The Stacks has an awesome post up providing a retrospective of both the book and film of Leonard Gardner's amazing Fat City. I'm a big fan of the book, and I have used the cover of a reprinting of the book as my avatar here at Bad Left Hook for many years.
The post collects sharp and telling quotes about the book from novelists including Denis Johnson and Frank Conroy. Like some of the other writers quoted, l learned about the book while doing my MFA in creative writing at the University of Iowa, where the book was legendary. I later saw a remastered version of the film at the IFC in Manhattan, and I was blown away by all of it. John Huston's directing is superb, and a young, unknown Stacy Keach and Susan Tyrell give career defining performances.
Alex Belth's overview taught me a lot about both the book and film. For example, I didn't know that Marlon Brando was almost cast instead of Keach. If you love this book (or even if you just love boxing books or films in general), you will definitely want to check this out.