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Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing (Mainstream Sport) Paperback – August 5, 2005
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
After all of my years as a fight fan I had many questions answered about my boxers, trainers, corrupt people and groups in the sport and more.
I found it a long read because it does go into unusual detail on all of the above subjects unlike most books that just seem to want to skim over a subject. so they can fill more pages with skimpy information
The writer did a great job with a obvious tremendous amount of research .......
Only two years after reading Dark Trade I strived to reach that same depth when I wrote my first boxing novel 'Virgin Gloves'. Had I reached my goal and brought insight to the sport I loved? Well, one day I got an e-mail from Donald McRae and he gave me by far the best endorsement possible. I thank him for that glorious moment in my writing career and I thank him for writing this fantastic book.
This book is not about boxing techniques and such, but about the worldwide appeal, intense admiration, strong ambitions and profound discipline, that the participants and spectators of 'the noble art' are lured to. Donald McRae has done an excellent job.
Both the gladiator-type fighters and the promoters alike are examined unflinchingly. Some are well known and others not so much, but none of them are any less significant to the 'dark trade'.
The background stories on the medical history of the sport, with regards to ringside physicians and those who paid with their lives, is addressed in this book and made for very compelling reading.
'Dark Trade' gives insight into the lives and backgrounds of the author and some very famous fighters; like Nigel Benn, Oscar de la Hoya, Chris Eubanks, Prince Naseem Hamed, James Toney and Mike Tyson. But imo, the even greater appeal, were the stories told about some lesser lights of the fight game, like Jimmy Garcia, Gerald McClellan and Michael Watson.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone who is thinking of reading this book, but I will say this -- just like boxing itself, it's absolutely fascinating; with great highs and lows that will engage your heart!
McRae admits he is obsessed with boxing often in spite of his own better judgment. His love of the Sweet Science is undiminished by the ubiquitous and noxious corruption which has sapped boxing's credibility since its inception. He justifies his passion by sharing it with his wife but candidly asks: in how many other sports are its writers continually compelled to question their sport's health?
The detail in this book is marvelous. He gives particular insight on the lives of James Toney, Roy Jones, Prince Naseem Hamed, Chris Eubank and Mike Tyson. His personal relationships with these fighters and his unique access into their lives, Toney in particular, unearth a compelling voyeurism in the reader that makes this book very difficult to put down. Toney, a talented and once feared fighter, is revealed as a flawed and delusional boxer. The detail McRae gives about "Lights Out" Toney, while not excusing the boxer's behavior, certainly paints a fuller more human picture of his complicated and melancholy life story. Toney's relationship with his mother and his manager is the kind of unusual quirky story McRae implores you to expect from this tumultuous sport populated by working class athletes who often had no choice other than to fight in order to make a life for themselves.
A good read for casual boxing enthusiasts and a MUST-read for boxing geeks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a great book. Very vivid storytelling... it is a good read for anyone who enjoys reading, not just a fan.Published on November 27, 2013 by Guillermo Perez
It took awhile for me to get into this book. If you can get past the white person growing up in racist South Africa yet I feel the pain of my fellow man opening paragraph this... Read morePublished on May 17, 2004 by Paul
This is perhaps the best book on sports that I've read, and I've read many. Mcrae does an excellent job at making an inhumane sport suprisingly humane. An immensly joyable book.Published on January 10, 1999
I could not put down this book. Somehow, McRae has turned some of the most fearsome men in the world into pussycats. Read morePublished on December 22, 1998