As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Sunday, June 24

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Book Club
« Poetry Review: H. Melt's SIRvival in the Second City Susan Hahn Named Ernest Hemingway Foundation's First Writer-In-Residence »

Author Mon Jul 29 2013

Review: Heavyweight Champion of Nothing by Zak Mucha

Heavyweight Champion of Nothing is a novel by local author Zak Mucha and is published by local Wicker Park publishing company, Ten Angry Pitbulls.

The story, set primarily on the North Side of Chicago, is captivating and thought-provoking, capturing Chicago's vivid scenery. Johnny, our late-20-something narrator, is a gritty, blue collar guy employed by a moving company, alongside characters with names like Paulie, Dolly, and Irish Jay. While reading, I could picture every corner, dive bar, and neighborhood Mucha describes. The story mostly takes place in Roger's Park and Edgewater, just off Broadway Avenue, though you don't need to know Chicago to understand and enjoy, because Mucha details and captures every aspect of what Chicagoans already understand the neighborhood to look and feel like.

The unique story illustrates the blue collar lives of native Chicagoans, immigrants, poor people, and guys just trying to get by. An adult version of The Outsiders is what comes to mind, but now our version of Pony Boy is all grown up and telling his story from a new perspective. Mucha's real and captivating prose explores the universal themes of morality, the struggle to get by, family issues, romance, sex and guilt with a new and gritty spin.

Readers can identify easily with Johnny, the moral dilemmas he faces when broke and desperate, his relationship with his family, and most of all, his love and sometimes hate for Chicago as he tries to figure it all out.

Heavyweight Champion of Nothing is one of the best books I have read this year. Mucha deserves to be recognized far beyond my little review in Gaper's Block. I am looking forward to Mucha's next book, to be published later this year. Read this book, Chicago! Pick it up here.

 
GB store
GB store
Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.
GB store

 

Events



About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
Book Club staff inbox: bookclub@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15