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Vince Bagnato.

Erin (ON), Boston Mills Press, c1984.
152pp, cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 0-919822-65-7.

Grades 11 and up.

Reviewed by Michael Freeman.

Volume 12 Number 6
1984 November

Vince Bagnato, one of seven brothers involved in the Canadian boxing game over the past thirty years, takes pen in hand to set out his experiences with the rather motley crew of boxers, managers, and promoters who have passed through his Toronto Cabbagetown milieu. Although he purports to regale the reader with supposedly humorous anecdotes, one comes away with a general feeling of sadness. Almost to a man the characters are chauvinistic, uneducated, boorish drunkards.

Bagnato omits any mention of his own formal education in his sketchy autobiographical notes, and his writing style unfortunately reflects that omission. His prose is littered with four-letter words, and continual references to broads, hookers, and unpleasant bodily functions. The attempts at humour seldom rise above the level of the proverbial English music hall skit. Rather surprisingly, the proofreading falls into the same category of illiteracy, featuring a variety of grammatical errors and misspellings.

Bagnato seems to delight in describing the pugilistic exploits of ten-year-old boys and thirty-year-old alcoholics, fully expecting the reader to share his fascination with the seamy side of sport. Most will simply tune out.

Michael Freeman, Bathurst Heights S. S., North York, ON.
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