Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fat City by Leonard Gardner

Movie tie-in paperback edition of Fat City from 1972
Leonard Gardner's first and only novel remains a relatively obscure classic of boxing fiction. Set in the small town of Stockton, California where Gardner grew up, it follows the emerging career of Ernie Munger and the washed-up career of Billy Tully, two semi-professional lower-class boxers. Originally published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 1969, this paperback edition was published by Dell in conjunction with John Huston's film adaptation written by Gardner himself. Fat City is a fairly bleak book but an incredibly gripping one to read, and highlights a particular time and sub-genre of people in rural California as they try to make it to the big time, or "fat city" as it were.

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