Cal and his trainer, Riley, are on their way to Mexico for a make-or-break rematch with legendary fighter Rivera. Four years ago, Cal became the only mixed martial arts fighter to take Rivera the distance -- but the fight nearly ended him. Only Riley, who has been at his side for the last ten years, knows how much that fight changed things for Cal. And only Riley really knows what's now at stake, for both of them.
Katie Kitamura's brilliant and stirring debut novel follows Cal and Riley through the three fraught days leading up to this momentous match, as each privately begins to doubt that Cal can win. As the tension builds toward the final electrifying scene, the looming fight becomes every challenge each of us has ever taken on, no matter how uncertain the outcome.
In hypnotic, pared-down prose, The Longshot offers a striking portrait of two men striving to stay true to themselves and each other in the only way they know how.
Four years earlier, top Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Cal took on the powerful Rivera, who won the fight by judges decision. Now, at 29, Cal s out to stage a comeback, la Rocky Balboa. Spare and beautifully written, this debut novel follows Cal and his loyal trainer, Riley, as they head to Tijuana for the rematch. Cal and Riley privately wonder if they ve made a huge miscalculation; Rivera this time is after a knockout, and Cal doubts that his body can withstand Rivera s pounding, and questions if the fire in him is passion or just an overwhelming fear of retirement. In the world Kitamura creates, only these three men exist; there is no family or friends. She reveals Cal s heart and mind as he struggles to understand himself as a man and as a fighter and paints the portrait of Riley as a loving but gruff friend and mentor. Kitamura, a journalist who for years has followed MMA matches, brings a physicality to her story with descriptions of the action so vivid the reader feels the pain of every punch and kick.
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Probably the best book I have ever read in my life