Pain Don’t Hurt: Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring

Mark “Fightshark” Miller, with Shelby Jones. HarperCollins, $25.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-222234-3
In this gritty memoir, kickboxer and MMA fighter Mark Miller documents his struggle to make peace with the demons spawned by his tragic family history. Born with a congenital heart defect and Type 1 diabetes, Miller came to possess the talent and willpower to make a career as a professional fighter, despite having to endure open-heart surgery at age 31. Yet the shadows of an abusive upbringing drove his career into a ditch the following year after he lost his father, mother, and drug-addicted older brother, all in 2007. However, with the help of friends and a 12-step program, Miller was able to pull himself off the canvas. The reader can’t help but root for Miller, but in many ways his memoir comes across as vague and rushed. He mentions his three children and the break-up of his marriage, but we learn almost nothing about his kids and ex-wife, or the reasons for their estrangement. His relationship with his nutritionist, and co-author, seems obviously romantic but goes equally unexplored. This is a shame because when Miller’s focus tightens, such as in the comedy of errors leading to his comeback fight in Moscow, the prose is vibrant and clear. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-222236-7
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