The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas

Publication Date: December 31, 2013

 

The Favorite by Franklyn C. ThomasIn The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas, Michael Dane is a boxer fresh out of prison and the favorite to win the Championship when he starts having second thoughts about his trainer and career. That he is not his own man in his current career path is becoming increasingly apparent. Michael turns to the trainer that raised him in an attempt to turn to his roots, but with the vicious men on his trail, Michael is starting to wonder if death is truly the only way out.

 

 

The author, Franklyn C. Thomas, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.

In The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas, Michael Dane is a boxer fresh out of prison and the favorite to win the Championship when he starts having second thoughts about his trainer and career. That he is not his own man in his current career path is becoming increasingly apparent. Michael turns to the trainer that raised him in an attempt to turn to his roots, but with the vicious men on his trail, Michael is starting to wonder if death is truly the only way out. is a novel with a classic feel. I’m not a boxing fan and know nothing at all about the sport. Boxing novels call to mind movies like Rocky and Million Dollar Baby. The novel, The Favorite is not one of those movies. The novel is reminiscent of 1962’s Requiem for a Heavyweight. A purely character-driven story of human struggle and coming to that point (to paraphrase “The Lost Weekend”) of no longer living a “life of quiet desperation.”

Michael is a great character and his progression in this piece is a punch to the gut. He gets unexpected news that changes the way he looks at life and where he’s taking his personal path and decides to make a new path. He soon finds that making a decision is not making a reality and that reality may be more difficult than saying that it should be so. Michael was raised in a rough and abusive way and is determined that he will be a worthwhile human and honor whatever legacy he might leave behind.

The unique twist of The Favorite is the way it’s constructed. A man is fighting as his story is told and gives the reader the metaphorical fight of his life as he literally fights for his life. For non-sport fans this back and forth format may seem a risky move, but there was not a point where I wished to get back to one or the other as both were so integral to the story of Michael.

Thomas’s writing style of The Favorite is quite visual. Thomas doesn’t belabor his exposition, but he does set a scene for the reader that is colorful and gives us a sense of the world we’ve entered. The background characters are described and introduced as though they each play a pivotal role in the story no matter how briefly they may appear. Thomas gives us an image with a brevity that speaks to his mastery of the art.

The emotion inherent in The Favorite comes from a place soul deep. Don’t look for any cheap manipulative broken-hearted thrills here. Thomas brings an expertly told tale of the human experience with vivid character and settings. As odd as it may be for this reader to say about a sports novel, I loved every minute of it.

The Favorite will appeal to readers of a number of genres, but none so much as people who tend to lean toward stories like those written by Steinbeck. Stories of the human experience, but few of us have or want to see outside of the pages of a book.

Franklyn C. Thomas lives in Bellingham, Washington and is the author of two novels, The Fab 5 and The Favorite.

Read an excerpt and buy The Favorite by Franklyn C. Thomas on

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About Franklyn C. Thomas
For more information about Franklyn C. Thomas and work, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @AuthorFrankT.

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