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Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing Paperback – 7 Apr 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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: 15.5 x 2.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
Despite not being a huge boxing fan, this is unquestionably one of the best sports books that I have ever read. In fact, after Friday Night Lights, which I could frankly reread over and over, this is probably the second best sports book that I've read. McRae takes you from his South African beginnings, dealing with issues of race during the apartheid era, all the way to Ireland, England and the USA. His close involvement with some of the biggest boxers of the 90s, in particular James Toney, makes this fascinating in a way that many ghost-written autobiographies do not.

Some have commented that this books seems fragmented, and to an extent that is true; the author writes chronologically and jumps between different boxers, different countries and continents, but he returns to the same fighters again, whether in periods of triumph or turmoil. The hard-edged prose gives a poetic beauty to an uncompromising, maligned and often savage sport. The way that tragedies are dealt with is also important. If you like boxing then you definitely need to read this, but sports fans in general should read this so gain an insight into what goes on behind the scenes and for an exciting overview of (perhaps) boxing's last great/mainstream era.
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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. The fighters that McRae mainly writes about are Mike Tyson, James Toney, Roy Jones, Naseem Hamed and a few others too. The book rekindled memories of some of the great fighters of the 90s and really got me thinking about the fight game, how one minute a fighter could be on top of the world, the next, lying in a coma fighting for their lives. If you're a boxing fan you'll love this book and won't want to put it down. An excellent read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best-ever books about sport - gripping for any boxing fan, any sports fan, or indeed anyone with no interest in sport. Particularly interesting if you remember watching Tyson, Benn, Eubank, Roy Jones, Hamed etc.
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