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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a legend!
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...
Published on 31 Oct 2005 by Sara-Louise Jamieson

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frank:Fighting Back
I found this a frank and honest insight,(sorry for the pun.) If your a boxing fan or just a fan of Frank Bruno, it's an excellent read. He takes you on his journey from childhood to boxing hero to ridicule through his darkest days, to his life today and happiness with his children!!
Published on 11 July 2009 by N. Guthrie


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a legend!, 31 Oct 2005
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Hardcover)
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a Champion and National Treasure., 8 April 2010
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Hardcover)
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.

As is stated in the book, this is Frank's story, it is a story he wants to tell - part biography and part therapy, because he believes we should all be aware that mental illness can strike down the strongest of people at any time.

There are passages which will shock those who thought they knew Frank Bruno, passages which will surprise all who read them because of the downright honesty revealed. Each part of the Frank Bruno story - from the very top of his Everest to the very bottom of the pit he has visited is equally a part of the man himself.

Mental illness is an illness - not a disease!, and for those who prefer to remember the champ and choose to ignore this book, you do neither Bruno nor your fellow man and favours by keeping your head in the sand.

We still love you Frank - Know what I mean `Arry!

NM
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening, 11 Sep 2012
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenge to prejudiced perceptions about mental illness, 27 Sep 2006
By 
Barney Stevenson (Marsden, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and eye opening, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
Great insight into a great man. As a blokes bloke I found this a useful book to allow me to get my head around how mental health can affect anyone, no matter how big and strong.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave man, 26 Oct 2010
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 6 Dec 2011
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
A great read! gives insight into how Frank was feeling during his break down and he talks openly about his hard times. He talks about his fights through the years and climb to the "top". A must read for boxing fans
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and moving in equal measure, 14 Aug 2014
By 
Sally Walker (Eastbourne, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
I read Frank’s autobiography in response to seeing him recently in a Q & A session in London. I wanted to know his journey from prize fighter to bi-polar sufferer.

If you’ll pardon the pun Frank pulls no punches in his autobiography, he is candid about his life’s events. Its engagingly written, the co-author Kevin Mitchell has captured Frank’s unique character and his take on his life convincingly well. Indeed I found myself hardly being able to put the book down and found my life an interference.

I’m not at all a boxing fan, but I found the retrospective accounts of Frank’s major fights gripping. Even though you know the result of the fight I, nonetheless, found myself wanting to somehow change history, so that the losses were turned into victories. I found myself willing him on and this has to be a measure of how much his account is captivating. I learnt a lot too and began to realise that boxing is not simply two men going hell for leather at one another, but that actually it is a craft requiring skill.

Frank’s tenacity, drive and determination are indeed inspiring, but I can’t help feeling that whilst they enabled him to achieve his holy grail of being crowned the World’s Heavyweight Champion, they, or rather their subsequent absence have contributed to his downfall. Because since his retirement from boxing in 1996, following his defeat by Mike Tyson, Frank has had relatively little to get out of bed for in the morning.

Frank’s on-going and much more enduring and significant fight has been against his fluctuating mental health. His autobiography begins with a no holes barred account of his sectioning under the Mental Health Act and the few weeks he spent in Goodmayes’ Pathways clinic in 2003, where he struggled to come to terms with what had happened to him and a diagnosis of being a bi-polar sufferer. Whilst the closing Postscript chapter of his autobiography is fairly upbeat, his book was published in 2006 and in more recent years Frank has unfortunately spent further stints in clinics.

For a more recent impression of how well Frank is coping you might like to watch on Youtube Rachel Bruno My Dad & Me BBC Documentary 2013.

Unless you’re made of stone you can’t help feeling moved by Frank’s autobiography and developing an overwhelming wish that all goes well for him in the future.

You don’t have to be interested in sport, or boxing in particular, to find this book worthwhile, because it is about so much more – one man’s attempt to come to terms with adversity.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bruno has nothing but my respect after this read, 10 Aug 2013
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Paperback)
I bought this book off amazon a year ago not because I liked Frank Bruno but because I'm a fan of boxing in general and I had run out of things to read. I didn't know much about Bruno before I read this book other than he got knocked out twice by Mike Tyson so i wasn't expecting anything too exciting. But to my surprise this book was an eye opener, not just to boxing but to mental health. Frank is honest and calls it how it is on his expereinces with mental health and I found it to be so interesting. It's more than a boxing biography as Frank lays it bare for of all us to see and understand. I have a new found respect and understanding for this decent bloke, well worth a read for people either suffering mental health distress and need inspiration or for the casual boxing fan. Something for everybody.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring stuff, 30 Jan 2013
This review is from: Frank: Fighting Back (Hardcover)
What a great read!!! Franks always been a hero of mine ever since I was a young kid just starting out in the fight game. Reading back through all his old fights really got the fire burning in the pit of my stomach again. Reading what he has overcome breeds a whole new level of respect for the man.

Great read
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Frank: Fighting Back by Kevin Mitchell (Paperback - 6 July 2006)
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