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The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini
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The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  235 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
From the bestselling, critically acclaimed author of Namath and Pistol comes another remarkable biography—the life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. In the early 1980s, Mancini was more than the lightweight champ. He was a national hero. Sinatra fawned over him. Warren Zevon wrote a tribute song. Sylvester Stallone produced his life story as a movie of the week. After all, an ad ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Free Press
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Barry Graham
Oct 24, 2012 Barry Graham rated it it was amazing
This astonishing book establishes Mark Kriegel as one of the great boxing writers. A meticulous work of reportage and analysis, it stands along with the best of A.J. Liebling and Hugh Mcilvanney - but, as a piece of storytelling, it also stands along with the novels of Leonard Gardner, W.C. Heinz and Eddie Muller.

Presented as a biography of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, the ferocious World Lightweight Champion of the first half of the 1980s, The Good Son is also a history of boxing in the U.S., and o
Oct 07, 2012 Dimas rated it really liked it
I'm one of the young folks out there who can still call themselves a boxing fan. What I am not, however, is a boxing historian. So any chance I can get to read up on some of the old-time guys, I take it (well, old-time for me. I'm in my early 20s).
A couple of months ago I found out that veteran sportswriter Mark Kriegel was writing a book about Ray Mancini, one of the most popular boxers from the 80s. Knowing about Kriegel’s work as a sportswriter and biographer (he wrote Pistol: The Life of Pe
Marcia Ferguson
Oct 21, 2012 Marcia Ferguson rated it really liked it
Seldom have I come across a book on the "NEW" table and snatched it up immediately. The thought of reading about Boom Boom Mancini and his boxing career was a surprise, and a must-have.

I wonder if the writer is from the tri-state area, writing about Beaver Falls' Joe Namath, Aliquippa's Pistol Pete Maravich and Youngstown's Ray Mancini. If not, we're just lucky.

The book was a page-turner and I'm always impressed by tons of footnotes and an index in the back of the book. Well thought out, and pro
Jeffrey McKinley
Nov 01, 2012 Jeffrey McKinley rated it it was amazing
Touching book about a boxer who achieves his dream of winning the title his father never got a chance to win and the guilt of having killed a man in the ring. Ray Mancini's story was something seemingly crafted by a gifted screen writer, especially on the day he knocked out Frias in the first round to win a title. But less than a year, after 14 brutal rounds, his opponent would never regain consciousness, tainting the story book tale with blood. the author chronicles the life of both Lenny and R ...more
Scott Holstad
Nov 15, 2013 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing
Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini was my favorite boxer as a young teen, and remains my favorite even today. He could knock the living daylights out of you, could take a punch, and his story was awesome. Until tragedy struck. I assume most everybody knows about it, and it takes up a large portion of the book, but the author does a great job of treating it with dignity and respect.

Boom Boom was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, a rust belt former steel town with a big Mob presence. His dad had been a fi
Paul Pessolano
Jul 12, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it liked it
“The Good Son, The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini” by Mark Kriegel, published by Free Press.

Category – Biography

For those of you who do not know Ray Mancini, Ray was a boxer in the 1980’s who fought in the lightweight division. Now, before you quit reading, this is much, much, more than a story about a boxer.

Ray grew up in Youngstown, Ohio which was going through a terrible time with the steel mills shutting down and the mob running the town. Ray’s father was a boxer and almost made it to the l
David V.
Aug 06, 2012 David V. rated it really liked it
Received as an ARC from the publisher. Finished it today. An excellent book about a remarkable boxer, one with talent, courage and integrity. This book gets into Ray Mancini's head, not just his life. I learned much about him that I'd never read in news reports over the years. Mr Kriegel's skill lets you feel his victories and his pain.
P.e. lolo
Oct 09, 2012 P.e. lolo rated it really liked it
A very good book about his life and some of his boxing matches and how he over came a tragic boxing incident but it took him many years. A good book.
Dec 18, 2015 Sunny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports
When sugar ray Leonard left the limelight by the late 1970s the path was opened for a new champion of the world who the masses could shout and cheer behind and ray boom boom mancini filled this mantle perfectly. He was white, good looking, the son of a relatively well known Italian fighter and ridiculously nice to go with it all. At some point after winning the world title in the early 80s he had it all. A beautiful wife and children and once he retired a film career in the making. He could coun ...more
Denis Goulet
Nov 11, 2012 Denis Goulet rated it really liked it

Most men of my age grew up with the "sweet science" delivered directly to their living rooms through the Friday Night Fights or the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. Boxing was introduced to us by our fathers complete with history and side notes. This book takes the first real in depth look at what would become the death spiral for the sport. Ray Mancini was the All American Boy, committed to winning the Lightweight belt that was yanked from his father's grasp by WWll and some ill placed shrapnel.
Dec 06, 2012 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I read a sports biography, if ever. But for some reason, boxing stories are never just about boxing -- whether it's Rocky or Raging Bull or Cinderella Man or just the real life story of Muhammad Ali, boxing is somehow always a metaphor for something greater and usually tragic, which is what makes boxing stories so much more interesting than, say, football stories.

