The Devil and Sonny Liston by Nick Tosches

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Synopsis

Now in paperback: Nick Tosches's brutal, stunning, and widely praised biography of Sonny Liston -- the world heavyweight champion who hit harder than any man alive, and who embodied everything that is compelling and terrifying about boxing.
 

About Nick Tosches

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Born in Newark & schooled in his father's bar, Nick Tosches is one of the most original & individualistic writers at work today. He is the author of acclaimed biographies of Sonny Liston, (The Devil & Sonny Liston), Dean Martin (Dino), the Mafia financier Michele Sindona (Power on Earth), & Jerry Lee Lewis (Hellfire); of several books about popular music (Country & Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll); & of the novels "Trinities" & "Cut Numbers". Thirty years of his writing was recently collected into "The Nick Tosches Reader" (Da Capo). He is a contributing editor of "Vanity Fair". He lives in New York City, & his poetry readings are legend.
 
Published April 1, 2000 by Little, Brown and Company. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Devil and Sonny Liston

Publishers Weekly

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Tosches has always been drawn to the lives of dark and mysteriously flawed or fallen public figures--Jerry Lee Lewis in Hellfire, Dean Martin in Dino--and in one-time heavyweight champ Charles Sonny

Apr 03 2000 | Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Publishers Weekly

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Nick is a misanthrope who sees people as “a source of tedium and acid reflux.” With young women, he enjoys rough sex, the kind that draws blood (his pickups like to be raped, bitten, and whipped).

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Publishers Weekly

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Throughout, though, what is most remarkable is Tosches's empathy for the fighter derided as ""a bear,"" a ""hoodlum"" and, by the loquacious Ali, as simply ""ugly."" In Tosches's hands, Liston is an unfortunate victim of people much worse than he, and the boxer emerges with a kind of mute dignity...

| Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

AV Club

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Tellingly, Tosches goes against popular opinion in his portrayal of Liston's successor, whom he sees not as a challenging symbol of African-American independence but as a figure of entertainment far more acceptable to white America than Liston.

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Entertainment Weekly

Back in the early 1970s, Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer, and Nick Tosches were longhaired young malcontents who sometimes drank together while each tried to make a living as a rock critic.

Apr 21 2000 | Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Austin Chronicle

"He hit me like no man should be hit," Marshall said, which is one reason Tosches is convinced that Liston threw not just one but both of his championship fights against Cassius Clay (who announced his conversion to Islam the day after his first victory over Liston and that he would henceforth be...

Apr 21 2000 | Read Full Review of The Devil and Sonny Liston

Reader Rating for The Devil and Sonny Liston
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