Smoker is a short story, only about forty-five pages, but it represents one of the great things about eBooks. In days of yore, its length it would have always made it cost prohibitive to print. Unless it popped up in an anthology, or in a magazine, this story would have gone unread, which would be criminal. But now, it can be zapped straight to your computer or Kindle and read immediately. I use the word ‘immediately’ because this is a great little story… and you should read it right now. It is perfect antidote to watching re-runs on TV over the silly season. You’ll devour it in one sitting.
As a boxing story, of course it’s tough as nails, but, and this is probably a boy thing, the story as it climaxes is extremely moving. I’m too tough to tell you that I had tear welling in my eye, so I wont! And I won’t outline too much of the plot, as it is only a short story, and I don’t want to ruin the surprises the fable has in store. But quickly, the story concerns a Merchant Marine named Terry Farrell, who, while in Singapore, receives word that his father is dead and he should return home.
Farrell does, and finds out that his father was killed in an illegal boxing match – known as ‘Smokers’ because they take place in dingy back rooms which fill up with cigarette and cigar smoke from the patrons that pay to watch the fights. Of course, Farrell goes looking for answers.
The thing is, this is not just another boxing story. There’s a bit more going on here. For wont of a lazy comparison, Smoker is like a cross between author, Mel Odom’s The Cutman fused with (trying to be a tad cryptic so as not to spoil it) blues legend Robert Johnson.
If you’re reading The Fight Card series, then add this to your ‘To Be Read’ pile too. You’ll be glad you did. Currently it is only 99c from Amazon.