From Library Journal
Get past the odd title and you'll find some of the wittiest mayhem in print?because Dan Starkey is back. Belfast journalist Starkey, introduced in Bateman's Divorcing Jack (LJ 11/1/95), writes a satirical column, drinks too much, and bemoans his failing marriage to Patricia, who's newly pregnant by another man. So Starkey takes off to write a book about the heavyweight title fight scheduled for St. Patrick's Day in New York between Mike Tyson and the Irish hope, Bobby (Fat Boy) McMaster. Never has a contender had more distractions: McMaster's inadvertent remark about blacks ignites the wrath of the militant Sons of Muhammad; his beloved wife, Mary, is kidnapped; Irish terrorists issue demands; and gays picket his training camp in Provincetown. With his sure touch and crisp prose, Bateman explains Irish political passions as deftly as he handles his wise-cracking protagonist, all the while overlaying violence with humor and charm. Essential for fans of Dan Starkey?may their numbers increase.?Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The black humor of Divorcing Jack
(1995), Bateman's previous Dan Starkey novel, also drives this over-the-top mix of crime novel, sports story, and political satire. In an updated version of The Harder They Fall
, Bateman tells the story of Fat Boy McMaster, the pudgy Irish heavyweight champ whose manager swings the deal of the century: a title bout in Madison Square Garden against Mike Tyson. Boozing journalist Starkey, his marriage going south, agrees to write a book about the event but soon finds himself caught in a racial and political fiasco that encompasses the IRA, the Sons of Muhammad, Provincetown's gay community, and even a few save-the-whale environmentalists. It's all uproariously funny, as sacred cows are pummeled like so many sparring partners, but the comedy has a bitter aftertaste that gives this battering ram of a book its bite. When Starkey opts to have another drink and save his marriage, we nod approvingly. Good plan for a bad world. Bill Ott