Plucked from his beloved Italian country-side, severed from his family, and placed on an ocean liner in the bay of Naples, Antonio Russo, just ten years old, embarks on the journey of his life. As he steps foot onto New York soil with not a word of English, his pockets stuffed with salami and provolone cheese and wearing a pair of shoes for the occasion, Antonio recalls the promise from his mother that in America he would find family members to take care of him and the trees blossoming with gold. This young Italian boy finds himself hit hard with a large dose of reality, obstacles at every turn. These obstacles would become the demons with which Antonio finds himself doing constant battle, but as fate would have it, he one day comes to realize that he is good at something. He finds by chance that he has a natural instinct and ability in the sport of wrestling. As his story unfolds, it would be the sport of wrestling that ignites a passion and guides him to the realization of his true potential, giving meaning to the struggle he and his family would endure in their journey from Southern Italy to the United States to create a better way of life.
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Wrestling With the Devil based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This is truly an amazing story of the human spirit, of adventure, of perseverance, of a man rising above all obstacles and against all odds to carve out his place in America. In this story you will learn of a young man placed on a ship bound for the United States at the age of ten with no money, no ability to speak English and no guarantee that anyone would even be at Ellis Island to greet him. You will also hear of his early life as a child growing up in Italy, as well as what caused him to gravitate to being a high school teacher and wrestling coach. Through his eyes, voice and experience he tells an amazing story of overcoming the many obstacles he faced growing up in his new land; of his wrestling matches with the devil, as it were. There are many places where he came to monumental choices about the direction of his life; any one of which could have created an entirely different outcome for it. I had to keep reminding myself that this is not a novel, but the true story of someone I have had the privilege of knowing for quite some time. Yet, there is so much of this story that I did not know. Hats off to Tonya for recording her father's story with such eloquence and to Tony for sharing his amazing life with us!
Wrestling With The Devil is such a great story! I couldn't put it down ... read it from cover to cover in one sitting. I am sure it is headed for the Best Seller list ... and, we may even see it at the movies some day! Enjoy!