The Harder They Fall
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Budd Schulberg's celebrated novel of the prize ring has lost none of its power since its first publication almost fifty years ago. Crowded with unforgettable characters, it is a relentless expose of the fight racket. A modern Samson in the form of a simple Argentine peasant is ballyhooed by an unscrupulous fight promoter and his press agent and then betrayed and destroyed by connivers. Mr. Schulberg creates a wonderfully authentic atmosphere for this book that many critics hailed as even better than What Makes Sammy Run? "The quintessential novel of boxing and corruption."―USA Today "The book will stand not only as the novel about boxing but also as a book that indirectly tells more about civilization than do most books about civilization itself."―Arthur Miller. "Brilliant, witty, and amusing―the best book on fighting that I have read."―Gene Tunney.
head was hurting. “Goddamit, you sure take your own sweet time getting out here,” he greeted me. “Sorry, Gus,” I said. “I missed the ten-o’clock train. Hope it didn’t inconvenience you.” “Well, we still got telephone service,” he said. “Thank God I can still pay my phone bills. You could of called Emily. I got up at nine-thirty especially to be ready for you. What’s a matter, too much celebrating last night?” “Hell, no, I was in the sack before midnight. I wanted to be sure and be in shape
erratic sense of fair play and they booed. Gus looked surprised. Toro was leaning on Gus, flailing his arms with ineffectual fury. When the referee separated them, Gus danced up and down, flicking his left into Toro’s face and preparing to counter with the clever defensive timing that everyone expected of him. But Toro rushed him into the ropes again, not hitting him cleanly, but roughing him up, punishing him with his great weight, clutching him with one arm and clubbing him about the head with
run. Danny asked me if I wanted to go along, but I told him I wasn’t quite ready for suicide yet. Climbing on and off a bar stool was exercise enough for this athlete. Danny always accompanied his fighters on road work. It certainly was one for Ripley. How a guy of his age and his habits could pace a healthy young athlete for six miles was one of the mysteries. Either Danny’s guts were made of reinforced steel or an alcoholic diet is not as injurious as its detractors claim it to be. Except for a
Donovan, was to add three more to our string of knockouts and sign the papers for the big fight with Lennert in the Garden. Toro’s cut for the eighteen minutes of alleged fighting must have been around $20,000. But all he had been seeing of it were the 50’s and C-notes that Vince came up with whenever Toro put the zing on him. After the Chicago fight, though, Toro smelled money. “You give now, I send my papa for build big house,” he told Vince. Vince reached into his pocket, pulled out a wad and
Street who’s always got an eye out to pry the back off another coin machine. The Killer was on the phone in the outer office when I got there, laying his plans for the evening or vice versa. He had a way of addressing his women in terms of exaggerated endearment that suggested a deeply rooted contempt. “Okay, honey chile …Check, sugar…You name it, beauteeful…” A psychiatrist, observing the Killer’s hopped-up promiscuity and his chronic inability to settle down to any female, probably would have