ALI! ALI! by Muhammad Ali


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He may be the prettiest and, at weigh-ins, the wittiest, but as an author Ali is just shadow boxing. This collection of pre-fight taunts, characteristic hyperbole, Muslim prayers, and personal philosophy is, by any count, thin and nearly aimless. ""It's hard to be humble when you're so great,"" he teases on one page, but most quotations are less salty. He comments on Dance (""In the ring"") or Wilt Chamberlain (""Very tall"") or Wives (""The most important person in a life/ Should always be a wife""). His religious pronouncements have a little more substance, although occasionally the thought is jumbled, and reminders of his bout with the Selective Service System (""I ain't got no quarrel with the Viet Cong"") or recent visit to Russia remain fresh. Of course, the jabs at other fighters show the champ at his best: ""Sphinx is so ugly that when he cries, the tears would stop halfway down his face and turn around to the back of his head."" Stick with the heavyweight coverage he's already received (by Mailer, Lipsyte, Schulberg, Sheed): this is just an Ali Shuffle.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich