War, Baby: The Glamour of Violence Paperback – 6 Feb 2003
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"An acutely intelligent, even-handed analysis of the characters, history and all-round horrible wonders of boxing's brutality and beauty. Solid, straight-talking and as rock’n’roll as sports writing gets" (The Scotsman)
"Powerfully taut account of Benn v McClellan brawl captures boxing’s farce and nobility" (Observer)
"The boxing book to end all boxing books... compellingly unputdownable" (Guardian)
An astonishing piece of boxing writing, detailing one of the most vicious, controversial and tragic fights of the last thirty years, between Britain's Nigel Benn and American Gerald McClellan.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
But the book doesn't do justice to his obvious talent as a reporter. It's cumbersome, stretching a detailed post mortem of one of the most crazily violent fights in history way beyond what is strictly necessary or entertaining. Padded out with hackneyed phrases and overly concerend with paying tribute to fellow boxing writers, I found it to be a terribly disappointing read.
Describing tough fighters as men who have 'been to the hard place', saying that the Benn-McClellan match was 'always going to be a two-ambulance fight', including lines like 'these guys missed targets like America missed the start of world wars'... It's as if Mitchell is trying to be the Raymond Chandler of boxing writers, and he simply doesn't pull it off. Sensationalistic details such as McClellan's penchant for dog fighting in no way do justice to the fight itself, or to the terrible injury suffered by McClellan. They seem to be included in order to provide a headline-worthy newspaper serialisation, and to be perfectly honest, the massively shortened version published in The Observer is all you really need to see.
Mitchell's attempts at writing black American dialogue are clumsy at best, and the while the book doesn't take a moralistic stance, it does feel like the writer has overstretched himself in churning out a 184-page tome based on a single, brief incident.Read more ›
He's a good writer, but I would be cautious about buying this book. It's ok, but no more than that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent story, War Baby looks right into why we like to fight and to watch others fight, as well as thoroughly analysing the Benn McClellan tear up.Published 24 months ago by Tony
a great book for anyone with an interest in the fight between nigel benn and gerald mcclellan.gives a great picture of the build up to the fight,the fight itself,and its... Read morePublished on 12 May 2012 by scsniper03
A fantastic book about one of the most vicious fights in boxing history. People often forget how good Gerald McClellan was; having been ranked number 5 Pound for Pound in the world... Read morePublished on 18 April 2011 by Josh
For all those who saw this fight, be it on TV or live, it will long live in the memory as being one of the most brutal fights in the history of boxing. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2009 by A. J. Bradley