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Thursday, March 22, 2018

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: The Fighter by Michael Farris Smith @annecater @michael_f_smith @noexitpress

The Fighter
by Michael Farris Smith

Publisher:  No Exit Press
Publishing:  March 29, 2018
Kindle Edition
224 pages
Stand alone
Genres:  Literary Fiction, Adult Fiction

Jack Boucher, a former bare-knuckle fighter, has nothing more to give.  In a single twisted night, he is derailed.  Hijacked by a sleazy gambler out to settle a score, Jack loses the money that will clear his debt with the queen of Delta vice, Big Momma Sweet.  

As Jack's foster mother slowly dies, her mind eroded by dementia, so Jack finds his mind is failing too.  Years of bare-knuckle fighting have taken their toll and recurrent concussion leaves him relying on painkillers and a notebook of names, separating friend from foe, to keep himself alive.  Yet a savior comes in the form of Annette, a tattooed carnival worker and free spirit, who guides him towards some sort of salvation.  But the road to redemption is filled with danger and Jack is forced to step into the fighting pit one last time, with the stakes no less than life or death.

About Michael Farris Smith:

Michael Farris Smith is a native Mississippian who has spent time living abroad in France and Switzerland.  He is the recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Author Award and has been awarded the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction, and the Alabama Arts Council Fellowship Award for Literature.  His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his essays have appeared with The New York Times, Catfish Alley, Deep South Magazine, and more.  He lives in Columbus, Mississippi, with his wife and two daughters.

My Review:

My goodness guys and gals!  This book is GOLD!  Drawing me in right from the beginning.  You feel, FEEL for Jack.  This is a fantastic character driven story that will make you want to reach out and hug all the characters:  Jack, who uses his fists to make an impact on the world.  Annette, the tattooed gorgeousness of Annette from the carnival.  Maryann, the only person who Jack thinks loves him and who he may be letting down... who he HAS let down.

This is really not what I expected.  A way more emotional read that tells the story of a fighter out of his prime, in trouble and using the only thing he knows to try and get out.... his fists.  I definitely felt that with just over 200 pages, Smith really packs a punch with his words (no pun intended 😉).  It's a bit heavy so some readers may be thrown off by the seriousness and gray type of read.  But for me, this gray was peppered with sparkles of light. 

We all need a Maryann.  We all need to treat the children better.  And we all need to read this book.


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