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Bruce Lee

A Life
Durée : 19 h et 6 min
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Description

The first authoritative biography 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 32, journalist and best-selling 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 100 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.

©2018 Matthew Polly (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Critiques

"…an engrossing examination of the life of a martial arts movie star and his shocking, early death…In what is certainly the definitive biography of Lee, Polly wonderfully profiles the man who constructed a new, masculine Asian archetype and ushered kung fu into pop culture." (Publishers Weekly)

"Students of martial arts, film history, and the 1970s alike will find much to enjoy in Polly’s homage." (Kirkus Reviews)

"The first noteworthy treatment of its subject—and a definitive one at that...Fascinating narrative threads proliferate." (The New York Times Book Review)

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David Quigley
  • 11/10/2018

Fantastic book about an amazing human

This review is for the audiobook version.

As someone who has been a Bruce Lee fan for his entire life, I was a little bit hesitant about buying this book. I was afraid it would just be a rehash of all of the other books written about him, many of which are just hearsay and myth. I am so happy I was wrong about this assumption.

This book presents Bruce Lee as a human being. It presents all that is good and all of his vices. Don't get this book expecting it to make him out to be a god-like figure, because he wasn't. He was a man, albeit a very self-aware and self realized one. And that is the reason I love this book. It made Bruce Lee human which is something I have been looking for for a long time and his biographies. It also showed what an amazing person he was, both as a martial artist and in general. I loved it and I love Bruce Lee even more after this book.

The audiobook version is outstanding. The reader is very expressive and presents the book in a way that is easily accessible and enjoyable. It is close to 20 hours long but I wish it was longer. That is not to say that there was not a ton of information contained in the book, but instead that I wish the book hadn't ended. I highly recommend it!

6 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin Love
  • 16/06/2018

Ever Want to Meet Bruce Lee?

This is as close as we’ll ever get to meeting Bruce Lee. I’ve watched and read countless biographies on Bruce Lee and this is the only time I’ve ever come away feeling like I got to really “know” the man. This biography goes past the lengend and the gossip and show the man on his journey, warts and all.

This accounting of Bruce Lee’s life felt, real, sincere, and honest. Thanks Matthew Polly!

The narrator was no slouch either. His narration is like a great special effect, you didn’t know there was one. The biography was read simply, and I REALLY appreciated his pronunciation of Chinese words. Not try-hard, but not annoyingly English. The narrator didn’t make it about his performance, he simply performed it. Thanks Johnathan Ross!

5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ken Gullette
  • 17/12/2018

Best Book Ever Written about the Little Dragon

When I was 20, Bruce Lee inspired me to begin studying martial arts. Now, 45 years later, I am still studying, and Bruce Lee still provides inspiration.

I have purchased many Bruce Lee books since 1973. None of them approach Matthew Polly's book in detail, quality and entertainment value.

For the first time, I feel as if I know who Bruce Lee really was. Matthew was also inspired by Bruce, but he takes a journalist's approach, revealing the flaws, the temper, the tantrums, the infidelity, but also the intense drive and perfectionism that made Bruce Lee the ultimate martial arts symbol more than four decades after his death. Matthew's exhaustive research and the interviews he conducted reveal the real man behind the martial arts superstar.

Stories from Bruce's childhood reveal a privileged kid and a young bully who knew how to get other kids to follow him. And the stories from his adult years show a man who was pushed by his ego to defeat discrimination and become the top action star and the most famous martial artist in the world.

Bruce Lee was a complex, contradictory man, preaching Taoist and Zen philosophy while being fueled by ego and narcissism, and a quest to drive the best cars and soak in praise for his work.

Along the way, Matthew recounts details and stories that will amaze you and make you laugh, like the time "Judo" Gene LeBell carried Bruce around the set of the "Green Hornet," and how Steve McQueen made his friend want to kill him.

