As of today, the story I wrote for The Big Click can be read for free on the magazine’s website. To read it, click here. If you like it, please buy a copy of the magazine so it can continue paying its writers.
Until Nick Mamatas asked me to write a crime story for the magazine, I had no idea that I would ever write fiction set in Maryhill, Glasgow, again. In the last decade and a half, all of my fiction (except for this anomaly) has been set in the U.S., but, for no reason I understand, this Glasgow story demanded to be written.
And now I’m writing another story set in Glasgow. I suspect I might end up with another book of them. Meantime, if you like “Big Davey Joins the Majority”, you’ll probably like my book of stories Get Out As Early As You Can.
A reader who liked The Champion’s New Clothes asked, “What other great books have a boxing background?”
I can’t think of many, but there are some. If I had to pick the best, it would probably be F.X. Toole’s story collection Rope Burns, which was reprinted with the title Million Dollar Baby. Toole was a cut man, and he gets every detail right.
If I had to choose the greatest boxing novel, I would be torn between Leonard Gardner’s Fat City and Eddie Muller’s The Distance. Budd Schulberg’s The Harder They Fall is good, as is W.C. Heinz’s The Professional.
To anyone who liked The Champion’s New Clothes, I recommend my story “What Goes On,” which is in Get Out As Early As You Can.
The Fighter (click here for my review) is by far the best boxing film I’ve seen. Other great ones are Champion, Body and Soul and Raging Bull. In the latter, though the fight scenes are sometimes cartoonish, the fighter’s-eye perspective when Robert De Niro is walking to his corner after knocking his opponent down, and sees the ring lights and the spectators, is the most accurate I’ve seen in any film. Girlfight is a great film, though its premise is absurd. Requiem for a Heavyweight, Somebody Up there Likes Me and Million Dollar Baby (the latter based on a story by F.X. Toole) are good.
That’s all I can think of, but I must be forgetting or missing some. What others should be on the list?
“Graham’s stories are peopled with the desperate and the mad… A master.”
- Times (London)
In this searing collection of stories, people try in various ways to escape the violence and depravity of urban Scotland.
A brutalized child rescues his sister in the only way he can imagine. An alienated, drug-addicted boxer fights to live and then lives to fight. A family man slashes faces for money. Lovers, killers, the desperate and the mad search for meaning, or someone to hold, or something to eat, in some of the meanest streets ever rendered in fiction.