Winner of the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize
Billy Carlyle is a professional fighter starting to lose. His eyes cut too easily and his friends—Gabriel, an aspiring actor, and Sam, an artist preparing for her first gallery show—try to persuade Billy to leave the ring. Bound by years in a foster program, they are each other’s only family. From the streets of Manhattan to the gyms of Paris, from struggling with hard pasts to harnessing the primal pull, Both Members of the Club is a story of friendship and ambition and violence set against the world of boxing, a place where bodies get tested and truths are exposed.
The moment I finished Adam Berlin’s novel Both Members of the Club, I at once understood what had been causing me to pause, reflect, and then read on—almost like stepping back during a fight and then charging forward again at your opponent. It was the question that was there from start to finish, as it is for all of us every day of our lives—what do we fight for? Like a powerful hook, this book surprises and shatters.
—Teddy Atlas, ESPN commentator and boxing trainer
Is it a boxing novel? Or a love story? More the latter, I think. Either way, Adam Berlin’s Both Members of the Club is fine and memorable work, a poignant reminder that lovers, like fighters, are inevitably educated in the ways of loss.
— Mark Kriegel, author of The Good Son: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini
— Robert Ecksel, editor of Boxing.com
— Tom Hauser, author of Missing, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times
— Springs Toledo, author of The Gods of War: Boxing Essays
— Publishers Weekly
— Clay Reynolds, author of The Vigil and Franklin’s Crossing
— Bart Barry, 15 Rounds