Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

A Life

Book - 2018
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"The most authoritative biography--featuring dozens of rarely seen photographs--of film legend Bruce Lee, who made martial arts a global phenomenon, bridged the divide between Eastern and Western cultures, and smashed long-held stereotypes of Asians and Asian-Americans. Forty-five years after Bruce Lee's sudden death at age thirty-two, journalist and bestselling author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee's life. It's also one of the only accounts; incredibly, there has never been an authoritative biography of Lee. Following a decade of research that included conducting more than one hundred interviews with Lee's family, friends, business associates, and even the actress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon. Polly explores Lee's early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father's struggles with opium addiction and how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school and eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like James Coburn and Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to a white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery. Polly breaks down the myths surrounding Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he was an ambitious actor who was obsessed with the martial arts--not a kung-fu guru who just so happened to make a couple of movies. This is an honest, revealing look at an impressive yet imperfect man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played onscreen"-- Provided by publisher.
"A biography of the movie icon Bruce Lee"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2018.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501187629
1501187627
Branch Call Number: B Lee
Characteristics: x, 640 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm

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orange_cat_221
Jun 09, 2019

I highly recommend this book. In every sense it is a fantastic read. This intensely detailed biography by Matthew Polly provides such a beautiful and unadulterated look at the life of an icon; the life of Bruce Lee. From the fateful meeting of Bruce's parents to his last days spent overworking on movie sets and even the aftermath of Bruce's passing, Polly covers everything. Do yourself a favor. Take a glance behind the curtain and watch the life of a man who almost singlehandedly merged Eastern and Western culture unfold before your eyes.
This book is engrossing and a wonderful monument to the Little Dragon.

m
mr_chocolate
Mar 02, 2019

Certainly a more complete and rounded biography, as well as the most recent. It is mostly well cited and has a large section of notes in the back.
Having "lived" with Bruce Lee as a strong symbol and icon, I was not sure if I would be bothered to read this book, as I wasn't sure if there was anything more that it could say that I had not heard or read before. I have not read all of the books, nor did I hear of some of the books noted, and I had never learned Chinese well enough to be able to read the magazines and articles and books or films that were in Chinese written about Bruce.
I picked it up and read where I opened it, and then did this a few times, randomly reading wherever it opened up. I was intrigued and kept finding new stuff and others with more detail than I had remembered ever seeing before.
He was not a perfect man, but an exceptional martial artist and a complex and a human being with depth. Learn details of the Inquest after his death. Details of the real fight between himself and Wong Jack Man, instead of the fictitious accounts portrayed in the 1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and the 2016 Birth of the Dragon. Learn why the army rejected a young healthy man for service; why he never went to Ip Man's funeral; why he removed his sweat glands; and finally to read about why the author concludes that he tied simply from heat stroke.
Well worth the time to read as it is detailed and well written.

s
sandixrose
Dec 05, 2018

Excellent biography. Thorough and well-written where you feel you got to understand what drove Bruce Lee to become the icon he became, sadly not in life but in death.

ArapahoeGalina Jul 26, 2018

The best biography of a legend that have ever was published.

i
illy
Jun 01, 2018

The Kirkus Reviews above (under OPINION > FROM THE CRITICS) states, "Polly recounts a trip to Goa with Green Hornet star James Coburn ..."
Bruce's costar on the Green Hornet was Van Williams, not James Coburn.

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shayana
Jul 24, 2018

shayana thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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