Monday, 29 October 2007

Self-Defence

The finest book ever written about boxing imho was this, by the great George Plimpton, who has long been a hero of idle's combining as he does a love of literature, sport, journalism and the human condition. A supreme stylist and a great American man of letters, right up there with Alastair Cooke in terms of style and sagacity.

Plimpton knew Muhammad Ali, warts and all, and thought him exceptional. The Tuscan has a low opinion; perhaps he's seen When We Were Kings - if not, see it - but read this book and you might see Ali in a different light. Possibly the best book ever written about sport.

9 comments:

electro-kevin said...

I agree that Ali was amazing.

Perhaps 'genius' could be redefined in order to encompass physical gift.

Being a pugilist myself I shall look out for this book.

idle said...

I will make a rash promise, e-k, that you will love this book. You'll probably get it for nothing on amazon.

Scroblene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scroblene said...

Years ago, Harry Carpenter hosted a programme called 'The richest prize in sport'. It was a seminal series, and I was hooked for years afterwards!

There were films from way back and lots of comments and twists which depicted a sport which was far different to that of today.

Scroblene said...

PS Idle, that was me deleting the one before, I wish I could spell...!

Mermaid of Moorgate said...

There's a reason you'd get the book for nothing on Amazon: Sport is boring.

idle said...

Oh, mermaid - the things I could teach you if we were ever to spend a weekend on a sofa in front of the sport on the telly.

I'd have you tingling with the anticipation of the toss before a series-deciding test; sighing with pleasure at a Gower cover-drive; yelping at the screen as the referee fails to enforce the offside rule for the All Blacks, but blows us up every time; exhilarated by two thoroughbreds locked in battle for the last two furlongs of a classic; exhausted and spent after a Thrilla in Manilla (not the envelopes).

Afterwards, we could go shopping at Primark for anoraks.

Tuscan Tony said...

Thanks for the tip, idle, its now on the crimblist

idle said...

.