Books: The Fight Racket

THE HARDER THEY FALL (343 pp.)—Budd Schulberg—Random House ($3).

The manly art of modified murder, as the late ringsider W. O. McGeehan called it, has supplied Budd Schulberg, 33, with a subject even seamier than the gaudy and greedy Hollywood of his first novel, What Makes Sammy Run? In The Harder They Fall, professional prize fighting is presented as a thoroughly crooked and brutal business. This point of view is entirely tenable, but as the theme of a full-length novel it gets tiresome. All the shocking details that Schulberg desperately dishes up cannot disguise...

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