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The Fight

The Fight

Written by Norman Mailer

Narrated by Arthur Morey


The Fight

Written by Norman Mailer

Narrated by Arthur Morey

ratings:
4/5 (18 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Jun 28, 2016
ISBN:
9781522636724
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible "professor of boxing." The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters' moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer's grasp of the titanic battle's feints and stratagems-and his sensitivity to their deeper symbolism-makes this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.

Released:
Jun 28, 2016
ISBN:
9781522636724
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Norman Mailer was one of the most important American writers of the post-WWII era and a leading public intellectual since the 1960s. The author of more than forty books, he is one of the most prolific American authors of the 20th century. The Castle in the Forest, last novel, was the eleventh of his books to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. His first novel, The Naked and the Dead (1948), which was on the Times list for 63 weeks, is considered to be the premier novel of WWII in the Pacific and has never gone out of print. The cofounder and namer of The Village Voice, he has written columns for the Voice, Esquire, Commentary and Vanity Fair. His 1968 nonfiction narrative, The Armies of the Night, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer for The Executioner's Song and is the only person to win Pulitzers in fiction and nonfiction. Five of his books have been nominated for National Book Awards, and he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NBA Foundation in 2006. He was President of the American Chapter of PEN from 1984 to 1985 and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters from 1984 until his death in November 2007. Mailer was the father of nine children and ten grandchildren, and lived in New York and Provincetown with his sixth wife, the novelist and painter, Norris Church Mailer.


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Reviews

What people think about The Fight

3.9
18 ratings / 9 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The are many reasons to read this book even if you abhore the idea of two men going at each other's brains in a ring. Norman Mailer is an excellent writer and recorder of history, he insinuates himself into the tale not only as a feat of bravado but to help explain the psychology of the time. There are many anecdotes he tells on himself, not least his preparation for, and early morning run with Ali. It's a time of history in Zaire where the many tribes a held in check by the dictator Mobutu - intelligent as well as ruthless, vain leader. You get a sense of the forces that fuelled the anarchy in Zaire/Repub of Congo. There are the many anecdotes from and about the Ali and Foreman camps, there is a sense that the story is live in the telling - that Mailer is writing a diary of eve nts as they unfold, rather than a recording of events after the fight. There is the fabulous exchanges with [[George Plimpton]]. There is an evaluation of the embracing of Islam by black Americans, well before the racism and fear the religion feeds now. And finally, there is an excellent observation which I intend to absorb as one of my own - when Mailer writes 'To be trapped in the middle of three seats in Economy on the nineteen hour flight from Kinshasa to New York .... Had to be one of the intimate clues life offered of suffering after death.I am in awe of Mailer's intelligence and turn of phrase!
  • (4/5)
    Norman Mailer was an excellent reporter for a while, and this is a fine example of his sports work. Ali comes off well, and the fight itself was a great one to watch. Read the book, and then watch the fight film if you can find it. The Will Smith movie is a fine work, but doesn't handle the fight itself well.
  • (4/5)
    Great journalism by Mailer on one of the greatest sporting contests of all time. A must for fans of quality reportage, sports writing or boxing history.
  • (3/5)
    Mailer's self-insertion to this story of the "Rumble in the Jungle" is rather annoying. It's not just his actual presence he inserts either, but also his thoughts on matters such as philosophy and history. All this is a distraction from an intensely interesting event but I suppose it was the style of "new journalism" at the time.For most of the book Mailer's poetic language is effective at building up the aura surrounding the novel but there are also frequent moments when he trails off or makes an obscure point.It all makes for a frustrating read. Sometimes Mailer manages to bring to life on page the sensational nature of the event and other times you wish he stood in the background and let the story speak for itself.
  • (2/5)
    I liked Mailer's irreverent and egotistical style. I felt he doesn't spare himself from his analysis, and his take on things was generally enlightening.

    I guess it was good to have him describe an event that I'm at least a little familiar with and provide some really good insights.

  • (3/5)
    Like the "Rumble In The Jungle" it chronicles, The Fight gets off to a scrappy start. So many exclamation points! So many half-finished thoughts and nonsensical sentences ("Large rooms twice the size of motel rooms but equally depressing in mood commanded the air"). Mailer's reflections on race and boxing are often distracting and self-indulgent - the book's impact is diminished by his need to make himself the primary subject. It isn't until the fight draws near that Mailer finally steps aside for the real focus of the action - Ali and Foreman in the ring. He builds the tension effectively and evokes a vivid sense of the mood of that fateful night in Kinshasa. And yet, one is left with the sense that a potentially brilliant piece of sports journalism is spoiled by Mailer tripping over his own enormous ego once again.
  • (5/5)
    Must read for anyone with a love of sport, boxing or the Great one Mohammed Ali. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee ?
  • (1/5)
    Nous voulons la lecture en français. il y a beaucoup de francophones en ligne merci
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Mailer has access to Ali's camp in this short exposition on the famous Rumble in the Jungle fight with George Foreman. Mailer makes good use of his priviledged position to give us more than just a recount of what happened in the ring. The story of how this event came to be held in Zaire is told as well as how the combatants coped with a fight time that met the demands of American TV moguls. An intriguing insight into where the power in sport lies. Although this is good journalism one still puts the book down with a feeling that sport is not a major passion of Mailer's.

    1 person found this helpful