Shane’s Take — The Harder They Fall
I continue to be a big Schulberg fan. This time we’re taken behind the scenes in the corrupt world of boxing in the late 1940s. The protagonist, Eddie Lewis, signs on to be the hype-man/writer for boxers who are basically owned by the mob. The story follows a zero-talent giant’s rise in the boxing ranks thanks to Eddie’s hype and a series of fixed matches leading to the championship. Eddie’s love interest serves as his conscience as he faces the moral dilemma of getting out or accepting a lucrative salary. Despite his missteps, we empathize with Eddie and see how he can justify his decisions. Even though I know little about boxing, Schulberg’s story kept me engaged throughout.