• "It is visceral and violent; written in a rhythmic street language that, in the great American tradition, manages to be both uncompromising and elegiac"

  • "The best boxing fiction since Leonard Gardner's Fat City. It's the best boxing short fiction ever written. Rope Burns is a hymn to ferocious longing and loss"

    James Ellroy
  • "The vitality and rhythms of the language is part of what make F. X. Toole's first collection of boxing stories such a stunning debut"

  • "Fiction that moves and exhilarates"

    Independent on Sunday
  • "His first collection is not just outstanding as boxing literature but must rank among the very best of short stories... Hemingway would have eaten his heart out to have written these"

    The Times