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The Pugilist at Rest Summary
Thom Jones

Everything you need to understand or teach The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones.

  • The Pugilist at Rest Summary & Study Guide

The Pugilist at Rest Summary


“The Pugilist at Rest,” by Thom Jones, was first published in the New Yorker in 1992 and then reprinted as the title story in Jones's first collection of short stories in 1993. The collection was widely praised by reviewers, who regarded Jones as an exciting new voice in American fiction.

The story is told by a first-person narrator who is a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Marine boxing champion. He now suffers from debilitating depression, for which he takes heavy doses of medication, and from epilepsy. At the end of the story, he agrees to undergo psychosurgery that may cure his condition but could also, he fears, ensure that he spends the rest of his life in an institution.

“The Pugilist at Rest,” which takes its title from a famous Roman sculpture of a boxer, draws on the author's own experience. Jones trained as a Force Recon Marine, although he did...

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The Pugilist at Rest Study Guide

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