For 45 years, I thought Warner Brothers was crazy not to have hired Bruce to play Caine in the "Kung Fu" TV show, but reading this book, I now understand that it was a good decision. Matthew also goes into great detail on the inquest that was held after Bruce died, and the true cause of Bruce's death, in Matthew's opinion, is a revelation that made me think, "Of course!"

I am in love with this book. I highly recommend it.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Gong
  • 02/12/2018

Great story and research, mediocre narration

The book is fantastic, giving great insight in Bruce’s upbringing, work ethic, and strengths and flaws. The exception is the narrator who has clearly done no research into any pronunciation of the Chinese names or works. He pronounces Gong Fu as Gun Foo and Shi Fu as See Fu, two errors that’s repeated over a hundred times in the book. If he bothered to watched one YouTube interview with Bruce Lee or even Kung Fu Panda, he would have found the proper way to say it.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 02/03/2019

Best Lee biography to date, but far from great

Matthew Polly deserves a lot of credit for attempting to (finally) write a thoroughly researched and comprehensive biography of Bruce Lee. It is an alternately rewarding and frustrating listen, so here are some strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths:
- Polly provides a rational and persuasive argument for the cause of Lee's death. This is a huge contribution.
- Incorporates tons of interviews from people close to Lee.
- Clear understanding of martial arts communities and the tensions that Jeet Kune Do brought to the surface.
- Good work on Lee's early life.
- Moves away from easy mythologizing by including honest and sometimes unflattering details of Lee's personal life.

Weaknesses
- Polly may be knowledgable about martial arts, but he's embarrassingly out of his depth when writing about film and television.
- Context is often underdeveloped, misplaced, or missing.
- Tons of overblown, unconvincing and unsupported causal claims about Lee's impact on the world.
- Frankly, Polly is a poor writer. The book has a glib tone, pulp prose, and idiotic frames of reference.
- Numerous errors in dates, facts, and details. One that made me laugh was the 1979 Bruce Lee Day in Los Angeles attended by Mayor Tom Brady (as opposed to Tom Bradley).

It's faint praise to say that this is the best Bruce Lee biography to date. Bookstores are littered with cheap, inaccurate, and exploitative retellings of Lee's life. Polly's work is a step forward, but this book lacks the seriousness in tone and content that Lee deserves. Hoping there is a film-literate historian out there who can balance the creative, cultural, and historical context to do justice to Lee in a large scale biography.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pierce
  • 01/03/2019

Very well written.

Like most biographies (I listened to the newest Muhammed Ali bio.) Lee sometimes comes across as an ignorant narcissist, (I'm seeing that almost every famous male is relentless about sex.), all my heroes have feet of clay. 
This bio is very well written, and Lee's 15 minutes of fame came at a particularly interesting time in Hollywood and in Hong Kong. 
Lee was fascinated by philosophy, including J. Krishnamurti. Lee was a bibliophile who was rarely seen without a book. 
Will you like him more or less? I don't know. He was much more complex than Ali or Elvis. He was driven. He was a physical marvel. Have you ever seen the video of him playing table tennis using nunchucks? 
This is a look at the emergence of wushu in the US, although the biographer insists on calling it gungfu. Golden Harvest was on its last legs in its battle with the Shaw Brothers.  The US was ripe for a new martial art.
Charles Manson was on the prowl. 
Lee hung out with Steve McQueen. and Karim Abdul Jabbar to name only a few.
Interesting times.
Recommended.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Schubert
  • 13/02/2019

What a life!

Bruce Lee had such a remarkable life, which is brought to light in this engaging narrative.

Highly recommend giving this a listen.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 18/01/2019

Great Book!!

Must listen to this book if you are a Bruce Lee fan. He has been my idol since I was a kid. I thought I knew everything about him. This book gave so many details I didn’t know. Loved the book.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Johann
  • 07/01/2019

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

I loved this book. Bruce Lee has been a childhood hero. Like any hero, he had human flaws but that what made him a person. This book had me hooked and I enjoyed it going to and from work.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Krishan
  • 18/03/2019

Enter the awesome!

A well-researched, well written biography into the life of a cultural icon. A must read.