Have I blogged about this book before? Can’t remember. Must be getting old, or maybe punched in the head too many times. What the hell. It’s good enough that, if so, it bears blogging twice.
Although the subtitle of the book is “everything you ever wanted to know about ass-kicking but were afraid you’d get your ass kicked for asking” it is not what it seems to be at first glance: a coffee table celebration of violence.
It is an examination of fighting from all angles that contains plenty of nuance and heart, a metric ton of journalism, and a big fat syringe full of testosterone-fueled humor.
Robinson has chops. Writing chops (contributor to Vice, GQ, L.A. Weekly), fighting chops (martial artist, former bouncer), and artistic chops (lead singer of the boundary-crushing band Oxbow). His writes the way Ali used to fight. He’s all over the ring, peppering you with jabs, stinging you with crosses from all angles, everywhere at once. Yet, through it all, he never loses control of the ring.
I checked the book out of the library years ago and never forgot it. The other day I wanted to read it again. So I bought a used copy from Alibris.com.
Buy yourself a copy. Chapter 13 “I Killed a Man” (which deals with the aftermath of killing someone in self-defense) is alone worth the price of the book.