Sting Like a Bee: The Muhammad Ali Story recounts the rise and fall of Cassius Clay's boxing career, as seen through the eyes of a former champ who was friendly with Ali. I am most definitely not the target audience for this book, as I have no interest in and almost zero knowledge of boxing. As so often happens, I found myself book-less somewhere, in this case, my boyfriend's apartment, and had to grab something, anything. This ended up making it more engrossing for me in some ways, since the culminating Fight of the Century between Ali and Frazier held tension for me in a way that it wouldn't for people who already knew the outcome. It was interesting to learn about Ali's childhood and family (father once left Ali and jumped off a bus to meet a hot girl), and to see him as a person behind the famous quotes and taunts.
I'm not sure how much I need to write about this one, because most people know this stuff, right? I feel like I'm the only person who didn't know anything about Ali aside from 1) the "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" quote, 2) he was a black boxer, 3) something about Islam... and 4) Will Smith played him in a movie that I never considered seeing. Hey, did you know Muhammad Ali liked to predict in which round his opponent would fall? Or that he protested having to fight in the Vietnam War? I didn't.
A piece of artful writing this is not, but this kind of book is about the story, not the perfectly crafted sentences, and Torres is effective at both narrating fights so that even know-nothings like me can understand the action and be drawn in as well as throwing in apparently previously untold stories and anecdotes about Ali.