F.X. Toole - Bio and Creative Works

F.X. Toole

WRITER • BOXER
Born
1930-07-30
Died
2002-09-02
Age (at death)
72
Citizenship
United States of America
Place of Birth
Long Beach
Bio

F.X. Toole is the pen name of boxing trainer Jerry Boyd. Toole is most noted for writing the 2000 collection of short stories Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner, which were adapted into the Oscar-winning movie Million Dollar Baby in 2004. F.X. Toole's posthumous novel Pound for Pound was released in 2006 to rave reviews. Cutman, a one-hour dramatic series set in the world of boxing, drawn from short stories by F.X. Toole, is in development by AMC Television. - Wikipedia

Select Creative Works

BOOK • 2006

by F. X. Toole

Following his remarkable fiction debut, Rope Burns, author F. X. Toole's Pound for Pound is a big, brawny novel of honor, perseverance, family, and forgiveness, set in towns where violence is the norm and success stories take on an almost mythic importance. It is the story of Dan Cooley, an aging, legendary Los Angeles trainer, who takes on Chicky Garza, a troubled young fighter hungry for glory in the notoriously corrupt San Antonio boxing circuit. Written in the masterful style that has earned the author glowing comparisons to Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and Frank McCourt, this unforgettable posthumous novel celebrates a unique and powerful bond, and the courage that overcomes insurmountable obstacles in and out of the ring.

BOOK • 2001

by F. X. Toole

This hard-hitting collection of powerful and moving tales based on the experiences of the late, great fight manager and cut man Jerry Boyd, who wrote under the pen name F.X. Toole, is the basis for the Oscar-winning motion picture starring Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman. Breathing life into vivid, compelling characters who radiate the fierce intensity of the worlds they inhabit, Million Dollar Baby "is not just fight fiction at its finest, it is excellent fiction, period" (Dan Rather).

BOOK • 2000

by F. X. Toole

Seventy-year-old F.X. Toole has exploded onto the literary scene with this astonishing first collection of stories drawn from his own experiences in boxing. In these powerful and moving tales, he reveals a complex web of athletes, trainers, and promoters and their extended families, all players in an unforgiving business where victory, like defeat, comes at a dark and painful price.
F. X. Toole breathes life into vivid, compelling characters who radiate the fierce intensity of the worlds they inhabit. In "The Monkey Look," an aging cut man with an incorrigible sweet tooth works the corner for Hoolie, a featherweight "bleeder" with attitude. "Black Jew" brings Reggie Valentine Love and his camp to a brutal elimination bout in Atlantic City, where they are treated like second-class citizens by a promoter. In "Million $$$ Baby," seasoned trainer Frankie Dunn faces the most daunting challenge of his life when he agrees to aid the fearless Maggie Fitzgerald in her quest to become a champion boxer. "Fightin' in Philly" and "Frozen Water" are stories in which youthful dreams of glory and celebrity are threatened by the harsh realities that suffuse both of these narratives. The novella "Rope Burns" is the crowning achievement of the collection, offering a gritty, heartrending account of the indestructible bond that develops between a devoted fighter and his trainer.
In Rope Burns F.X. bole exhibits the skill of a miniaturist: in precise and exquisite detail, he peoples a world rich in unforgettable characters, like Señora Cabrera, the owner of the Acapulco café, who makes low-fat refried beans to keep a local fighter in top form, and an anonymous museum guard with a soft spot for Michelangelo. Toole's faithful dialogue crackles and bites, and the flawed characters he creates cannot help but remind us of our own too fragile humanity. He brings a new understanding to the violence and purity of the sweet science and the world it engenders, opening a window into the fighter's soul that can never he closed.

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