Updated: Aug 23, 2020
So then – you rather intend to flatter or embarrass me, visiting this page, as you now are, loaded with the inquisition as to whether the following books have any worthwhile value or not. The flattery is in your suggestion that I may hold the answer, when, almost by definition, the opinions expressed and the conclusions drawn will be entirely individual and idiosyncratic to myself, alone.
That said, know that I have endeavoured to judge each book fairly, that I hold no particular favour towards or influence over anyone within the boxing community (...and thus expect none in return); and that whilst I have therefore sought, where possible, to temper the creeping authorial corruptions of prejudice or impartiality, note that these reviews cannot be said to be entirely objective – given my particular blend of nativism and nurturism will determine my behaviour, preferences and inclinations to a leaning, perhaps, differing from your own – only that I complete them with primary acknowledgement of and consideration and genuflection to the requirements of you, dear reader.
For the author who may alight upon these pages and see their publication reviewed, know that I critique your work not from a captious perspective, or through any malicious desire to downplay your achievements. I speak only as one man, a man who felt these reactionary emotions and conceived of these reflections as a direct result of interacting with your work – though, dare I chose to disavow responsibility for them, at least philosophically, it could be said, I contend, that your pen rather influenced me towards them – and that my role as critic in this symbiotic relationship is not that of the haughty naysayer – intended to feather my own nest by sardonically pillaging yours – but is instead as one who modestly attempts to place your work within the context it was intended, to adjudge it against other similar works in the same genre, and to assess, as veraciously and humbly as possible, where improvements could have been made and where the value for my fellow readers might be.
A five-glove scoring scale is in operation, ostensibly to provide a convenient, snapshot impression as to the likely tone of the succeeding review; though this consistent criterion will also helpfully thread each review together, and allow for coherence and for a comparative relationship to be drawn between each publication. It is important to mention that a full score of 5/5 will never be given. It is the illusory chimera which one could aspire towards, but improvements or at least the capacity for improvements must always be granted.
So, dear reader, if this crude manifesto of intended aims suits your particular requirements, please do continue forth. I hope you enjoy the series and find some of the value that you are searching for.
Yours in reading,