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Ilhem

Ilhem

Counterpunch

Counterpunch - Aleksandr Voinov I like combat sports. The rigorous domestication of the body, the training to be able to give more, take more and longer, the endless repeating until your body acts by itself, how it can liberate your mind, the smells, the sounds, the non erotic sensuality between partners, the channelling of your energy and sometimes of your rage, the intoxicating feeling of control, the distressing moments when your body can’t any more, the necessity of a moral code… All is there, not heavily pounded nor even described but felt, smelled, heard and seen throughout the book.Boxing is not my favourite among those sports but its mythology of redemption and social elevation as well as its brutality suits this story perfectly. Brooklyn has been condemned to slavery for a crime. He feels guilty. He suffers through abuses and he is denied the right to be someone. He fights because he has to and the ring is first a place where he can vent his rage and a sanctuary from reality where he can regain control.He meets Nathaniel, who wants to be his knight but is more a little prince who tames the rage and I swooned over each erotic, emotional moment of the seduction.And then Brooklyn fights to be someone again. Slavery be damned, he is someone even when he thinks that all is lost and he is more guts than will. I cheered him and I pondered about people who have to fight for themselves. Not to be owned, to be, to survive, no matter. They are all f*cking heavyweight world champions!I would have liked more. More of Nathaniel’s story, more of them, more development of the very last part.But maybe it is greediness and for all of the above, it is a 5 stars for me.