Dazzling new fiction by the creator of Flashman. Bringing historical fact spiritedly to life, "Black Ajax" tells the powerful, rollicking, and moving tale of Tom Molineaux, a freed slave from New Orleans, who becomes Regency England's greatest boxing contender.Dazzling new fiction by the creator of Flashman. Bringing historical fact spiritedly to life, "Black Ajax" tells the powerful, rollicking, and moving tale of Tom Molineaux, a freed slave from New Orleans, who becomes Regency England's greatest boxing contender.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-02-23 Taking a break from his delightful series about the Victorian scoundrel Harry Flashman, Fraser gives us a superb novel about Tom Molineaux, a freed slave from Virginia who was a boxing sensation in the early days of the sport in Regency England. Fraser's encyclopedic knowledge of 19th-century British mores and slang and his splendid eye for period color have never been put to better use. He tells the story of Molineaux through a series of narrators: Molineaux's trainer and second; contemporary boxing journalists; Flashman's rakish father, who takes up Tom's cause for a time; his childhood sweetheart; a lascivious footman; and others. All of them are characterized with a perfect ear for their particular dictionŠand, for those taken aback by the authentic vernacular, there is a useful glossary. The portrait of MolineauxŠvain, strutting, childlike, at once hugely courageous and profoundly vulnerableŠis memorable. Has there ever been a more vivid picture of the thrills and horrors of the early bare-knuckle boxing days, when the sport was at once illegal and a national obsession? For anyone interested in the period, in the place of a black man in a highly stratified society and in a compelling story of courage and ultimate sorrow, this is the book. (Apr.)
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