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Books  >>  Sports

Norman Mailer

Fight, The

Norman Mailer Fight The
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"Entertaining... Mailer continues his familiar shadow-boxing with the ineffable." -- Time

In 1975 in Kinshasa, Zaire, at the virtual center of Africa, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other until one was declared winner. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible "professor of boxing" who vowed to reclaim the championship he had lost. The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble and who kept his hands in his pockets "the way a hunter lays his rifle back into its velvet case." Observing them was Norman Mailer, whose grasp of the titanic battle's feints and stratagems -- and whose sensitivity to their deeper symbolism -- make this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.

Whether he is analyzing the fighters' moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer is a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity -- and surely one of the few intrepid enough to accompany Ali on a late-night run through the bush. In The Fight he restores our tarnished notions of heroism to a blinding gleam -- and establishes himself as a champion in his own right.

"An admirable entertainment.... This book recalls one to a sense of how delicate an ironist, and how serious a reporter, Mailer is." -- Saturday Review


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