“Fans of Palahniuk and Irvine Welsh will relish the graphic fight sequences and gritty social commentary” in this novel about two very different young men (Rocky Mountain News).
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.
Now these two young men’s paths are about to cross . . .
Two young men heading in opposite directions find their destinies linked by violence in Davidson's dripping-with-testosterone debut novel (following story collection Rust and Bone). After he gets beat up at a bar, Paul Harris questions his coddled, trouble-free life and embraces obsessive workout routines and steroids before finding boxing, the perfect outlet for his newfound rage. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Rob Tully is a boxing star in training on the path to a Golden Gloves tournament. Paul seeks to embrace his new self through the grandeur and punishment of boxing, while Rob struggles to find himself by escaping from that very same world. Their paths cross when Paul fights Rob's uncle in an underground match, and odds-on loser Paul wins, at a big price. Davidson's writing is terse, coarse and fluid in descriptions of exposed viscera, splattered blood and broken bones. There's an unmistakable Palahniuk influence at work.