Breathe: A Life in Flow

Rickson Gracie with Peter Maguire. Dey Street, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-301895-2
Martial artist Gracie fails to make his life or the sport of Brazilian jujitsu worthy of interest in his uninspiring debut. Gracie was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1958 to a family that owned a jujitsu training academy. Inevitably, Gracie started his career there, earning a black belt by the time he was 21. After defeating a “massive and terrifying” adversary by the name of “King Zulu” in 1980, he embarked on a lucrative career teaching “Gracie jiu-jitsu” and married a model with whom he had four children (and he casually mentions several affairs). In 2000, their oldest son died at age 19 of an overdose, though Gracie asserts (with no evidence) that he was murdered. That tragedy led him to realize “there is no tomorrow, because life can change forever in the blink of an eye,” despite the death of his brother almost two decades earlier in a hang-gliding accident. Gracie’s comfort level with the extreme violence of his profession (“I choked him unconscious and left him sleeping... in a puddle of his own blood”) is likely to turn off many, as is his inflated ego. This is for devoted Gracie fans only. Agent: Frank Weimann, Folio Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/04/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-301897-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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