Pain was Joe Grim’s self-expression, his livelihood and reason for being. In 1908-09 the Italian-American boxer toured Australia, losing fights but amazing crowds with his showmanship and extraordinary physical resilience. On the east coast Grim played a supporting role in the Jack Johnson-Tommy Burns “Fight of the Century”; on the west coast he was committed to an insane asylum. In between he played with the concept and reality of pain in a shocking manner not witnessed before or since. Award-winning writer Michael Winkler braids the story of Grim in Australia, meditations on pain, thoughts on masculinity and vulnerability, plus questionable jokes into a highly creative haymaker.
“A fictionalised account of the Italian-American boxer Joe Grim’s 1908 visit to Australia… A book that’s difficult to describe without falling back on cliches like ‘genre-defying’… a compellingly original study of pain, manliness and storytelling.”
Holly Connolly, AnOther