Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alice's Reviews: Million Dollar Baby:Stories From the Corner

Summary:  Originally published as Rope Burns: Stories From the Corner, this debut collection has been reissued to coincide with the Oscar-nominated film Million Dollar Baby, based on Toole's short story, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. ~

Review: This is my first attempt at reading boxing-centric stories.  The main reason I requested this collection of short stories from NetGalley is because I am a fan of boxing and movies* about boxing.  I loved Million Dollar Baby and wanted to read the story because we all know the book is always better than the movie. I am glad I took a chance on something that was far from my usual reading material because Million Dollar Baby: Stories from the Corner is one of the best short collections I have ever read.

Mr. Toole writes with so much heart.  As a boxer and trainer himself, he gives his readers his unique point of view for everyone involved in the sport.  From the Boxers themselves to the Trainers and Cutmen, I loved reading about the sport from this angle.  Each of the characters he introduced us too were so real, they came to life on the page.

What surprised me was that in all the stories I read, Million Dollar Baby was not my favorite.  I actually began listing all my favorite stories, but when I got to five I went back and edited this review.  Each story was better than the last.  Each character so simple yet complex, so brilliant and real.  It was true joy to spend time with them.  My only struggle was in reading the detailed description the author uses to describe boxing.  I’m not quite sure how to explain it to you other than to say the semantics of it was hard for me to understand.  What I got loud and clear was the people, the emotion in which each character felt.  It was beautiful.

Million Dollar Baby: Stories from the Corner honors the human spirit.  And Mr. Toole honors those who fought before him and those who will continue to fight after him.  I believe if you are a fan of boxing, this is a must read. 

Final Take:  4/5

* One of the best boxing movies ever is Girlfight starring Michelle Rodriguez.  You must check it out.

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