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.
the fight you could feel the tension growing in the Garden lobby: the late ticket seekers, the sharp-eyed scalpers, the busy little guys making last-minute book, eight-to-five on Toro, five-to-nine on Lennert, playing the percentages. Around nine, Toro came down from the Waldorf with Pepe and Fernando. Danny wanted to throw them out. Strangers in a dressing room always made him even more nervous. But Toro was stubborn. “They are my friends,” he insisted. “If they go, I go too.” Danny had never
laundries, the ten-cent movies, I thought of Nick, and of Charles and his Jackson-Slavin fight, the magnificent ebony figure of Peter Jackson with his great classical head, his innate dignity, poised and magnanimous in his moment of triumph. Jackson, black athlete from Australia, a pugilist in the great tradition, worthy descendant of the ancient Sumerians, whose boxing contests are depicted in frescoes that have come down to us through six thousand years; and of Theagenes of Thaos, Olympic
intensify the satisfaction of the other. Beth gave me a sense of where I was and where I stood in time, and if my job with Nick was like a jail, a comfortable, cushy jail, but still a place of confinement, Beth was my contact with the outside world, who brought some of that world to me each visiting day. It was her world and, out here, it seemed as if it ought to be mine. Beth was my safety valve. And now the valve was shut. I was left to sweat in my own steam. Vince came out of the bedroom,
quite wholesome by light of day. “This is really our second honeymoon,” Nick said expansively. “I always told you we’d have our second honeymoon in Sunny Cal, didn’t I, Ruby?” “I thought that’s what we were doing in Miami last winter,” Ruby said. “Aah, that was nothing,” Nick said. “That was just getting in practice for the second honeymoon.” He bent over and kissed Ruby, a little roughly. She didn’t draw away, but she no longer thought it was ladylike to be kissed in public. “Killer,” Nick
months. Benny had admitted throwing in the towel because he had placed a large bet on Toro, which he was afraid he might lose. This handful of verbal sand in the eyes of the Commission hiked our overhead up five hundred bucks, which was Benny’s price for taking the rap. The Commission ruling was only binding so far as California was concerned, so Vince sent Benny on to Las Vegas, where we had a date with a full-blooded Indian Miniff had dug up for us by the name of Chief Thunderbird. Chief