F.X. Toole Writer F.X. Toole. At age 70, he's just published his first book. It's a collection of short stories about boxing called Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner. (ECCO/HarperCollins) For twenty years, he's been a cut man, stopping the bleeding so fighters can go on to the next round. Toole has been writing for 40 years, but it was the publication of his first story last year in a small literary magazine that caught the attention of a book agent. Writers James Ellroy and Joyce Carol Oates have praised this book, the former calling it "the best boxing fiction ever written." Others have compared his literary style to Frank McCourt's. Toole worked as a cabbie, bartender and bullfighter before entering the world of boxing.