Night Train

Night Train

A Biography of Sonny Liston


A breathtakingly brutal and evocative account of the life of infamous boxing world champion Sonny Liston

'Dazzling . . . An unforgettable journey to some of boxing's darkest places' Steve Bunce, author of Bunce's Big Fat Short History of British Boxing

Sonny Liston is one of the most controversial men the boxing world has ever seen. He rose from a childhood of grinding poverty to become 1962's heavyweight world champion. He spent time in prison, he was known to have mob connections, he was hated and vilified by his public. And after he lost the world title to Cassius Clay in a spectacular fall from grace, he died under mysterious and never fully explained circumstances.

Sonny Liston's life story is an unsolved mystery and an underappreciated tragedy. In uncompromising detail, Nick Tosches captures the shadowy figure of Liston, this most mesmerising and enigmatic of boxing antiheroes.

'Crackling [and] unmissable . . . A warped fairy tale and a dark murder mystery' Maxim

'Nick Tosches is an extraordinary writer' Hubert Selby Jr, author of Requiem for a Dream

'A profound voyage into the twisted psyche of a sportsman . . . Brings you face to face with [a] hard life and ugly death' FHM


  • Dazzling, unforgiving... Tosches and Liston smash their way through fights and beaten men... Tosches understood the large heart and vicious ways of Liston and together they take an unforgettable journey to some of boxing's darkest places
    Steve Bunce, author of 'Bunce's Big Fat Short History of British Boxing'

About the author

Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches was a critically acclaimed American journalist, novelist and poet. Celebrated for defining the emerging genre of rock journalism in the 1970s, he is renowned for chronicling the lives of the great icons of his time.

His biographies include Country: The Biggest Music in America, Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll: The Birth of Rock in the Wild Years Before Elvis, Power on Earth, Arbor House, Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams, The Devil and Sonny Liston, Where Dead Voices Gather and King of the Jews.

He is also the author of the novels Cut Numbers, Trinities, In the Hand of Dante, and Me and the Devil, and the poetry collection Chaldea and I Dig Girls. He died on 20th October 2019.
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