Neutral Corner

A. J. Liebling, Author, Fred Warner, Editor, James Barbour, Editor North Point Press $19.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-86547-450-5
Liebling (1904-1963) was an impeccable stylist, whether covering the vagaries of the American press, the glories of France or the simple pleasures of good food. He may have reserved his best literary efforts, however, for boxing, a contention borne out by the 15 essays in this collection, all originally published in the New Yorker between 1952 and 1963. His talent for extended metaphor is beautifully displayed in ``The University of Eighth Avenue,'' about Stillman's Gym in Manhattan; for a simile in a class of its own, see his description of heavyweight champion Ingemar Johansson going down ``like a double portion of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and sour cream.'' Liebling's brevity happily infects his description of Indianapolis as ``built around two large monuments to the wartime dead, which set the urban tone.'' These pieces are not blow-by-blow, round-by-round accounts of great fights, but observations of sporting people and places. Anyone who appreciates good prose, if not boxing, will find surprises and satisfaction here. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-671-75045-9
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-0-86547-495-6
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