Mike Tyson Has Better Taste In Books Than You Do

Picture: Octal (CC)

Picture: Octal (CC)

Mike Tyson isn’t just a former champion heavyweight boxer, he’s also a heavyweight reader, too. What are some of the books on Tyson’s nightstand right now? Napoleon’s letters to Josephine, a little Kierkegaard, and more than a few volumes devoted to Alexander the Great.

Via Open Culture:

I read everything about Alexander, so I downloaded “Alexander the Great: The Macedonian Who Conquered the World” by Sean Patrick. Everyone thinks Alexander was this giant, but he was really a runt. “I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity,” he said. I so related to that, coming from Brownsville, Brooklyn.

What did I have to look forward to—going in and out of prison, maybe getting shot and killed, or just a life of scuffling around like a common thief? Alexander, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, even a cold pimp like Iceberg Slim—they were all mama’s boys. That’s why Alexander kept pushing forward. He didn’t want to have to go home and be dominated by his mother. In general, I’m a sucker for collections of letters. You think you’ve got deep feelings? Read Napoleon’s love letters to Josephine. It’ll make you think that love is a form of insanity. Or read Virginia Woolf’s last letter to her husband before she loaded her coat up with stones and drowned herself in a river. I don’t really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. I’m not a light kind of guy.

27 Comments on "Mike Tyson Has Better Taste In Books Than You Do"

  1. mannyfurious | Dec 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm |

    I just finished his autobiography a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great read of a complicated individual. He quotes everyone from Nietzsche to Napolean to, like, Plutarch.

  2. VaudeVillain | Dec 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

    Everything I’ve ever seen, heard, read, or otherwise learned about Mike Tyson has pretty much flown in the face of the media image of him as nothing but a foolish thug with an unexpected falsetto. Clearly, he was not blessed with a strong traditional education, and he definitely has his demons, but if you actually listen to him, it’s obvious he’s a lot smarter than most people give him credit for.

    One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen was a montage of him training with his favorite coach through carrying his casket. You could actually see the Darkness taking hold in his eyes, the loss of someone he genuinely Loved leading him toward the seriously fucked up behavior that would follow.

    • Rus Archer | Dec 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

      have you seen the documentary he narrates?
      halfway through i realized he was telling the story of karate kid
      but in his version, daniel is a closeted gay kid

  3. Ted Heistman | Dec 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm |

    I always knew he was intelligent. He is just an “all or none” type dude. Goes to extremes in everything.

  4. BuzzCoastin | Dec 17, 2013 at 1:35 am |

    I heard he keeps a copy of Spengler’s Decline of the West
    in the shitter

    • heinrich6666 | Dec 17, 2013 at 5:52 am |

      Funny how ‘in the shitter’ means bathroom, but ‘in the pooper’ means rectum. If you had said, ‘in the pooper’, I’d have said: how’d he fit it in there?

      A linguistics parable.

  5. heinrich6666 | Dec 17, 2013 at 5:49 am |

    The comments over at OpenCulture are just as pretentious as you might expect — with a sort of hateful pissiness.

    I’ve always thought that Mike Tyson is a saint. But I suppose you have to come from a certain background to see it. Human depth is more a function of raw, unmerciful experience than anything else.

  6. Rus Archer | Dec 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm |

    nah, i still prefer pkd and joyce and raw

Comments are closed.