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Banger’s Gym by John Schreier
One of my favourites, I know I shouldn’t play favourites but we all do to a greater or lesser extent. In a volume packed with great stories, standing out above the pack is a challenge. The originality of this tale is what makes it memorable. The story starts out as another classic trope, our protagonist is a boxer who never quite made it, needing a job after his last fight he is brought in to the firm of local gangster Sonny. All is going well, until he is asked to step it up a notch. He balks at the final moment, screws up the job and goes on the run fearing for his life.
All sounding familiar so far? The ending to this story won’t though. I won’t spoil it, but it really plays with your expectations and makes you revisit what you’ve just read. And manages to be funny, all at the same time. An impressive story throughout