Sunday, April 13, 2008

King of the World more than just a sports book

Hand me a sports themed book and I'm sold. I love pretty much every sports book I have ever read and I was ecstatic when I was assigned to read King of the World by David Remnick, a book that chronicles the life of boxing god Muhammad Ali.

King of the World surely didn't disappoint. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. I went into the book expecting a history of Ali; instead I got so much more.

Sure, the book covers boxing history. It covers the heavyweights that came before Ali and the situations surrounding them. Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, it's all there. The first half of the book is more dedicated to them than it is to Ali.

Ali's prestigious career is covered as well. However, what I was impressed with was the amount of Ali's background that was provided.

Muhammad Ali was a person you either loved or hated. He had an extremely controversial attitude and his conversion to Islam was even more so. What I really enjoyed about the book was the depictions of Ali's relationships: first with Malcolm X and then with Elijah Muhammed.

I may have learned more about Islam from this book than any where else. Not only that, I got to enjoy reading about the early history of Cassius Clay (Ali's birth name) and his road to heavyweight supremacy.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and informative read.

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