Review: The Pugilist

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The Pugilist
The Pugilist by Sylvia McKenzie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best work of indie fiction I have read so far this year. Macabre, morally challenging, engaging, and classically structured, McKenzie nails a simple tale with the force of short story fundamentals. The story opens with the innocuous premise: a bunch of rowdy boys plotting to welcome a weak-looking new kid to the school. The story is told in the first person of one of the boys, older now, looking back and recounting the episode with regret. There is a powerful sense of foreshadowing and foreboding, with the action ticking that unexploded-dynamite feeling ever upward, and the ending does not fail to deliver. I am pleased to have discovered another A-list indie, and even more pleased to add this author’s healthy little portfolio to my “to read” list.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. *

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Victor A. Davis has always loved reading and writing short stories. He is an avid hiker and even when away from the world of laptops and wifi, keeps a pocket paperback and a handwritten journal to keep him company on trail. He is the author of two short story collections, Grains of Sand and The Gingerbread Collection. Join his Mailing List for special announcements about upcoming works.