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Description - The Fight by Norman Mailer

From one of the major innovators of New Journalism, Norman Mailer's The Fight is the real-life story of a clash between two of the world's greatest boxers, both in and out of the ring, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Norman Mailer's The Fight focuses on the 1975 World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in Kinshasa, Zaire. Muhammad Ali met George Foreman in the ring. Foreman's genius employed silence, serenity and cunning. He had never been defeated. His hands were his instrument, and 'he kept them in his pockets the way a hunter lays his rifle back into its velvet case'. Together the two men made boxing history in an explosive meeting of two great minds, two iron wills and monumental egos. Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, and attended Harvard University at the age of sixteen. He majored in engineering, but it was while he was at university that he became interested in writing. After graduating he served during the war in the Philippines with the Twelfth Armoured Cavalry regiment from Texas; those were the years that formed The Naked and the Dead (1948). In 1955 he co-founded The Village Voice, and was the editor of Dissent from 1952 until 1963. Among his other works are The Armies of the Night (1968) The Executioner's Song (1980), both of which won Mailer a Pulitzer Prize. If you enjoyed The Fight, you might like Gay Talese's Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. ' "If ever a fighter had been able to demonstrate that boxing was a twentieth-century art, it must be Ali", says Norm, and his achievement in this masterly book is of a similar order, demonstrating that writing about sport can also be a twentieth-century art' Geoff Dyer, New Statesman 'Probably no one has written about boxing better than Mailer has' Guardian

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780141184142
ISBN-10: 0141184140
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-Jul-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Fight by Norman Mailer

US Kirkus Review » Norman Mailer, rechristened No'min, takes on the heart of Blackness in darkest Africa as he plunges into the vital spirits of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in their recent Heavyweight title clash in Zaire (once the huge protectorate of the Congo), and comes up a winner. What No'min wins may not be definable outside an Occult Prose seminar, but it has something to do with Bantu mysticism as exemplified in Ali the Lip's supreme professorship of the art of pugilism and Foreman's gigantic serenity of lionesque rage. Truly, No'min's hypnoprose works wonders at engaging our interest and transubstantiating it into an awe commensurate with the bash's press coverage, a five-million-dollar gate, and worldwide TV attention. Indeed, the book at its weird best has something of the inner control of Conrad steaming upriver through fogs of Black emotion, Black psychology and Black love - though all is admittedly "a quintessentially comic quest. Boxers were liars. Champions were great liars." Nor is that great boxing expert in the Beyond and author of Green Hills of 33 Africa ever far from No'min's bag of conjuries. By fight time the reader has been artfully hoodooed into expecting more from the match than anyone but Mailer saw in it - and amazingly delivers. Mailer's mask as narcissistic clown is cut down to a caper or two; instead he divides our hearts between Ali and Foreman. Surely Papa is at last sending down his personal vibration to No'min: "Well and truly done, my son. Go in peace to the bar." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Norman Mailer

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.

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