The Knockout Artist

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Overview

The hard-hitting narrative of a black boxer of uncommon promise-- and his descent into the New Orleans underworld. "A brilliant specialist in black humor, Crews delivers the goods once again. . . uncannily effective."--Publishers Weekly

The story of a black boxer of uncommon promise--and his descent into the New Orleans underworld.

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Overview

The hard-hitting narrative of a black boxer of uncommon promise-- and his descent into the New Orleans underworld. "A brilliant specialist in black humor, Crews delivers the goods once again. . . uncannily effective."--Publishers Weekly

The story of a black boxer of uncommon promise--and his descent into the New Orleans underworld.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Crews, one of the most inventive practitioners in modern American letters, returns to a milieu that has long fascinated him: the seedy world of fighters and musclemen. Eugene Talmadge Biggs, ex-farmboy and ex-boxer (he won 13 fights and lost the next four by knockouts), knows an amazing trickhe can knock himself out with one punch to the jaw. Abandoned by his manager, Crews's glass-jawed hero has to support himself by exhibiting his trick at parties. After 73 self-inflicted KO's, the routine gets a little wearing. Meanwhile, Eugene is taken up by Charity, a rich, all-but-the-dissertation Ph.D. candidate bent on constructing a thesis that relates every fact in the world to every other fact. She thinks Eugene and his prizefighting friends are a gold mine of information for this dubious project. A brilliant specialist in black humor, Crews delivers the goods once again. His deadpan prose style is uncannily effective in meshing the surreal and everyday life. While the characters are mainly freaks, they come across so directly, often with an affecting sweetness, that they acquire extraordinary vibrancy. Crews is a modernist all right, but he isn't a facile one. The moral here and elsewhere in his work is old-fashioned: to thine own self be true. (April)
Library Journal
A superbly crafted novel of deceptions and darkness, this look at the underside of a strange group in New Orleans moves inexorably toward a stunning climax. Eugene Gibbs, a failed boxer, becomes popular on the kinky circuit and is taken in hand by Charity, a wealthy girl who beds him. Eugene is drawn into the circle of another boxer, his addict girlfriend, a hooker/lesbian, and a wealthy businessman who gets his kicks by controlling people by day and being led about with a leash by night. Basically decent, Eugene is tormented because he is deceived and let down by everyone, except a young boxer he is training. Characterization, incidents, and tone are all beautifully sustained in this unusual book. R. H. Donahugh, Youngstown and Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060915742
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1989
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2002

    Crews Takes You There

    Harry Crews seems to have a direct line to certain experiences and the people who experience them. His prose style is invisible; he's easy to read, similar to the style of Charles Bukowski; and he doesn't shy away from describing a side of the world we rarely see. Above all, Crews has heart, he's a realistic writer with a dry sense of humor, like a Rick Bragg without the sentimental bent. Eugene is a great character.

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