Customer Reviews for

The Contender

Average Rating 4.5
( 150 )
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5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

very Inspiring! Worth every page!

The Contender is an excellent novel to read with a touching storyline to go along with it. The contender is mainly about the protagonist, Alfred Brooks, wanting to succeed in life. While adding to that subject comes into the play of the art of boxing. After Alfred is ju...
The Contender is an excellent novel to read with a touching storyline to go along with it. The contender is mainly about the protagonist, Alfred Brooks, wanting to succeed in life. While adding to that subject comes into the play of the art of boxing. After Alfred is jumped he finds a boxing gym where he talks to the coach; Mr. Donatelli, to tell him that he wants to be a champion which leads to the wise words of Mr. Donatelli that outlines the whole story. Mr. Donatelli’s response: “You have to start by wanting to be a contender, the man coming up, the man who knows there's a good chance he'll never get to the top, the man who's willing to sweat and bleed to get up as high as his legs and his brain and his heart will take him.” is very important involving various themes of the story. One of the significant parts to this theme of not giving up is that’s what Alfred has been doing before signing up at the gym which emphasizes Mr. Donatelli’s powerful words that if he wants to be a champion most importantly a contender he has to not give up and have determination to achieve his goals in life, not just in boxing. In the way I saw the novel going the author; Robert Lipsyte, likes to put obstacles into the protagonists life that gave him the option of falling into peer pressure, another ongoing theme, which leads to him going back to his regular life as a grocery boy going nowhere or to refuse the bad temptations and obtain the dream of being a contender. The level of suspense was just a little more than average with the constant choices and problems Alfred had to go through with, but it would still be more than enough to keep me highly interested and wanting to finish another chapter after another. Another aspect to the novel would be the fact that Alfred was just a regular guy that you could relate to, a guy trying to fit in the world, trying to chase his dreams. The fact that everything was so realistic and visual kept me going page after page. There have also been moments in the novel where I felt like Alfred was a role model in a way with that determination to stay above and not quit on what he enjoys and believes in. To add to that Alfred was at his lowest point having his best friend, James, leave him more and more often for his addiction of drugs, having no immediate family, living in the ghetto part of Harlem with his Aunt Pearl, depression, and being a dropout; so you got to give some sort of recognition to Alfred wanting to come up on top. Overall the plot is very simple to follow having an exposition, rising and falling action, a climax, several complications, and a resolution. The Contender is a book that has impacted my life in such a positive way.

posted by ChristianRobles on January 20, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

!p

!hfk

posted by Anonymous on January 27, 2012

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  • Posted January 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    very Inspiring! Worth every page!

    The Contender is an excellent novel to read with a touching storyline to go along with it. The contender is mainly about the protagonist, Alfred Brooks, wanting to succeed in life. While adding to that subject comes into the play of the art of boxing. After Alfred is jumped he finds a boxing gym where he talks to the coach; Mr. Donatelli, to tell him that he wants to be a champion which leads to the wise words of Mr. Donatelli that outlines the whole story. Mr. Donatelli’s response: “You have to start by wanting to be a contender, the man coming up, the man who knows there's a good chance he'll never get to the top, the man who's willing to sweat and bleed to get up as high as his legs and his brain and his heart will take him.” is very important involving various themes of the story. One of the significant parts to this theme of not giving up is that’s what Alfred has been doing before signing up at the gym which emphasizes Mr. Donatelli’s powerful words that if he wants to be a champion most importantly a contender he has to not give up and have determination to achieve his goals in life, not just in boxing. In the way I saw the novel going the author; Robert Lipsyte, likes to put obstacles into the protagonists life that gave him the option of falling into peer pressure, another ongoing theme, which leads to him going back to his regular life as a grocery boy going nowhere or to refuse the bad temptations and obtain the dream of being a contender. The level of suspense was just a little more than average with the constant choices and problems Alfred had to go through with, but it would still be more than enough to keep me highly interested and wanting to finish another chapter after another. Another aspect to the novel would be the fact that Alfred was just a regular guy that you could relate to, a guy trying to fit in the world, trying to chase his dreams. The fact that everything was so realistic and visual kept me going page after page. There have also been moments in the novel where I felt like Alfred was a role model in a way with that determination to stay above and not quit on what he enjoys and believes in. To add to that Alfred was at his lowest point having his best friend, James, leave him more and more often for his addiction of drugs, having no immediate family, living in the ghetto part of Harlem with his Aunt Pearl, depression, and being a dropout; so you got to give some sort of recognition to Alfred wanting to come up on top. Overall the plot is very simple to follow having an exposition, rising and falling action, a climax, several complications, and a resolution. The Contender is a book that has impacted my life in such a positive way.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Amazing!

