Alfred never knew that the day he walked into Donatelli's Gym his life would change forever. The Contender, by Robert Lipsyte, is a realistic fiction novel about Alfred Brooks, just an ordinary 17-year old boy living in Harlem, New York. He is a high school dropout and is currently working at Epstein's grocery store. Alfred has been thinking lately that he hasn't been doing much with his life, so he decided to visit Donatelli's Gym. There, he realizes he wants to become a boxer. In this book, Alfred faces a lot of challenges. People start telling him that he is not a real fighter, and tell him that he should give up. Read The Contender to follow along with Alfred and the start of his new boxing career.
I thought this book was very interesting, and cool. In this novel, Lipsyte wrote about what Alfred was physically doing, but he also wrote about Alfred's emotions and what he was thinking, as well. I thought it was really fascinating how he did that, it gave me a better understanding of the book. In The Contender, Robert Lipsyte is writing from Alfred's point-of-view, and also is just writing only about how Alfred is feeling and only what Alfred is thinking and nobody else. I would recommend this book to you if you like novels following just one character. I would also recommend this book to you if you enjoy reading about people growing up and figuring out what they want to do with their life, or if you like reading about how people find their meaning and life. Overall, The Contender was a great book and I think that everyone should try reading it.