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In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible “professor of boxing.” The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters’ moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer’s grasp of ...
In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible “professor of boxing.” The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters’ moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer’s grasp of the titanic battle’s feints and stratagems—and his sensitivity to their deeper symbolism—makes this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.
Praise for The Fight
“Exquisitely refined and attenuated . . . [a] sensitive portrait of an extraordinary athlete and man, and a pugilistic drama fully as exciting as the reality on which it is based.”—The New York Times
“One of the defining texts of sports journalism. Not only does Mailer recall the violent combat with a scholar’s eye . . . he also makes the whole act of reporting seem as exciting as what’s occurring in the ring.”—GQ
“Stylistically, Mailer was the greatest boxing writer of all time.”—Chuck Klosterman, Esquire
“One of Mailer’s finest books.”—Louis Menand, The New Yorker
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”—The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post
Posted February 23, 2012
The “rumble in the jungle” was one of the most exciting chapters of boxing history. Muhammad Ali and George Forman go head to head in an exotic land to determine the championship of the world of boxing. Norman Mailer in The Fight takes you to Zaire, Africa, as this far away land prepares for the fifteen round heavyweight title.
Mailer takes the reader from Muhammad Ali’s compound camp at Deer Lake, Pennsylvania to President Mobutu’s compound. With his intimate style, Mailer gives you a front row seat to the highs and lows behind the scenes as the world attention focuses on this exotic land.
From the Congo’s “Heart of Darkness”, you get up close and personal to the characters that made this moment in history. From the media, the promoters, and the hanger oners, like Don King who hypes the fight as one that will draw a “zillion fans”.
The pure poetic tongue of Ali as he describes his style as one that “dances like a butterfly but stings like a bee” to the outrageous tactics of gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson.
Mailer relives this man’s sport in the only way that this great writer is able to capture the allure and mystic of the world of boxing.
Posted January 27, 2005
'The Fight,' by Norman Mailer is about the 1975 boxing match between the trash talking, quick moving Ali, and the calm, hard hitting Foreman. The author describes the fight, and all the events leading up to it beautifully. The fight takes place in Zaire, Africa, and Mailer makes you feel like you are there. He makes visits to each boxer's camp, writing about the mood and the feeling there. All of this leads up the biggest fight in each boxer's career. The match is relayed to over 100 countries, and millions watch it. The climax is very suspenseful, and something that you will not want to miss.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.