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The Fight (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – Jul 27 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 27 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (July 27 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141184140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141184142
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,164,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Language:Chinese.Paperback. Pub Date: July. 2000 Pages: 256 Publisher: Penguin Norman Mailer's of The Fight Focuses on the 1975 World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in Kinshasa. Zaire. Muhammad Ali met George Foreman in the ring. Foreman's genius employed silence. Serenity and cunning. He had never been defeated. His hands were his instrument. and 'he kept them in his pockets the way a hunter lays his rifle back into its velvet case'. Together the two men made boxing history in an explosive meeting of two great minds. two iron wills and monumental egos.

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Norman Mailer obviously regards Muhammad Ali as one of the 20th Century's greatest boxers, and the seminal career-defining Rumble in the Jungle fight as a momentus, perhaps, incredible, fascinating event.

His observations and reportage are unmatched in their description of the fight's improbable making, its unusual setting, Ali's mutual love affair with the people of Zaire, the training regime, Ali's wit and his intriguing, colorful entourage.

Norman Mailer brings the reader into the full experience and flavour of the moment, with many unique personal moments shared with Ali himself, his comprehension of the country's politics and people, and how one athlete demonstrated his powers, genius and still capable boxing talents at he age of 32 to defeat his own misgivings and struggle with the occasion, and with his formidable, previously-regarded unbeatable and dangerous opponent.

The book is full of information Ali followers can find nowhere else. Mailer was allowed to be an insider, and his portrayal of the stark-white, ominous dressing room scene just before the fight says it all -- Muhammad is alone in his self-confidence, perhaps using self-reflection of his career to re-engage his fearful trainers and friends in the belief that he had the magic, the experience, the depth to overcome the room's aura of fear and take his career into legendary status.

Definitely gives the reader a perspective and fascination with the whole proceedings, the behind-the-scenes antics, plots and politics, and Ali's amazing strength of character in the face of a world of doubters.

How Ali shocked the world, his own entourage, won over the country's reverent people, developed his tactics and physical and mental preparedness that created one of the world's most highly revered sporting events of all time.

Highly recommended, a great complementary book to the movie When We Were Kings -- fascinating.
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Format: Paperback
Norman Mailer's "The Fight" is quite simply one of the best boxing books I have ever read. Reading Mailer the novelist writing about boxing gives you a certain novelty you will not experience in other books on sport. Mailer's keen observation comes shining through: on life in Zaire, Mobutu's rule, George Foreman and of course Muhammad Ali.

I was surprised to see that Mailer has such a keen eye on the sport. His description of the fight is like no other you will ever read or see. The result is something like a passage jointly written by Bill Cayton and Alistair MacLean. Mailer with his minute observation adds a great touch of drama to the proceedings instead of presenting only a dry technical analysis of the fight. If you want the latter, you might as well watch Max Kellerman on ESPN. Mailer on the other hand gives you a lively picture, making you feel like you were there on that dark, sultry Kinshasa night, part of the radiant crowd chanting "Ali, mumbaye".

Mailer displays an ardent love for the sport and admiration for Muhammad Ali. Many insights are given into Ali's personality. Particularly interesting are the insights into the lives of Ali's camp members: Angelo Dundee, the workaholic trainer who never gave away an inch; Lou Bundini, the colorful sidekick, and Herbert Muhammad, the manager who always meant business. I have read a lot on Ali but have not been able to find anything special on his troupe, apart from this book by Mailer.

If you are a serious boxing and Ali fan, you just have to read this book. If you are not and are just interested in understanding the fascination about Muhammad Ali, this is something that will do a lot to help you.
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This was my first experience with Norman Mailer and it certainly will not be my last. The Fight paints beautiful portraits of many of the characters, events, and locations that surrounded The Rumbe in The Jungle of 1975. His eye for detail and incredible descriptive ability made this a wonderful read. More important to boxing fans, however, is that his actual recount of the fight itself may be the single best piece of boxing writing I have ever read--it was better than watching the real thing and Mailer somehow makes the reader feel like he is both a ringside spectator and one of the combatants at the same time (a strange experience, but certainly one worth having). This book is an excellent companion to When We Were Kings and the actual video of the fight, both of which are sold by Amazon. Another interesting contrast is provided by David Remnick's King of the World, which details the months leading up to Ali's first championship fight against Sonny Liston. Ali evolved a great deal between 1964 when he was still a young, scared Cassius Clay and 1975 when he had become an older, wiser, though no less enthusiastic champion. The Fight is a great book, a must have for all boxing fans and certainly worthy of any reader who enjoys excellent character development, action, and terrific writing.
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If you were fascinated by Leon Gast's Oscar-winning 1996 documentary "When We Were Kings," do what I did: go out and buy Mailer's 'The Fight' immediately. More than just covering the fight itself, Mailer takes in and reports the entire crazy scene in Kinshasa, Zaire, circa 1975. It must be noted that this book is as much about Norman Mailer (referring to himself throughout the book in the third-person) as it is about Muhammad Ali, but this results in some great reporting like in the one memorable chapter where Mailer decides he's going to run in the early dawn with Ali.
The best parts of the book deal not with Ali but in the richly drawn portraits of the other important players. Ali's mystical cornerman Drew 'Bundini' Brown is a revelation, and you won't find a better take on Don King anywhere, despite the fact that this prose is now 25 years old. The real value of this work is that it captures the essence of Ali and Foreman circa 1975, and - like 'We Were Kings' - subconsciously directs your brain to compare these 'Kings' to the men they have become. The natural tendency is to recognize the true extent of what we have been deprived of by Ali's descent into the grips of Parkinson's, but there's a corresponding shock when reading about Foreman: to realize how this man totally reconstructed his personality to turn himself into a multi-media star. You read Mailer's book and say: No way. But George pulled it off.
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