Book Review – Knockout the Sexy, Violent, Extraordinary Life of Vikki LaMotta

Right off the bat, I must say I was prejudiced against this book being published in the first place.

In the mid 1980’s, Vikki LaMotta, who was a good friend of mine, asked me if I would write her biography. I was busy working on a novel at the time, and told her I wouldn’t be able to do it. She then asked me if I knew Tom Hauser. I replied I knew him slightly since we were both members of the Boxing Writers Association. I said, although I never read any of his writings, he had a good reputation in the business. I advised her to hire a lawyer to handle the contract to write the book. She told me she did and that she had final say as to if the book would be published.

We had dinner together a couple of times a month, and she told me she had started working with Hauser on the book, mostly in her apartment in Battery Park City in downtown Manhattan. When the first draft of the book was finished, she was not happy with how the book turned out, and she killed the project. To the best of my recollection, this was in 1987, or possibly 1988.

In 2005, Vikkie LaMotta died after undergoing heart surgery, and with the permission of her surviving relatives, the book was released in 2009. Of course I had to buy it, to see if it did justice to a woman who was a good friend of mine for a decade.

Through no fault of Hauser, who is a fine writer, to me the book falls flat. She is never as interesting in the book as she was in real life.

But like I said up top, this was probably a story that was better left untold anyway.

Just my opinion.

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