throws a "one, two, right, left" and leaves the opponent "upright but good for an eight count, which he didn't get, because fighting in the dark on the edge of Lafeyette Square was not a civilized sport with rules" (p. 380). These are the clearest boxing references in the book's fight scenes. They are a handsome salute to the civility that ought to govern good action in the ring--a code that does not apply here.

The fight that opens the novel is stunning, but refers not to boxing but to martial arts (in a dismissive way, as useless on the street). There is one more very violent scene, in two parts, on board an aircraft, but it's not about boxing at all, although I don't think you will forget it.

A terriffic read.
For reviews of two other books by Child, go to this page ||.

March 2019