In this punchy, uproarious romp of a novel, the Halifax boxing world — peopled with has-beens, wannabes, and posers dressed in spandex, leopard prints, and tie dye — touches gloves with the colourful world of sports reporting. Both groups need something hot with speedy delivery.
Enter a cast of misfits. There's Turmoil Davies, an enigmatic Trinidadian heavyweight poised to storm the Halifax boxing world. There's Ownie Flanagan, an old-school trainer who scans the obituaries for odd names and trains men with more ambition than talent. He's looking for "one real fighter" before he retires and believes Turmoil is it. And then there's Scott MacDonald, a journalist assigned to the boxing beat — a grotty but welcome getaway that promises to let him relive his own glory days through other men's sweat.
With a wicked sense of humour, Elaine McCluskey conjures a larger-than-life world where spotty turf is defended with klutzy bravado down to the final, unpredictable ten-count.
About the author
Elaine McCluskey grew up in a boxing household. She is a former news editor and bureau chief of the Canadian Press in Halifax and has also worked as a reporter at CBC-TV and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Her debut short story collection, The Watermelon Social, was shortlisted for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Journey Prize and published in the Fiddlehead, the Antigonish Review, the Dalhousie Review, the Gaspereau Review and Room of One's Own.
"Her gift as a writer is the ability to take the familiar, the tragic and the sometimes mundane and, through keen, insightful and often comedic observation and interpretation, raise it to the level of poetic art."
<i>The Canadian Press</i>
"Going Fast is tender and tough-minded, compassionate and dark, well-written and frequently hilarious. Elaine McCluskey has written a stunning debut novel."
"Athletes, parents, teachers, and coaches — in fact, anyone who enjoys or would like to learn more about competitive sport — will gain insight into what defines quitters, losers, survivors, and ‘stars’ with the winning edge."
<i>The Daily Gleaner</i>
"A linguistic tour de force. Elaine McCluskey's probing eye for detail is as relentless as a welterweight."
Leo McKay Jr.
"On one level, Going Fast is about misfits and misadventures in the worlds of boxing and newspapers. But on another and more satisfying level it’s an elegy for ways of life that are, in the words of the title, going fast."
<i>The Canadian Press</i>