“With deadpan humor, whip-smart insights and some damn fine sentences, Charles Farrell has written a classic chronicle of life in the twilight world, on par with masters of the genre like Damon Runyon, Mezz Mezzrow, Nat Hentoff and Nick Pileggi. A truly great read.”—Debby Applegate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, and author of Madam: The Life of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz-Age
“This is a book people will be reading in years to come–like Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land or Art Pepper’s Straight Life or Jack Black’s You Can’t Win. I’ve devoured books about life on the margins since I was a kid, and I’ve read about as many of them as a human can get to, and I’ve never encountered a writer who knew that world as well as Charles Farrell and could match him for clear-eyed, unsentimental, shrewdly observed prose.”—Carlo Rotella, author of Cut Time and The World Is Always Coming to an End
A world-class jazz pianist, Charles Farrell made his living working Mob clubs from the time he was a teenager in the 1960s. He later moved from music to the complex world of professional boxing, managing dozens of fighters, including former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks and former gang leader Mitch “Blood” Green, who famously went toe-to-toe with Mike Tyson—once in the ring and once in the street.
A fight-fixer and gangster, Farrell ran afoul of New York mobsters in the 1990s and retreated to the mountains of Puerto Rico, coming home only after an infamous boxing legend brokered his safe return.
Retired from the fight game, he returned to jazz and, among other collaborators, played frequently with his friend Ornette Coleman, the godfather of “Free Jazz” and one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century.
(Low)life is a singular book by a singular man.
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Learn More About Charles Farrell:
- Why I Fixed Fights, by Charles Farrell, Deadspin
- The Time I Didn’t Have Time For Donald Trump, by Charles Farrell, Deadspin
THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THEMSELVES 001 – CHARLES FARRELL from EVERYTHING IS STORIES