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Michael Douglas: A Biography Hardcover – September 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Photos of Michael Douglas from the Rebel Road Archive

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner

With Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone

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Michael Douglas and Glenn Close

With Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction

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Michael Douglas and Karl Malden

With Karl Malden, Streets of San Francisco

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Review

“Loaded with juicy tidbits...entertaining.” -Macleans

More About the Author

Marc Eliot is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books on popular culture, among them the highly acclaimed biography Cary Grant, the award-winning Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince, and most recently American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood, plus the music biographies Down Thunder Road: The Making of Bruce Springsteen, To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles, and Death of a Rebel about Phil Ochs. He has been featured in many documentaries about film and music and has written on the media and popular culture for numerous publications. He divides his time among New York City; Woodstock, New York; and Los Angeles. Visit him at marceliot.net.

Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed reading this book, very interesting and easy to read.
Lorna
An excellent biography - more about the man and who he is and good insight into the real world of Hollywood, acting and producing.
Jim Tuttle Music Lover
I found this book to be a bit slow and skipped through a lot of the repetitive stories.
Eileen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J Clancy on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I grew up watching Michael Douglas on the big screen. Romancing the Stone, Wall Street, Black Rain, Fatal Attraction, etc. I had no idea that prior to that Michael was an Academy Award winning producer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Or that he lived on a hippie commune in Santa Barbara. Or that he buddied around with Danny DeVito and was mentored by the great Karl Malden. Or that he was one of the few children of Hollywood stars to successfully live up to his father's legend. In his career Michael seems to have struck gold more than once. Outside of his career his impact has extended from his role as United Nation Messenger of Peace to his recent struggles with cancer.

Mr. Eliot's biography seems to have found the happy balance in telling the story of one of Hollywood's most beloved actors and producers. Eliot also points out that it wasn't always that way and that Douglas' struggle was a bumpy one. The narrative is respectful and informative and I found myself turning the pages one after the next. All in all a great read!

I recommend this book highly!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crabigail Cassidy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book was definitely superior to the last book I read by this author. It is fairly straightforward and appears to be thoroughly researched. The one thing I can say definitely is that I enjoyed it a lot. It kept my interest throughout. It covers not only Douglas' career with the hits and missteps, but also looks at his personal life in detail.
Probably most interesting to me were the early years which had not been documented in the press for the world to see. As the son of a celebrity, what had been covered were photo ops and occasional items which touted family togetherness. What is the contained in this book portrays a much different picture of Kirk Douglas and Michael. While not exactly a hard luck tale about childhood abandonment, it does portray a father who is absent most of the time and a son who longs for reunification and acceptance. In this respect the reader will get a dual bio of Kirk as an actor, husband, father, and womanizer and Michael.
As things often have a way of coming full circle, Michael is also seen in much the same light as his father. He clearly makes the same mistakes as Kirk when it comes to his first wife and son with some fairly unfortunate results.
If there is one thing that I probably don't much like in this book is the author's tendency to project Michael's thoughts and feelings in regard to his dealings with all his children and both of his wives. It is easy to speculate but in the end those thoughts may not be accurate or even realistic.
Ultimately, this is an interesting book and will enhance its author's rep as a biographer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kramax on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a major disappointment. Those who have given it positive reviews are not regular readers of biographies. I am a fan of Douglas and when I saw the book I thought it would be interesting to read of his life and career. What a waste of money this title is. Just google all the media on Douglas over his career and paste it all together and save yourself the cost of the book. There is no investigative journalism, no exclusive information that one cannot get elsewhere. There is no in depth reporting of Douglas' marriages or his cancer illness. All that is written on his career is stock standard. After a couple of pages I was bored rigid and flicked through the rest of the book - all the same, just jumping from one subject to the next. As one resource ends, so does the subject. Hopefully in the future Douglas will write his own biography. However in the meantime do not bother with this nothing of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Cammarota on April 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a lot of bios and I found this one very disappointed. I was surprised how shallow Michael Douglas was and I really didn't think the author pushed into areas of Michael's life as deeply as he should have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AvidReader on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What I got from this book - was an interesting view into the life of an actor whose work I have admired. Nothing too
in depth and the writing style personal. A good easy read for hotel evenings and mid range flights -
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthony A. Smith on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Like many Generation X'ers, my list of favorite male actors has always included Michael Douglas, who starred in several of the most commercially successful (as well as culturally significant) Hollywood films of all time. My appreciation of Douglas goes back even further, when he co-starred with Karl Malden in the Streets of San Francisco. As a native Californian, San Francisco, along with CHIPS, was one of those shows I watched religiously, week after week. When the handsome son of Kirk Douglas made the jump to the silver screen, I followed his every move, and have continued to do so for the last thirty years. For me, Douglas had the combination of intelligence, charisma, believability (flaws), and leading man looks. Also, Douglas's performances typically possessed an underlying sense of angst, perhaps anger, which always made his characters even more compelling.

Michael Douglas has never quite achieved the level of critical praise reserved for the rare likes of the DeNiro's and Pacino's--even though he has won multiple Oscars--but he is inarguably one of the most iconic male actors in Hollywood history, thanks to his roles in The China Syndrome, Romancing the Stone, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, and of course Wall Street. Perhaps better than any other actor of his generation, Douglas became the on-screen embodiment of the flawed, contemporary American male. He created compelling characters who, despite their quirks and dark sides, gave an audience plenty to root for; and when you weren't rooting for him, as was the case with his unforgettable Gordon Gecko, you were nonetheless fascinated by the complexity of the character.
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