    This book was so good! We had to read it for 10th grade english and i couldnt stop reading it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2009

    good story

    The contender is about a boy named alfred brooks. this book is good because it tells about the troubles of a young boy who lives in harlem and is trying to become a boxer. He must fight the people who want him to do drugs and crime. He also meets plenty of helpful people as he becomes a boxer though and they are probably what save him from becoming nothing.
    Alfred must fight to help his friend james who fell in with a bad crowd. The kids left him at his house to go rob the mr. epsteins store which is where alfred works. Alfred forgets to tell them theres a silent alarm and gets james cought. This angers the people james went out with which were major, hollis, and sunny and now they are after alfred to ruin his life.
    Alfred survives the troubles of the three people who now hate him and his training. He meets people who help him and teach him many things and even gets to help james who becomes addicted to drugs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    I loved the book the contender because it is about a guy who is

    I loved the book the contender because it is about a guy who is weak and gets pushed around and then became strong and boxed and became a better person. This is basically part of my life went from the weak little minor to a strong confident person

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Good

    Good stroy line

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    Great boxing book tap for review

    When i read it for some reason i was just inspired the ending was great to

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2014

    The novel The Contender is an exceptional read for any age, and

    The novel The Contender is an exceptional read for any age, and the intrigue begins very early in the story.  Alfred Brooks, the main character, displays his honor and his courage to stand up for himself by saying no to his friends' dumb idea.  They were going to rob the grocery store he worked at and they wanted his help at being the lookout.  This event shows a continuing struggle throughout the book: Alfred Brooks tries to do right by his Aunt Pearl's rules, but things never seem to work out.  The story of Alfred's life and the peer pressure that surrounds him on his journey to become a boxing champion makes the novel very interesting and adds more dynamics to the plot.  Alfred Brooks' determination to work hard at both his job and also at a local boxing gym owned by the coach Mr. Donatelli really inspired me.  Also, Alfred's kindness and determination even extends to trying to help his best friend James out of drug addiction.  I really enjoyed reading this book and seeing what happened as it progressed.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in an inspiring novel about a kid that has the motivation and determination to try to succeed in an unlikely situation.    

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Great!

    This is an amazing book that we just finished readinding in 8th grade. It is very heart felt and includes a beautiful story line.. Although the author uses dialect, it is still easy to follow and a tasteful read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    A brilliant novel

    The Contender first came off to me as one of the stupid books we would have to read in school and answer questions about. That was until I actually began to read it. It was thrilling and beautifully written. I truly felt that I was watching this book as a movie. I felt Alfred Brook's pain. I understood him as though I knew him.
    I highly recommend this book - it's an enjoyable piece of literature that I wouldn't mind reading again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Good book for middle school kids

    Good book for middle school kids

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Hi

    Hi

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Bix Herro

    Y

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Hi jk lol

    Hii this book sucks




    Jk lol this book rovks

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Amazing

    This book was a great read and truly inspiring!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Awesome book eva

    Enter Review

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    great book

    I read this book in 9th grade. It was fun reading this book because the story can happen in real life. It tells us the life a teenager that grew up in Harlem, New York. I liked this book because I picked up a lot of good things like, using drugs can ruin one's life, also working hard can lead to success and finally having a long patience can have good results. This book really concentrates on Alfred's life and tells us how he handles his decision makings. The main theme of this book is how Alfred progress through life and guide his friend James back to right direction. I recommend this book to everyone because i think anyone can enjoy this book because of its thrilling moments and its lessons that everyone can get

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    The Contender book review

    The Contender by Robert Lipsyte is an immense novel. It is about a boy named Alfred who lives in a bad neighborhood but stays out of trouble by boxing and influences the people around him by doing so. I read this book last year and enjoyed it tremendously. Robert Lipsyte does a great job with characterization, you can picture the characters in your mind when he describes them. The setting of the novel Harlem, New York is expressed in vivid details. The conflicts in the book are extremely realistic. For example; Theft and drugs. I would recommend this best seller to anyone who likes reading a book where someone is determined to be a champion.

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  • Posted November 20, 2008

    The Contender

    The Contender by Robert Lypsyte is about a teenage boy, Alfred, who has many problems in life. Alfred is an African American high school dropout from Harlem, NY who lives with his Aunt Pearl and his three little cousins. He works at a grocery store for a Jewish family, the Epsteins.<BR/>James was Alfred¿s best friend ever since they were very little. They did everything together. Alfred and James used to be best friends until they had a disagreement. Alfred still wanted to be friends again and hang out, but James wanted nothing to do with it. Alfred cared enough to try and help James stop drinking and taking drugs. James wanted to quit but he never did. Alfred wants to become someone, so he gets courage to go to Donatelli¿s gym, like other famous boxers did from his town. Alfred makes a lot of new friends at Donatelli¿s gym, Henry, Jelly Belly, Dr. Corey, Mr. Epstein, Spoon, Bud and even Mr. Donatelli. Alfred Starts training with Henry, and Alfred gets on a precise schedule. He fights and wins some, but loses some too. Even though he loses some he is still very good at boxing. He enjoys it and has fun with it. When Mr. Donatelli lets Alfred know it was time for him to retire, he stayed and finished his last fight. Mr. Donatelli believed Alfred had more in him than boxing. Alfred struggles with his decision but then decides to continue on with his education.<BR/>In my opinion this book was one of my favorites. I loved this book¿it made you want to keep reading on. The struggles and decisions of the teens in this book seems very realistic to teens today. I had to read it in my Language Arts class and I enjoyed it very much. Robert Lypsyte, the author, is also a very good writer, I enjoyed the way he wrote the book and made the story flow!

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    the contender

    This book is a very inspiring book, about a boy named Alfred who is trying to stay safe and stay away from drugs and the party life. It shows what really madders in life and keeping positive people around you. It shows the hard life of this young teen. It was on of the best books I've read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2008

    a great example of achievement in life

    this book is a really good example of todays generation it inspired myself to give a little push on lifes goals plus i like boxing it be nice to see what its like and all the things you have to train for

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