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Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing [Paperback]

Donald McRae
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 April 2005
This is no ordinary book about boxing. Dark Trade is Donald McRae's vivid personal journey through the intense and forbidding world of the professional fight game. Tyson, Bruno, Hamed, Benn, Eubank, Watson, Jones, De La Hoya and Toney confide in him their fears and longings. Their fantastic, almost mythological stories are uncovered in new and striking detail, derived from the hundreds of hours McRae has spent in their company.With wit, compassion and lucidity, Dark Trade examines the way in which race and violence beat at the heart of our society, and asks what forces men to pursue this most brutal kind of stardom, what drives their outrageous ambition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (7 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840189568
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840189568
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.2 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Donald McRae, in thrall to a 30-year boxing addiction, has seen countless fights both minor and major in England and the United States, and is on friendly, even intimate, terms with a number of boxers and their associates. Dark Trade bears comparison with Thomas Hauser's The Black Lights...but Dark Trade is more picaresque in form, taking the reader ringside in vividly rendered, and in several cases graphically brutal, matches...McRae brings to the highly charged, obsessive world of professional boxing a novelist's eye and ear for revealing detail and convincingly recalled dialogue...Engaging, sympathetically rendered, emotionally direct...This is an impassioned book." --Joyce Carol Oates, "Los Angeles Times"

About the Author

Donald McRae is also the author of Winter Colours: Changing Seasons in World Rugby and Nothing Personal: The Business of Sex.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable 15 Jan 2006
Rarely has a book captivated me as much as this one.....from the menace and destructive power of tyson to the speed and grace of roy jones.
Donald Mcrae's journey across the world to seek out the very best boxers of the time is fascinating from start to finish. At times funny at times heartbreaking this book is a must for boxing fans.
Utterly compeling as he enters the mind of the boxer to try and understand why they have chosen the fight game as there path in life.
Im only sad that ive finished it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal journey into the minds of boxers. 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Donald McRae brings his personal insights from many hundreds of hours spent in the company of professional fighters to the page in a remarkable book.
Not only does he look at the big stars in boxing, but also the smaller names who do so much to ensure the survival of this sport.
The insights here are fascinating, revealing to the reader the motivations of the professional fighter in a refreshingly objective text.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot recommend it more 17 Feb 2003
This is a superb book. Through brief glimpses into the worlds of various top boxers you can create a picture of the modern condition of professional boxing. It is written like a memoir, a journal or a diary, following the author from his first meeting with Mike Tyson, traveling to various places around the world, interviewing the likes of Roy Jones, Oscar de la Hoya, Chris Eubank to name a few, and then coming full circle to meet Mike Tyson again before he fought Evander Holyfield. It gives insight into the psychology of a fighter, and the politics of all those controlling him, and even glimpses of the personal lives, introducing wives, girlfriends, children. Any fan of boxing would find this book a pleasure to read, I have loaned my copy to six people, all of whom enjoyed it, and surprisingly not all were boxing fans. It is written by a fan for a fan, and the author treats each of the legends with the same respect, awe and compassion that they all deserve. I simply cannot recommend this book any more than to say it is a must read for anyone. This is a total all-rounder. **********, ten out of ten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for best boxing book written 23 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm fussy. I can't finish most books. I get bored, irritated by bad writing, or just tired by the same cliches. I have reread this book 3 times over 5 years. It differs, as it shows boxing in two lights, the barbaric brutality than claims lives, along with the incredible skill it demands.

It's fascinating because it's one man's journey through boxing. He meets the fighters and gets more out of them than you'd ever expect. The fear, the joy and the brutality of the boxing ring. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality sports writing 26 July 2010
By Grover
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
McRae manages to beautifully convey the complexities that surround the fight game. The warmth and compassion that many many fighters display, combined with the petrifying ferocity - and the even more petrifying origins of that aggression - that sustains them. He gives us depressingly predictable insight into the dark heart of boxing, the murkiness and duplicitousness of promoters and the abuse of fighters who deserve better, and even the terrific dangers that fighters subject themselves to. What I especially liked about it was McRae's humility and sensitivity throughout, he never takes his access to the fighters for granted, and gets across his trepidation when confronted with these volatile men. Absolutely great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore anything less than 5 *. 12 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the title mentions, anything under 5 this book does not deserve. A well written experience of a man who has come across many a big name in the fight game, he captures James Toney in outstanding fashion, the aura he builds in the dressing room and a fighters entrance is second to none. He explains the back and forth feud between Kallen and Toney, how a young fatherless james toney would become champ, his shortcomings and failures. He also discusses his interviews with Tyson whilst he was imprisoned and brings a different Tyson to surface, his disgrace at Eubank, and a young and enthusiastic Naseem before he was the prince.
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Format:Kindle Edition
The tragic parts of the book stay in the mind but I enjoyed the insight and interviews with so many fighters I've really liked the most about this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
I loved this book. You gain a real insight into the minds of the fighters and the way that the book is written is witty, articulate and incisive. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Ravinder S. Khabra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great read. Must have for any boxing enthusiast. The writer goes into great detail, you gain an insight into the boxers' lives.
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by tinchy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - mini review
Personally I thought this book was excellent and I couldn't put it down. It gave a fantastic insight into the mind set of all the boxers included and also hit a chord with why I... Read more
Published on 29 July 2010 by donny
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
This book is brilliant, following several of the early to mid 90s best fighters such as James Toney, Naseem Hamed, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. Read more
Published on 18 May 2010 by Mr. Adam Cressey
4.0 out of 5 stars very good read
great read, great insight, superb for boxing fans but a little bit slow at times for non boxing fans - also a little dark and depressing at times (but then you would expect that... Read more
Published on 15 April 2010 by William K
4.0 out of 5 stars Critically Acclaimed but Perhaps Over-rated?
An interesting read - dipping (rather than delving into the lives of some of the big boxing names of the 80s/90s - thought provoking but sketchy and fragmentary (just as you think... Read more
Published on 25 July 2009 by Asmodeous
3.0 out of 5 stars Coulda Been A Contender
The Dark Trade could have been one of the four or five truly great books about boxing. It covers a fascinating period in the sport's history, especially in the UK, with the golden... Read more
Published on 24 July 2008 by Fiery Jack
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