The Good Son is no exception. Mancini led a complex life with both ups and downs. The mere fact that Bo
Dec 30, 2012 Brisbride13 rated it liked it
I put this book on order at my library before it was even on the shelf, that's how excited I was about it's coming out. As a youngster, Mancini was my one and only favorite boxer and when he quit fighting, I never had another. This being said...I didnt like the book. I had no knowledge of the author or his background; I had no idea he was a sports columnist. And for me that's what was wrong with this book; it read like one long column. I was looking for a more in-depth look at the man himself an ...more
Ron Setala
Aug 21, 2013 Ron Setala rated it liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book was about his life, both in and out of the ring. It was not strictly a blow-by-blow account of his fights. I previously read Kriegel's book on "Pistol" Pete Maravich, and will endeavour to pick up his book on Joe Namath. I have always been motivated by boxing and its boxers. The way they continue to battle ever onward. Whether fighting for the fame or the fortune or the mere sake of fighting, I guess I see a little of me in each one I read about. I am curr ...more
Bert Edens
I must confess that I read this not because I'm a big fan of Mancini, although I certainly was aware of him while he was a premier boxer, but because I'm fascinated by the man most perpetually linked with Mancini: Kim Duk-Koo.

I really started the book because I wanted to glean as much as I could about Kim, but I ended up being more of a fan of Mancini than I was when he was in his prime. Kriegel does a good job of telling things like they were, warts and all, for everyone involved. His document
Tom Gase
Jul 25, 2015 Tom Gase rated it liked it
A well researched and written book on Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, who was a very good boxer in the early part of the 1980's. The book talks about his relationship with his father, who was also a boxer before an injury in WWII hurt him. It also discusses how he once landed a punch on a fighter in 1982 that would end up killing him. The book, and author Mark Kriegel, talks about how Mancini tries to come to grips with that. Krigel has written good biographies on Joe Namath and Pete Maravich. Add this ...more
Chris Fenn
Sep 04, 2013 Chris Fenn rated it liked it
An interesting read and engaging. Particularly enjoyed the early years and development in Youngstown, OH. In the end - I did question whether Ray Mancini's career was truly unique enough from other former professional boxers to warrant a book at this time. The tragic bout with Kim really defined Boom Boom Mancini - unfortunately. More could have been done to explore the legacy - like the excellent documentary "Ring of Fire" about Emile Griffith.
Still an engaging read
Gerard Byrne
Aug 06, 2013 Gerard Byrne rated it really liked it
I was a boxing fan when Ray Mancini turned pro and I saw him fight Duk Koo Kim live on TV. I loved Ray's style and his good natured personality. This book is a great inside look at the precipice of boxing's decline as a popular sport. Beautifully told and researched. A great story by a great storyteller.
Evan Prather
Nov 29, 2012 Evan Prather rated it liked it
The first half of the book leading up to the inevitable clash between Mancini and Kim which defined Mancini's career is greatly entertaining. However, after Boom Boom's fight career is all but over, the story gets less interesting as the book seems to lose the fire Ray carried with him in his younger days.
Aug 26, 2013 Robert rated it it was amazing
Mark Kriegel writes my kind of biographies––lets reader get to know the subject without influencing what we think, tells behind-the-scenes back story clearly, and is a wonderful writer. I also enjoyed Kriegel's Pete Maravich biography. Mancini's story is a look into an old-fashion boxing story as it was in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. A great read about an interesting character.
Jan 05, 2013 Davehbo rated it did not like it
How many times can I forget? Sports biographies suck."And then they did this" and "then they did that" with the basic assumption that we care about that person before we even read the book. Shoot me if I read another sports biography.
Josh Drimmer
Jul 11, 2014 Josh Drimmer rated it liked it
Well-written and smooth to read, I just don't think that Ray Mancini is necessarily the most interesting subject when it's all said and done. A book that was at least 1/3 about Duk Koo Kim, the fatherless, dirt poor Korean who fought his heart and life out with Ray might have drawn me in some more.
Jonathan Snowden
Oct 31, 2013 Jonathan Snowden rated it really liked it
I read this book because I was in the running to host a podcast with Mr. Mancini. Although the gig fell apart, I'm glad I picked up this book. A fascinating snapshot, not just of a fighter's life, but of the sport of boxing in its final years as a network TV staple.
Gina Marcelin
Sep 27, 2012 Gina Marcelin rated it it was ok
I always liked Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini. I think this book could have used a little more punch to it. The story was thin and didn't really have any zing. Essentially, it was a little dull and didn't knock me out.
Feb 11, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok
Interesting content, but I found the chronology difficult to follow and finished the book without a clear sense of Ray Mancini other than as the title implies.
Jun 24, 2013 Patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
remember boom boom? I did and then I didn't ... classic story of beating the odds and living the American boxing dream
Andd Becker
Oct 23, 2012 Andd Becker rated it really liked it
This biography is remarkably well-written. Boxing fans must read it. Names, places, dates, and stats lure the reader into the life of Boom Boom, the son of Boom.
Justin Sorbara-Hosker
Mar 09, 2012 Justin Sorbara-Hosker rated it it was ok
Good not great. Benefits from compelling story & solid research & access, writing is not spectacular. Still plan on reading Kriegel's Maravich bio ...
Gary rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2016
Jodi Burkhart
Jodi Burkhart rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2014
Mark Kolada
Mark Kolada rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2014
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