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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Anki_Real_Reviews
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"The Apple doesn't fall far from the tree." As soon as I finished the book, I couldn't help but wonder the impact of this idiom on its plot. Joe hated his father from all he had; however, he found himself following his footsteps. One more intriguing thought that I found in the plot was a child's need to make his/her parents proud of his/her achievements. Although Joe wanted to kill his own father, he could not help but seek his father's validation/praise in everything he did.
The book is full of thought-provoking ideas -- if a reader pays close attention to it. A spoiled childhood can impact a child's whole life; therefore, it is important for the parents to provide a happy and healthy childhood to their kids. Although the physical signs of David Rhodes' beatings disappeared from Joe's body as the time passed, the imprints of emotional torment remained with him throughout his life. These emotional sufferings did not spoil only Joe's life; his whole family paid the price of the pain and hurt that Joe hid inside his heart.
Lee Cooper has kept the overall plot interesting with the help of various twists. As a reader, I did not find any dull moment while reading the book. One may think that the graphic details of the boxing matches might have been overwhelming, but this could not be far from the reality. I am not a boxing fan, but I found myself enjoying those fights. The author has written the book in a manner that I felt as if Joe was narrating his story to me. Except for the last twist, the overall plot seemed quite realistic to me. I am amazed by the author's knowledge about various boxing moves. It is evident that he has done his research before writing the book.
All the characters are well-defined and extremely realistic. My favorite character, however, remained Joe's wife, May. She is portrayed as a strong woman. She is not afraid to speak her mind to her enraged husband. She lends a helping hand in her family's hour of need. Although she does not have a very big role in the plot, I couldn't help but admire her contribution to the story.
The conversations are sensible. The author has not stuffed pages with an unnecessary exchange of dialogues, which I, as a reader, appreciated a lot. The language comprises of abusive words, here and there, which, I believe, has been included to increase the authenticity. I was able to make a connection with the central character, Joe. This connection made me love the book even more.
Although I tried hard to find any negative point about the book, I failed in my quest (except for the final twist). Hence, this book has earned 4 out of 4 stars from me. I would recommend this book to the readers who are looking for an engaging plot with several action scenes.
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greenstripedgiraffe wrote:Boy, I would never purposefully pick up a book about boxing, of all things. However, your review makes this sound like so much more than just a "boxing book." It sounds like there is significant depth, as well as themes common to mankind in general. Good review!
I, too, was worried that this book might overwhelm me with many boxing details; however, to my delight, it turned out to have much more depth to it.
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