Author(s): Michael Winkler

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Pain was Joe Grim's self-expression, his livelihood and reason for being. In 1908-09 the Italian-American boxer toured Australia, losing fights but amazing crowds with his showmanship and extraordinary physical resilience. On the east coast Grim played a supporting role in the Jack Johnson-Tommy Burns Fight of the Century; on the west coast he was committed to an insane asylum. In between he played with the concept and reality of pain in a shocking manner not witnessed before or since. Award-winning writer Michael Winkler braids the story of Grim in Australia and meditations on pain with thoughts on masculinity and vulnerability, plus questionable jokes, in a haymaker of highly creative non-fiction.


The most interesting Australian book you’ll read this year. Winkler takes the true story of boxer Joe Grim’s tour to Australia and intersperses it with meditations on pain, novelistic interludes and authorial interjections. Grim was conspicuous for being fairly incompetent with the gloves, but remarkable for his ability to take whatever punishment his opponent could meter out.

This is spectacularly smart but also tremendously good fun.


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780645049602
  • : Michael Winkler
  • : Michael Winkler
  • : February 2021
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback