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The fourth installment in Daniel Kucan’s boxing saga delivers as well as the first. This grimy, heartfelt excursion to the hole-in-wall Emerald City club in Boston, somehow walks the line between a torrid love story, a gut-wrenching physical and emotional fight between body and soul, and a vivid snapshot of the world of seedy nightclub fighting, a world which few ever enter- and fewer leave.

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The inner dialogue of the main character, Zach, continues to evolve in this chapter, moving from a stagnant, stoic man, to a more vulnerable figure with a life teetering on a fine balance between solitude and desperate loneliness. Driven by his wishes to give “girl” a tuned piano, Zach continues to immerse himself in decisions made only for the present moment- with no regard for the future nor his well-being.

The dialogue continues to be raw and edged with the bitter tinge of a lovable loser whose life is foreign and somehow contrived, yet enthralling and poignant to any reader.

The brilliance of this series is the descriptive power of language that Kucan uses, which offers a true feeling of being untamed and wild, the freedom of Zach’s fists, and his own grimy, street-taught discipline races through each sentence of the chapter, permeating the gritty imagery with desperate emotion that continues to evolve through each edition and chapter.


Number of Pages: 22

Recommended For: An electric lightning storm in the city, a dark night

Enjoy it With: a glass of water, a bottle of Mickey’s

For fans of: boxing, WWE, memoirs