Book Review – Fight Night

Fight Night
by Miriam Toews

I usually give a book to the 10% mark, maybe 15% before deciding to keep going or pitch it; life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. I started to really hate Fight Night at around the 60% mark, but stayed with it because I had invested the time. I’m glad I held out because the ending was worth the wait, but maaann… it was a tough slog to get there.

Fight Night is narrated by 9-year-old Swiv, a precocious girl who keeps getting kicked out of school. Swiv lives with her Mom and kooky Russian grandmother Elvira. Mom is quite pregnant, Dad is… somewhere, it’s never clear if he has bailed or something else. Grandma is not in the greatest of health and Swiv acts as her personal carer in a way, to the point that they embark on a trip to California together where much hilarity ensues.
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My Cat’s Breath Smells Like Catfood

They say that a truly great writer has the ability to adapt their tone and style to the publication and audience they’re writing for. I can write a sharp scathing business letter that reads like it has come from a lawyer’s office (much to the chagrin of my apartment building manager). I can write a soulful article about a food artisan and truly convey how much they love their work. I can write flowery essays so vivid that they utterly capture one brief moment in time.

Yet when I speak, I am prone to cursing, slang and most of all, the catchphrase.

Not clichéd phrases, but little sound bites culled from popular culture.

After seeing the award winning play I, Claudia twice, Greg and I now refer to almost everything as “HIGH-larious”, a phrase used regularly by the 12-year-old title character.

When cooking, or completing any task, really, I will loudly pronounce “Done!”, something I’ve picked up from Gordon Ramsay’s The F-Word show.

From The Simpson’s, we’ve collected 20 years of catch phrases and word play. I now regularly (and jokingly) refer to the book place as the “lie-berry”, call the elevator the “uppity box”, and have used the phrases, “donuts, is there anything they can’t do?” and “Haha! Your Dad’s not handy!” on more than one occasion.

The problem is, I’m 41.

I don’t know if this makes me hip or really lame.

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