Fiddler Crabbe
by G.R. Dixon

"The matin' game. We all think we're unique. And to be sure, we are. But we're also part of a grand process... a process that has been going on since life began in the sea."

Virtually everyone knows boxer Marlon Brando's line in the great film On the Waterfront: "I coulda been a contender." Think what he could have done had he been Sean Crabbe, who was born with a preternaturally strong left side and a left arm so strong he could drop a one-ton bull with a single punch. Just like Brando in the movie, Seans life here is detailed in dramatic fashion by an author who obviously has gone the distance when it comes to understanding the gritty reality of the professional boxing world, ala Waterfront author Budd Schulberg.

Author Dixon is also a heavyweight when it comes to capturing the Irish dialect. In fact, highlights of this entertaining novel are the dialects by various fascinating and well-drawn characters that range from Mafia overlords to African-American fight trainers. But the author has also not neglected a fast-moving plot that starts with the birth of Fiddler, traces his family background and somewhat strange childhood to his event-filled attempt to survive the often vicious and generally corrupt fight game. From his role as a one-punch killer of cows, he gets into professional boxing where he acquires the nickname "Fiddler" after the famous crab known for its oversize claw. Readers will also enjoy the author’s out-of-the-ring philosophical musings and his lifelong quest to find his own sanctuary or "island," as he puts it. Aye, mate, without revealing the ending, let me say only that for reader satisfaction, Fiddler turns out to be a real contender.

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