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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Autobiography/Memoir, 2017.

In his own words, the heavyweight champion of the world pulls no punches as he chronicles the battles he faced in and out of the ring in this fascinating memoir edited by Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Toni Morrison. 

Growing up in the South, surrounded by racial bigotry and discrimination, Ali fought not just for a living, but also for respect and rewards far more precious than money or glory. He was named Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and the BBC. Ali redefined what it meant to be an athlete by giving hope to millions around the world and inspiring us all to fight for what is important to us. 

This is a multifaceted portrait of Muhammad Ali only he could render: sports legend, unapologetic anti-war advocate, outrageous showman and gracious goodwill ambassador, fighter, lover, poet, and provocateur, and an irresistible force to be reckoned with. 

Who better to tell the tale than the man who went the distance living it? 

©1975 Muhammad Ali, Herbert Muhammad, Richard Durham (P)2016 Graymalkin Media

What the critics say

"It's uncanny how much narrator Dion Graham sounds like Ali. He has the same rhythm, inflection, and passion that The Champ had.... Graham makes us feel the pain Ali felt, both from the fights and from the world." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about The Greatest

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timeless

a timeless story that needs to be heard by all. the great one! 10 out of 10

3 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal performance. Sent shivers down my body

The content is a good insight into what drove Ali. What his thinking was. The performance is excellent. Adds a lot of action where it is needed.

1 person found this helpful

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Ali Ali Ali

He is formidable because he is truth...truth ain't always pretty....still the greatest of them all!

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Unique Biography

This life story reads like a screenplay. The important events in Ali's life are described in dramatic detail. Encounters and dialogue *reveal* the story rather than merely telling what the champ was thinking as jaw-dropping life episodes happened (e.g. throwing his Gold Medal into the Ohio river; defying the draft & exile; his conversion to Islam). The result is a thoroughly captivating chronicle. The book exudes realism as any good biography should, but by the end of it, the reader has not only been edified but entertained. I have read quite a few biographies and was somewhat surprised - despite the different approach in this book - that I had just listened to a drama... but now know who Muhammed Ali was - not stereotypically heroic but startlingly human - confident (+/- arrogant), principled (+/- inflexible), and steadfast (+/- obstinate).
The main drawback of the book is that it "ends" at the fight in Manilla. The later events in the man's life (Parkinsonism, global recognition, etc.) are equally incredible. I wish this fantastic book had kept going.

Dion Graham *performs* this book, rather than reading it. He presents the life episodes with admirable emotion - where the text is angry, Graham nearly shouts.. where the text is sorrowful, Graham nearly cries. His pacing is spot-on and his tone is nearly perfect. The main problem with the reading is that his Kentucky accent, while accurate, sometimes makes the dialogue hard to understand. I had to concentrate quite hard at times... but I didn’t have to repeat sections - as sometimes happens. This is an above-average reading.

Altogether, the great performance and unique approach to telling the story is incredibly effective. Ali did well to enlist the aid of Richard Durham in presenting his story. This book is dramatic, but also informative and enlightening. An epilogue would be amazing. This is a Five-star presentation of an incredible life story.

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Amazing

One you will not forget. Great voice. You will be able to understand who the champ was and how he lived

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The greatest

Dion did a FANTASTIC job bringing Muhammad to life. I loved EVERY second. RIP to the greatest of all time. The butterfly lives on

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  • Michael
  • 2016-06-04

Truly The Greatest

If you could sum up The Greatest in three words, what would they be?

Inspirational, quick, witty

What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Loved his voice. Brought so much to the book. Believed I was listening to Ali.

Any additional comments?

Sure he became the best boxer ever. But to see where he started, how the deck was stacked against him at every turn, what he had to overcome and continue to overcome even when he did make it, is truly inspirational. I'm not a sports fan and I found it a fascinating listen. Highly recommend it.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mario
  • 2016-07-02

great story

the story, the reader, the book. they all had passion. made me realize alot of things about myself on never giving up. I connected with this book and I always have a book going. rarely do I ever write a review ether. my dad was a boxer so maybe it helped me understand a few things, about him and myself. however anyone having a hard time, or lived threw any type of oppression, can read this and find inspiration. ALI, THE PEOPLE S CHAMPION .

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-06-25

Absolutely inspiring and captivating!

I felt that I was actually there witnessing Muhammad Ali's life. I learned some very interesting insights about his life and journey. I'm inspired to hear what he had to do and encounter to be the person he was. I agree that he is the Greatest, but not just boxing, his intestinal fortitude and resolve to make a difference, and his passion for the people to give his best, to do his best! What a Champion😉😘

7 people found this helpful

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  • LA Bos
  • 2016-06-24

Great book, phenomenal interpretation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I certainly would recommend this. This book chronicles intimate details of Ali's upbringing from his POV that are incredibly interesting and revealing. And Dion Graham's performance is superb. Wonderful nuance.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Greatest?

The description and performance of the taped dialogue between Ali and Joe Frazier before their fight as they drive together on a long road trip.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Fitness Guy
  • 2017-06-25

wow!!! Why don't we study this man in school?

loved it, loved it, loved it! amazing story and it keeps your attention the entire time. I listened to think book in the car, at the gym, at home. I couldn't put it down (couldn't stop playing it). being a millennial, Ali was before my time, just heard he was a great fighter. I'm just now learning how much of an activist he was too. He fought for equality and stood for his beliefs, something so many know little about. He went against the grain but for whatever reason people don't really share that info. you just hear of his amazing fighting skills but the man took a stand, wanted justice for all and the right for everyone to treated equally. I'm glad I got to read and find out about him. Wish I had known more about him before his death. RIP CHAMP!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michalis Petrou
  • 2017-04-28

The amazing life of the greatest one!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Greatest to be better than the print version?

Yes because of the excellent job the narrator does. If Muhammad Ali was narrating the story, it would be indistinguishable from this.

What did you like best about this story?

I believe the book was written in honesty and it is why it's fantastic. It shows the struggles of being an African-American professional athlete, in a sport that is run by white elites during his era. Coming out of this book you cannot have anything but respect for Muhammad Ali and his perseverance to stick to his ideas and faith, when every single person he was close to, including his mother, was telling him to serve in the army. He highlights the struggles and threats that he faced which would have made a lesser man give up.

Which scene was your favorite?

The best part of the story for me was when Joe Frazier and Ali were sharing a ride to New York. Muhammad Ali asked Frazier if it was okay to record their ride hence it was included in the book. That conversation was certainly one of the highlights. Hilarious at points, this conversation shows the friendship and respect these two icons had for each other.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sebastian Zacharias
  • 2017-04-06

Amazing Performance of an Amazing Story

Stick with it. The performance is outstanding and the story is incredible. Fiction doesn't hold a candle to the truth. Ali! Bhumaye!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 2017-04-06

the greatest

incredible narrative pattern, perfect narration. one of the best audio books I have ever listened to. near perfect

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-06-22

Awesome story, Grammy worth Reading

this book goes in to the man library. Dion Grammy has preformed an award winning reading

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ella's Dad
  • 2016-06-21

Great Listen

The reader did a wonderful job. Felt like Muhammad Ali was talking to me himself.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ste-Ge.
  • 2018-05-23

A brief outlook on the life of a Legend.

The story puts the lights on major points of the Legend. I really enjoyed the way the narrator puts his all self into the book by emulating voices.