I’ll admit it — I saw the movie “The Fighter” first.
But the movie and the book, “Irish Thunder — The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward” by Bob Halloran are two different worlds in this situation.
Though the movie is a dramatic interpretation of what’s in the book, it focuses more on Micky’s personal life and early career. It doesn’t stick to the book and show more reality.
The book is better than the movie by far. And, the book takes you to the end of Micky’s career, which the movie doesn’t. How you can do a movie on Micky Ward and not include the Arturo Gatti trilogy is beyond me.
As for the review…
I know I usually break it down into “The Good,” “The Bad,” and “Overall,” but with this book I thought my feelings of good and bad meshed a bit, so I’m going to give it as one big review.
If you’ve read a police report or a crime novel, then picture that style telling the story of Micky Ward, one of the most amazing people in boxing. The story is decent and it kept me interested. It was, after all, a subject that I enjoyed. Yet, it lacked something. It’s hard for me to put a finger on what exactly. But as much as I wanted to love this book, I couldn’t. I did, however, like it a real lot.
Micky Ward is simply an incredible story. From his upbringing to his early goings in boxing to a late-career surge with the Arturo Gatti trilogy, this is a pretty solid read. It gives pretty interesting details on his brother, Dicky Eklund, and several other players during his career, which spanned over three decades.
There are details about fights and insight into Micky’s mind and thought process. Boxing at the old halls with the smoke just staying stagnant. The battling from the lower card to the upper card. The ups and downs of his career and what he had to go through to get to the top. Heck, he retired once and came back. And he lost the fight that seemed like it would have been the one to save the career. But in the end, all paths lead him to Arturo Gatti, which was one of the most amazing three-fight series of all time.
The description of the Gatti fights is pretty solid and you really have to scratch your head wondering what those two were thinking (or not thinking) putting themselves through all that punishment. I felt his descriptions, with the blood and guts attitude of the fighters, came out well in the book. I saw the three fights, but most of Halloran’s descriptions brought me back to those fights.
As I said, the beginning part of the book was a little police like in the book read like a crime report. Though that style continued for much of the book it became a little less so as the book went on, making it much more tolerable.
Micky Ward is a throwback fighter and this book does a good job showing that. I’d highly encourage any boxing fan or anyone interested in reading a story about a long shot to check this book out.
In the end, because most online places where one reviews don’t have half stars, I gave this a 4. That being said, if it was allowed, I’d have given a 3.5. So, here on HooHaa, it’s a 3.5.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.