Cut Time: An Education at the Fights

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Aug 5, 2003 - Sports & Recreation - 240 pages
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Carlo Rotella, an award-winning writer and ringside veteran, unearths the hard wisdom in any kind of fight, from barroom dustup to HBO extravaganza. He vividly describes the tough choices and subtle pleasures that come the way of every fighter, from perennial underdogs on the tank-town circuit to the one-time heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, who still spars to retching exhaustion daily.
Rotella uncovers the often startling light that boxing sheds on the world beyond the ring. A college student's brief fistic career pinpoints the moment when adulthood arrives. The serenity of a fellow fan shows Rotella how to process the trauma of a car crash. The persistence of a wizened ex-champion reminds him of his grandmother and helps him accept her death. Throughout, Rotella achieves moving resonances between the worlds inside and outside the ropes.
He also tackles fascinating questions that have gone largely unexplored until now: How do boxers endure the brutal punishment that is the sport's essence? And why do they come back for more, again and again? As Rotella traces his immersion in the fight world, he achieves what few other writers in that world have: he makes it relevant to us, whether we're fans or not.

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Cut time: an education at the fights

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Maybe it's our eternal search for meaning. Or maybe it's just our attempt to rationalize endless hours spent in front of the tube watching people run by, jump over, or pound on one another ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ibreak4books - LibraryThing

Interesting book ostensibily about boxing, but really about the human soul. Read like a story. High recommended. Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Carlo Rotella writes regularly for the New York Times Magazine, and he is a columnist for the Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Slate, and The Best American Essays, and on WGBH. He is director of American Studies and professor of English at Boston College.

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