'In this gripping story, [Wade] reminds us of how close the worlds of litigation and pugilism are' -- The Times
'[A] brutally honest memoir . . . an intelligent and articulate man's attempt to understand why he was destroying his life' -- Daily Telegraph
A superb book... whose success is down to its honesty and irresesistible story-telling. -- The Sunday Times
This gripping story reminds us of how close the world of litigation and pugilism is. -- The Times
From the Inside Flap
Alex Wade is a respectable professional man, with a responsible white-collar job. But once in a while he puts on his gloves, steps into a boxing ring and hits another man in the face while trying to avoid getting hit in return. Welcome to the world of white-collar boxing, where lawyers like Alex as well as surveyors and City traders swap their pinstripes for mouthguards and experience the kind of adrenaline rush that only unarmed combat can bring.
But what drives these largely middle-class, often affluent men to invite a punch to the head? What is it about their jobs, or themselves, that has seen white-collar boxing become one of the fastest-growing areas of the sport, with the Financial Times describing the pursuit as the new golf? For Alex Wade it offered a way of addressing his own demons, and facing up to the fact that, despite the respectable veneer, his first three decades of life had been marked by a tendency to self-destruction. Drinking and fighting, fighting and drinking the watch-words of his recent history had threatened to wreck both his professional career and his family. But a chance encounter with a guardian angel in the form of a convicted crack-dealer opened his eyes to a new way of being a world shaped by commitment, confidence and control. As well as the benefits of training and sparring there was also camaraderie of both the Real Fight Club, white-collar boxings foremost promoter, and his!
local amateur gym.
A riveting and beautifully written insight into the fascinating world of white-collar boxing, Wrecking Machine is also a remarkably candid and sometimes brutal exploration of the nature of masculinity. In vivid and evocative prose Alex Wade revisits some of the darker episodes of his past, examines the similarities between the noble art and the confrontational nature of the Law, and shows how it was only through a world of organised violence that he truly came to know himself.