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Clark Gable: Tormented Star Hardcover – December 14, 2007

2.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Bret's work is the epitome of tabloid titillation...Bret's expose is fascinating."--"Roanoke Times," 5/11/08

About the Author

David Bret's first biography, The Piaf Legend, was published in 1988 to great critical acclaim. Biographies of the French star Mistinguett and Maurice Chevalier followed, and Marlene Dietrich, one of his closest friends, was the subject of his fourth book, fully authorized by Marlene and published shortly after her death. Since then he has written successful biographies of Morrissey, Gracie Fields, Freddie Mercury, Tallulah Bankhead, and Maria Callas.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (December 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078672093X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786720934
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,196,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The first reviewer accurately described this book as trash. I couldn't agree more for exactly the same reasons. If the people who were discussed in this book were alive today, the author David Brett and his publisher would be put out of business after all the lawsuits were settled against them. Nothing in this book is factual AND new. What is new is so highly inflamatory and questionable that it amazes me that it ever appeared in print as non-fiction.
Having read Brett's last two books on Joan Crawford and Valentino, I honestly expected exactly what I got. Fortunately, for the price of a cup of coffee I read this at my local bookstore and didn't waste my money. Brett is incapable of throwing a book together without relying heavily on movie magazine articles and other people's research and/or previously published pieces. That is where his 'facts' begin and end. Then he conjures up some good stories which involve people who have long been dead and cannot sue him for slander. Unfortunately, Brett can't even get his dates right and has a serious problem with places, too. He refers to Gable attending an event at the 'Bilton'. Guess he meant to say the 'Biltmore'. As for Gable's ranch in Encino, it becomes 'Encinal'. Brett also points out that Franchot Tone and Joan Crawford were originally going to be included in an article about Hollywood's Unmarried Couples except he failed to realize that they had already been married for quite some time. Brett also states that Clark Gable rests between Carole Lombard and Kay Gable at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Great Mausoleum. Totally false as Kay Gable was interred a few tiers away from Clark.
The lowest blow comes in the last chapter when Brett questions Gable's son's paternity and the morals of Kay Gable.
Please don't buy this book. I'd hate to see anyone make money off of this trash.
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Format: Hardcover
David Bret's biography of Clark Gable was unworthy of its subject. What could have been a juicy, but interesting biography is instead a complete waste of time. Gable, one of Hollywood's most enduring stars, is missing from this book. After reading the book I seem to have learned absolutely nothing about Gable. Bret offers little if any insight into what Gable was like as a person. He instead spends countless pages describing his movies and when he does get around to any insights they are brief and rushed descriptions.
The worst aspect of this book is the writing. Often I found myself having to reread entire sections because of the illogical sequencing---within a paragraph! Bret would often reference someone or something that he forgot to clarify beforehand. It was maddening.
The book also seems to have not been edited; there were many basic spelling and grammar errors that an elementary student would have caught.
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Format: Hardcover
A well-known definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over, yet all the while expecting a different result. Well, David Bret, British chronicler of such celebrity lives as Valentino, Morrissey, Elvis, Errol Flynn, Joan Crawford, and Edith Piaf, has done it again. As in Camus' famous essay on the myth of Sisyphus, he's pushed the rock all the way to the summit of the mountain, only to have it stop, teeter, and then roll back down to the bottom, crushing him along the way. Once again, despite all his attempts to win some sort of respectability, he has provided the world with yet another model of how not to go about writing a biography. He seems to think that by continually assailing the book stalls with questionable attempts at recreating past lives, he may yet acquire, by sheer attrition, a favourable reputation.

He is sadly deluded. His whole enterprise banks on the fact that when dealing with the dead, there are no laws of criminal libel. The dead have no rights or recourse of redress to their reputations. However, there should, and must be, a law against criminal ineptitude. Libeling the dead aside, Bret's books characteristically exhibit the equally serious offences of terrible writing, frequent misprints, misspellings,
misstatements of fact, bad taste, and - worst of all - an almost supernatural lack of acquaintance with correct research methods. All of which means that if you are a serious-minded person who wants to discover something about a major film star of the past, buy CLARK GABLE: TORMENTED STARS at your own peril. You will learn almost nothing about William Clark Gable, figure of Hollywood history, but everything about David Bret, frustrated celebrity hanger-on and would-be literary mover and
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Format: Paperback
I've always loved Gable, and have read several bios on him (the best being "Long Live the King"), but this one should have come in comic book format. David Bret is a fantasy writer, not a biographer by any means. He projects his own wishful thinking onto his subject, or victim, by insisting with no proof whatsoever, that he was anything but straight. According to Bret's writing, everyone in Hollywood and their kid brother was or is gay. [...] No matter what Gable did to get ahead in Hollywood, his preference was women.
The only redeeming quality about this piece of junk is to turn it into a parlor game entitled "How many mistakes can you find per page?" Waste of time, money, and eyestrain. I would'nt even give this book away; it would be too embarrassing.
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