Friday, February 17, 2012

UNDERCOVER REVIEWS - The Longshot

Review by Nick Ahlhelm

Among the pulp community there is often talk about pulp and literature. Even some of the best modern pulp writers out there sometimes express doubt that a novel can both be pulp and be literature. Other authors have set out to prove it’s possible.

While no one was looking, someone did. And her name is Katie Kitamura.

Kitamura isn’t a name famous to pulp circles, but she isn’t all that well know out of them either. Kitamura has only written a handful of books, but it is her MMA tale The Longshot that shows that she not only gets pulp, but is an expert at writing it.

Clocking in at under 200 pages, The Longshot is sports pulp at its finest. It tells the story of Cal and his trainer, Riley, two men that are on a quest to bring Cal back to the top of professional MMA. In order to do it, they travel to Mexico with a fight against the legendary fighter MMA. Cal is the only man that ever took Rivera the distance, but in the process he nearly ended his own life.

Kitamura details the days leading up to the fight in taut, hard-hitting prose. The fights are narrated with simple, straight-forward power. Never is a word wasted as the story barrels ever forward towards the inevitable make or break fight for Cal and Riley.

The Longshot isn’t the happiest novel you will ever read. In the finest tradition of strong literary fiction, not everything comes up roses at the end. But for page after page, Kitamura gives one of the finest sports tales you will ever read. Recommended.

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