Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

A Life

Book - 2018
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Bruce Lee made martial arts a global phenomenon. He bridged the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. He smashed long-held stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans. And yet, almost a half-century after his sudden death at age thirty-two, there has not been a definitive account of the film legend's life. Until now. Following years of research that included more than one hundred interviews--with Lee's family, friends, business associates, and even the actress in whose bed he died--Matthew Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon. Polly explores Lee's boyhood as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his troublemaking teenage years that got him sent away to America; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming instructor to movie stars like Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing roles go to white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a skyrocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking death, which even today remains the subject of controversy. This is an honest, revealing, and long overdue look at an impressive yet imperfect man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played onscreen.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2018.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781501187629
Characteristics: x, 640 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.


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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.

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.

ArapahoeGalina Jul 26, 2018

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

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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Jul 24, 2018

shayana thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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