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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas

Genre: Sports Fiction

Setting: New York and Las Vegas

First sentence: The tapping sound of the smooth silver ballpoint pen against the notepad sounded like a metronome gone out of control.

Michael Dane is in the fight of his life.  He is a boxer who has been fighting his whole life.  His father, once a promising boxer, is dead.  His mother is in prison for murder.  Michael himself has been in prison.  Even after being released, Michael is connected with some unsavory characters.

Now, Michael has a shot at the title.  He knows that this is his only chance.

Then Michael is confronted with a dilemma that may destroy his dream.  First, he learns that his girlfriend is pregnant with his child.  Second, he has been ordered by his unscrupulous friends to  take a dive in the championship bout.  His friends have threatened harm to his girlfriend and his unborn child if he doesn't go along with their demands.

What will Michael do?  Will he take the dive?  Is there any way for him keep his self-respect and achieve his dream without harming his girlfriend and their child?

This novel is essentially the story of a single boxing match.  Round by round, punch by punch, we see the entire fight.

Between the boxing scenes, we explore Michael's past.  We learn about his motivations and discover how he arrived at this dramatic point in his life.

I liked this novel.  The boxing scenes were well written and very exciting.  The structure of the novel helped move the plot forward without overwhelming the reader with the details of the fight.  Although I don't usually read sports novels, I really enjoyed this one.


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