Friday, April 01, 2005


Pinned, by Alfred C. Martino (Harcourt, 2005). Martino's first novel, Pinned, offers the story of two wrestlers, Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane, and their respective quests to win the New Jersey State Wrestling Championship. Ivan, a driven outcast at a middle class school (his only friend is Shelley, the girl next door), is mourning the death of his mother and desperately needs to win to land a scholarship to college in Arizona, as far away from his hometown as possible. Bobby, from an upper middle class family (his parents are a lawyer and a real estate agent) finds his focus on the mat even as his parents' marriage is dissolving, and he discovers that having sex with his girlfriend can have consequences. Martino, a former wrestler and wrestling coach, adroitly captures the grit and passion of the sport as the wrestlers strive for victory and to make weight.

Also of interest to fans of wrestling: Wrestling Sturbridge, by Rich Wallace (Knopf, 1996)(scroll down for mini-review)

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