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Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story Paperback – August 22, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Updated edition (August 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030680669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806698
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,605,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Born and raised in a Brooklyn ghetto, then sent to a reform school where he learned the rudiments of boxing, Tyson at age 14 became the protege of legendary manager Cus D'Amato, who offered training in fisticuffs and social behavior. The former training succeeded, as D'Amato predicted, in Tyson's becoming the world heavyweight champion; the latter, according to ABC sports producer Heller ( In This Corner ), has proven less satisfactory. Heller traces the champion's meteoric rise to the top, examining the role various boxing associations have played in Tyson's life. Also discussed are individuals important in Tyson's history, including Don King, his current mentor, and ex-wife Robin Givens and her mother, whose alleged venality Heller tends to soft-pedal. The result is a thorough, rather bland book. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The proliferation of publications focusing on successful boxer Mike Tyson continues with this comprehensive account of his life both in and out of the ring. The author, who is a television sports producer, concentrates on the characters and personalities that helped shape the man; they range from street toughs to tutors, trainers, business associates, and relatives. He particularly dwells on the players left behind (dumped)--the many who assisted in Tyson's transformation from neighborhood bully to world champion. Whereas Phil Berger's Blood Season ( LJ 6/15/89) focused more on the business battles and Jose Torres's Fire and Fear see Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/89 on Tyson's highly publicized character traits, Heller's book presents the entire package, providing the most definitive account yet of the young fighter's life.
- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This is by far and away one of the best books I've read in a long, long time.
stevey wundar
This book is excellent for anyone who wants to understand where mike tyson came from and the sort of influences that made him what he was and what he is now.
"rugby_revilo"
The book does a good job of describing the boxing scene at the time of and the complexity of the figures surrounding Tyson's early life.
Nancyhua

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Buster Paris on July 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You Must Throw Every Punch With Bad Intentions
4.75 Stars
Bad Intentions - more than just a title - it's a D'Amato philosophy.
A great quote from Cus D'Amato that stuck with throughout the book and after:
"No matter what anyone says, no matter the excuse or explanation, whatever a person does in the end is what he intended to do all along."
Really a fantastic book from the beginning - Tyson as a kid - Cus & The Kid all the way to where it ends - the rape trial and conviction. This is a great read and an attention-grabbing perspective on Tyson and those around him.
You get a deeper look at and much needed tour of D'Amato, Jacobs, Cayton, Rooney and the entire original Team Tyson line up - I can't help but wish that Mike stayed with them. These people really seemed to have his best interest in mind and truly loved him.
My one complaint is Heller's take on the rape trial - I felt he did a horrible job with the review of details and happenings - to say that Tyson's lawyer was of the same caliber of Clarence Darrow - PLEASE - the guy was Don Kings TAX attorney - he had no business defending Tyson - there were witnesses not allowed to testify, his strategy was ridiculous and there are other issues that I just wont include in this review...
I recommend this book and once I finished I wish there was more. I found it complete (for the time it covered), thorough and mostly accurate (except the trial/conviction) - it's one of those books where you feel part of the story.
Both the Tyson fan and non-fan can enjoy this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancyhua on December 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mike Tyson is so fundamentally interesting that any book about him that even states the facts is going to be fascinating. The book does a good job of describing the boxing scene at the time of and the complexity of the figures surrounding Tyson's early life. Tyson is a paradox. He was sensitive and loved his pigeons, bullied as a child for his lisp, but then grew to be a violent criminal by age 10. He is at times intelligent, articulate, victimized, but acts crazily, ruled by his emotions, and often doesn't hesitate to abuse others. D'Amato is both Tyson's rescuer and exploiter, a paradox of a person himself, both idealistic and seemingly selfless but also with tunnel vision in regard to his priorities. This book recounts what happens to a person who becomes totally unbalanced: #1 in the world at such a young age (few can understand what it's like to be #1 in the world at anything, not to mention such a public and violent sport as boxing) but immature and unstable in so many other aspects of his personality and ability. Tyson's mentors emphasized his strengths but his weaknesses were ignored so that they ultimately destroyed him. His relationships with women, especially his wife Givens, depicts a man who starved for love but who doesn't know how to show it or recognize it- he gives Givens everything and allows her to control his life and money but cannot stop cheating on her and can't see that she's using him. Maybe all his relationships had been exploitive for so long he viewed use as part of love. A few good people around him try to guide him but they can't rescue or control someone so imbalanced. The portrayals of the people surrounding Tyson are thorough and fascinating and I end up feeling sorry for everyone in this whole book.Read more ›
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Conan the Librarian on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
'Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson Story' is an enthralling account of the boxer's rise and fall. Peter Niels Heller's assiduous scholarship and precise analyses combine to create a portrait that is both compelling and frightening. Drawn into professional boxing at the age of 19, Tyson quickly established himself as the boxer to beat. No-one could. Ultimately, he defeated himself, being sentenced to six years in prison in 1992. However, rather than surrender to the nihilism of incarceration, Tyson fought back. As Heller says on page 126, 'He was on his personal canvas, the Celestial Referee was about to count 9, and then it happened; Tyson stood up, bowed but unbeaten. With renewed energy, he determined that he would change; become a better person. The miracle had begun, and within a month he was working on a lathe in the carpentry shop, turning himself into a model prisoner first, a fruit bowl second and finally an elaborate rocking horse. So impressed were the authorities that they gave the boxer early release and a free white ant inspection.'
These days, Tyson continues to be an ornament, proudly positioned on Don King's mantlepiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miketheratguy on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bar none, this is the best book I've read about Tyson. It's full of facts and direct quotes from loads of people who worked with/against Tyson, as well as the man himself. It's also a great book for someone like myself- a fan who loved Tyson the boxer but always found Tyson the man to be a jerk, albeit a sometimes misunderstood one.

This book traces Tyson's history from his reckless juvenile days in the streets and the Tryon home for outcast boys, all the way up to Don King, Robin Givens, and his rape conviction. There's a subsequent update chapter that describes the goings-on after his release, but this is just a few pages long and stops before his first post-jail fight with Peter McNeely. It's interesting, but it's very short. Fortunately the book itself is a meaty several hundred pages.

Its outdatedness is the only real problem with the book. Originally written in the mid 90s, it describes everything up to his rape conviction in great detail. It reads like a page-turning novel, a tale full of treachery and corruption - the honing of a wayward youth into a disciplined fighter and his subsequent recidivism. The book is completely objective, as well. It shows us the sweet side of Tyson, and makes no bones about the fact that he had one. But it's also crystal clear that he was a beast, giving us many examples of Tyson's primitive and criminal behavior. Beloved trainer Cus D'Amoto isn't safe either, for there's evidence in this book (which I'd never seen before) that shows he wasn't just a sweet old man who took Tyson in and raised him as his own.

But in addition to discussing main characters like these, people like Robin Givens and Don King are discussed in great length as well. They emerge as the real villains of the story, as well they should.
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