Book Review: The Ghost of Johnny Tapia

Book Review: The Ghost of Johnny Tapia

Even though I read as much as I possibly can, I perhaps stick too much to a topic that’s familiar, and probably not expanding my base knowledge as much as I could, or should. However, thanks to latest offering from Paul Zanon, that might be about to change.

After reading the excellent The Ghost of Johnny Tapia, it’s given me the push I need to look further afield for my choice of reading material, although that search might not get much further than reading some of Zanon’s previous work, his books on Martin Murray and Jamie Moore spark an immediate interest.

Tapia is certainly an inspired choice, there is plenty of source material to work with. While being aware of Tapia and his demons, I didn’t fully know the full extent of his personal issues. Tapia died at a relatively young age of 45, but when you read the book you will probably feel he did incredibly well to stay on the planet for that long.

Tapia like many before him, seeked his highs inside and outside the ring and he paid a heavy price for his addictions.

The book is only 57 pages long, some might view that a detriment, but I feel it enhances the experience. It doesn’t pretend to be a full life story, it starts on Tapia’s wedding day and ends with Tapia posthumously being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Right from the opening page it grabs you in, and doesn’t let get go until you have completed the book, you know every word written is meant to be there.

It’s an incredible story, sadly an ultimately tragic one, and one that is brilliantly and sensitively told by the author. Zanon doesn’t try to force an opinion on you, he let’s you form your own opinion on whether to sympathise or not with Tapia. Was Tapia living the life or just surviving in life, Zanon let’s you decide that particular point.

The Ghost of Johnny Tapia comes highly recommended, and is released on the 14th November, and is available for pre-order now.

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