- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Fight (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 27 Jul 2000
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
"Entertaining... Mailer continues his familiar shadow-boxing with the ineffable." -- Time In 1975 in Kinshasa, Zaire, at the virtual center of Africa, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other until one was declared winner. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible "professor of boxing" who vowed to reclaim the championship he had lost. The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble and who kept his hands in his pockets "the way a hunter lays his rifle back into its velvet case." Observing them was Norman Mailer, whose grasp of the titanic battle's feints and stratagems -- and whose sensitivity to their deeper symbolism -- make this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport. Whether he is analyzing the fighters' moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer is a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity -- and su
About the Author
Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was one of the great post-War American writers, both as a novelist and as one of the key inventors of the New Journalism. His books include the novels The Naked and the Dead, The Deer Park, Why Are We in Vietnam?, The Executioner's Song and Harlot's Ghost and the non-fiction works The Armies of the Night, A Fire on the Moon (published in the USA as Of a Fire on the Moon) and The Fight. He won the National Book Award and twice won the Pulitzer Prize.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
So although many reviewers are giving him a hard time for this it should be remembered that any type of writing which challenges the norm and provides a novel way of storytelling must have some inherent value. Even if you don't particularly warm to it - although personally I found it interesting and unobtrusive - then at least it will have provided a break from the 'traditional' way of narration.
As this was essentially a sports book I didn't want to devote to much time to the more philosophical sections which are interspersed throughout the story. Because of my lack of effort I can't fairly criticize these sections; I found them to be vague and unengaging but quite possibly with a bit more concentration their value would have been revealed.
Philosophy aside the book was skillfully crafted with some unique and intelligent use of language. Although this was my first Mailer book, his idiosyncracies reminded me of Amis (Martin) in their salience compared to many authors. Mailer give some great insights into boxing life which are only available to someone who enjoyed such proximity to the two fighters; however the book also seems to spend a little too long in building up to the fight. In the three days it took to read the book, two were spent reaching October 30th, whilst only one was spent consuming the actual fight. The prelude was not unenjoyable but certainly more inconsistent that the final third was.Read more ›
But the bigger problem is that sport isn't art; if you try to explain one in terms of the other, you can end up looking like you don't understand either. When nights like this happen they can seem like a big deal - and maybe they are, though their significance in the grand scheme of things is so infinitesimally small. But you can't tell it, you can only experience it; you can communicate only a small fraction of what it felt like to you. Mailer takes his own excitement and objectifies it as Muhammed Ali's genius. Was he a genius? Was he a political hero, or even martyr, as someone else said? Or simply a boxer with talent, but also a big ego and a flair for self-promotion, who knew how to ride his luck? The fact that Mailer compares this fight, approvingly, to a book that was merely Joyce's 'prentice piece, makes you wonder whether he has an adequate yardstick by which to measure.
All the same, this book is just about worthwhile for its portraits of the fighters in their quieter moments; Ali particularly seeming far more interesting and sympathetic away from the cameras.
Once you reach the fight itself, this is a gripping read.
There is also some very interesting insights into the characters and personalities on the scene, like Drew 'Bundini' Brown in Ali's corner who provides much amusement with his 'tête à têtes' with Forman's crew in the hotel lobby. You will also not see a better portrait of Don King in all the years since this was written. I also felt the portrayal of Ali interesting - rather than merely hero-worshiping him, the book deconstructs some of the myth which had grown up around him.
It would be wrong to say that this is simply a book about the fight, however. It would be better described as Norman Mailer's trip to Africa for the fight. Somewhat irritatingly, he writes himself a starring role in this story, and refers to himself in the third person throughout. For me at least, this device only serves to add to Mailer's clearly excessive ego, and is wholly unnecessary for the story itself. In fact, I am only giving this 4 stars instead of 5 because it annoyed me so much.
In short - this is definitely worth a read, but try to tune out for Mailer's constant egotistical and 'philosophical' ramblings as much as you can.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The books about Ali v Foreman, I think more detail on George and how things built up career wise before but moreso afterwards would have improved the book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robster
This is a great little book from a great little writer about a great big boxing event. It is a short book, even with some pointless waffle at the end, but it gives a different... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Parvenu
I have been planning to try a Norman Mailer book for quite a while and I thought this might be interesting. It wasn't and the conclusion is never, ever again. Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2014 by oto_jo
The master of words takes on the greatest athlete of all times. An utterly subjective view on the regaining of the hevyweight crown by the submissive that the US had spew out. Read morePublished on 16 May 2014 by Orvar Jansson
Norman has a great way of writing a story and this book was a wonderful insight it the life story of the greatestPublished on 17 Jun. 2013 by kvarley