THE FIGHT by Norman Mailer
Kirkus Star

THE FIGHT

Email this review

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."
Pub Date: July 21st, 1975
ISBN: 0375700382
Page count: 244pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1975




MORE BY NORMAN MAILER

NonfictionSELECTED LETTERS OF NORMAN MAILER by Norman Mailer
by Norman Mailer
NonfictionMIND OF AN OUTLAW by Norman Mailer
by Norman Mailer
FictionTHE CASTLE IN THE FOREST by Norman Mailer
by Norman Mailer

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionAPPROACHING ALI by Davis Miller
by Davis Miller