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Frank: Fighting Back [Hardcover]

Frank Bruno , Kevin Mitchell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Oct 2005
At the age of eleven, Frank Bruno was sent to reform school. At thirty-three, he was crowned undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. At forty-one, he was committed to Goodmayes Psychiatric Hospital. Now, for the first time, Frank Bruno tells his real story: how the tearaway kid became one of Britain's best-loved sports stars; how he was written off, but came back to win the world championship - at the fourth attempt; his descent into mental illness; and his painful journey back to health. This is a story that Frank has to tell - it is part biography, part therapy. He wants to show how mental illness can swat down the strongest man or woman. He wants people to know what he went through, and how, with the help of his family, he's now recovering. Frank Bruno is a man who has been right to the top and right to the very bottom. He is a great athlete and a national treasure. Everyone knows him. At least, everyone thinks they do. Because, the story he reveals here will make you change your mind. Painfully honest, moving, at times shocking, this is the book no one should be without.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press; First Edition edition (18 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224077767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224077767
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Frank Bruno has a special place in the hearts of the British public...This cannot have been an easy book to write, but the result is just right: always entertaining, uplifting and touching. It leaves the reader hoping that life has no more uppercuts to deliver to Big Frank." (Daily Telegraph)

"Outstanding ... The story of Bruno's ongoing battle to rejoin those of us fortunate enough to have escaped mental health problems is sheerly inspirational" (Ian Wooldridge Daily Mail)

"The old Frank is back, talking about his experience with humour and wry insight" (Richard Madeley Daily Express)

"Nice one, Frank" (Sunday Times)

"Frank Bruno's journey through mental breakdown to recovery has inspired many who before now have been afraid to face their mental illness and accept they need help. By writing about it so powerfully, Frank has shown that he is not only a courageous boxer but also a heroic fighter." (Marjorie Wallace, chief executive for the mental health charity SANE) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The autobiography of a great athlete, and the story of a man who has been right to the top and right to the very bottom --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a legend! 31 Oct 2005
This book is incredibly brave, and shows just what a tough time Frank has had, not just since his mental illness but really through his whole life - he's a true fighter. It's also a really positive book showing that although it's still a struggle, he's taking each day as it comes and keeping himself happy. And the best thing of all, is that the book is such a good read! I found myself going to bed at about 3 in the morning as I just couldn't put it down. It grips you from page one as he tells about how it felt to be sectioned under the mental health act, and then keeps your attention as you read about his childhood, his experiences with drugs and also his marriage. The stuff on boxing is really good as well - really exciting to read. Highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Champion and National Treasure. 8 April 2010
Frank Bruno is a former world heavyweight boxing champion and although from a fight he did not eventually win, even now I can see that punch which lifted the great Mike Tyson off the ground.

In his heyday, in many ways, Frank Bruno came across as a simple man who was equally devoted to both his sport and his family. His many interviews with the late (and already much missed!) Harry Carpenter became as much a part of the big event as the boxing itself. It was during these interviews that Frank's inimitable personal style shone through and his catchphrase "Know what I mean, `Arry" became so well known people all over the UK would say it in conversation - even when the person they were addressing was not called Harry. Such was the way this man endeared himself to a nation, he became a true National Treasure.

His background, his boxing career and his life after boxing were each personal roads full of hardships, distress and disappointments. At the age of 11 years he was sent to reform school. Twenty two years later he became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Eight years after that he was committed into a psychiatric hospital.

This is the story of a tearaway child who fought authority as child and went on to prove himself as a man, a loving family man and as a champion of the world. It is a story which relives the youthful exuberance which caused him (and so many others) a great deal of pain and shame at the time. It is a story of a man - a very determined man, who turned his world around to reach the highest pinnacle of his chosen sport and of the anguish, disappointments, heartache, despondency and mental stress which came when it all fell apart.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frank Bruno was the acceptable face of boxing for a whole generation: a lovable, huggable bear of a man who was as known for his sharp suits, witty one-liners and general charm as much as for his incredible career in the boxing ring. When in 2003 he was detained, or 'sectioned', under the Mental Health Act the popular press reacted with typical lack of understanding, the Sun calling him 'Bonkers Bruno'.

At the beginning of 'Fighting Back' Bruno describes candidly what it was like to be sectioned and to be held against his will for 28 days and how he came to accept that he can get help with his bipolar affective disorder though therapy and medication. For this chapter alone, the book is worth reading. Not only is he extremely brave to talk about his condition - by his own admission braver than any boxing match - he also uses his celebrity to challenge prejudiced perceptions of mental illness as something to be hidden away, not understood or made fun of.

His account of his ascent though the world of amateur and professional boxing to become heavyweight champion of the world describes the athleticism, skill and brutality of what if takes to be a fighter. Despite the blow-by-blow accounts of his fights, the overwhelming impression you are left with is of a gentle, well-mannered man; we only get a hint of the fire that drove him in the boxing ring. Bruno struggles to describe the drive that boxers have to fight in circumstances that would end almost anyone else in hospital! I was left wondering whether coming to terms with this mostly hidden fighting instinct after retiring as a boxer was partly behind Bruno's struggle with mental illness.

A thoroughly recommended and enjoyable read and a brave counter to prejudice and lack of understanding about mental illness.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening 11 Sep 2012
By Rosie
My sister who has bi polar asked me to read this book so we cold understand what she was going through. She said it was as if it was her life and was the best way she could explain to us how her mental illness made her feel. It truly was an eye opener .. And although we will never fully understand, we feel it has helped us to grasp her issues better. I have always liked Frank and wish him well in the future. Maybe, hopefully books like this will make people realise how vulnerable we all are.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave man 26 Oct 2010
By M. Balk
It seems to me that Frank is more brave in telling us his story about his mental problems nowadays than he was in the ring fighting people who wanted to chop his head off. I find it very brave and honest to tell it the way he does in this book. Much respect for him.
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