Books Like Million Dollar Baby

Books Like Million Dollar Baby

Boxing as a sport has been around for a long time, with some of the earliest known depictions dating as far back as the 3rd millennium BC. However, boxing was also frequently outlawed despite its popularity, especially in England and parts of the United States. However, this just meant that prizefights would be held illegally at gambling venues and other secret locations. These days boxing has become a multibillion-dollar enterprise that draws enormous crowds. Since many aspiring boxers come from poverty-stricken areas, the sport also has plenty of rags to riches stories. Thanks to its storied history, boxing is a popular setting for many authors, with books like Million Dollar Baby by F. X. Toole highlighting the different facets of the sport. One of the stories in Million Dollar Baby also serves as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning Clint Eastwood film of the same name. For more gritty tales about boxing, check out the following books like Million Dollar Baby.

Dancing With Demons

by Nidhie Sharma

Dancing With Demons by Nidhie Sharma

There's lots of evidence of boxing in ancient India, and the country still has a thriving amateur boxing scene, yet Dancing With Demons is India's first work of fiction about the sport. The novel by Nidhie Sharma is the story of Karan Pratap Singh, a man on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship. However, due to arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem, he ends up losing everything, including his shot at competing at the Olympics. After he falls from glory, Karan meets a woman named Sonia, who is just as strong-willed as he is. Unfortunately, Sonia also appears to be battling demons from her past and hiding a secret that torments her at night. While it may not be love at first sight, Karan and Sonia have undeniable chemistry and may just end up saving each other.

The Broken Place

by Michael Shaara

The Broken Place by Michael Shaara

The Broken Place is the 1968 debut novel by Michael Shaara. It is the story of a Korean War hero, Tom McClain, who returns to the United States suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Tom was a prizefighter before going off to war, which he believes is the only thing he was ever good at. After struggling to adapt to civilian life, Tom decides to climb back into the ring, which is the only place where he feels at home. Tom thrives in the ring, and his boxing career continues to rise, but it all comes crashing down one night when he kills a man during a match. Michael Shaara was an amateur boxer himself, which enabled him to write this vivid and captivating story.

Fat City

by Leonard Gardner

Fat City by Leonard Gardner

Fat City is considered by many to be a classic of boxing fiction and is the only novel by Leonard Gardner. The book was published in 1969 and is set against the backdrop of the small-time boxing circuit of Stockton, California, during the late 1950s. Fat City follows the lives of two boxers, Billy Tully and Ernie Munger. Billy is semi-retired at twenty-nine years old, while Ernie is a novice to the sport. While Bily contemplates returning to the ring to try and reclaim some self-respect, his life continues to spiral out of control. On the other hand, Ernie is ready to ascend the circuit ranks and eager to support his young family by winning fights, but this proves to be more challenging than he thought. Fat City was later turned into a film of the same name starring Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges.

A Stone For Danny Fisher

by Harold Robbins

A Stone For Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins

A Stone For Danny Fisher is a 1952 novel by Harold Robbins and is set during the Great Depression. Danny Fisher became a star amateur boxer as a teenager, but when his family falls on hard times to are forced to leave their comfortable home in Brooklyn behind and move to a cramped apartment in the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan. This leaves Danny not only facing poverty but also having to deal with violent, anti-Semitic neighbors. Danny uses his talent at boxing to support his family, but his success in the city's seedy underworld draws the attention of those who want to profit from his hard work.

The Game

by Jack London

The Game by Jack London

The Game is a 1905 novel by Jack London credited with helping boxing become a respectable literary topic. Although it is his first novel about boxing, London wrote three more boxing stories after the publication of The Game. The protagonist of The Game is Joe, a twenty-year-old who supports his mothers and sisters by working as a sailmaker. However, to make ends meet, Joe also takes part in boxing fights at sporting clubs. When Joe becomes engaged to a woman named Genevieve, he agrees to give up boxing, but on the condition that she watches his last fight. The fight is scheduled for the eve of their wedding, and Genevieve reluctantly agrees to be a spectator.

The Berlin Boxing Club

by Robert Sharenow

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow is a historical novel that is loosely inspired by the true story of a boxer named Max Schmeling. The protagonist, Karl Stern, finds himself the target of school bullies in Nazi-era Berlin because of his Jewish heritage. The bullies don't care that Karl's family doesn't practice religion, and longing to prove his worth, Karl takes up boxing. He is trained by the champion boxer and German hero, Max Schmeling, who happens to be friends with his family. However, when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl is faced with an impossible situation.