7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A High School Kid Could Write A Better McQueen Biography,
This review is from: Steve McQueen: A Biography (Hardcover)
Your time and money are better spent elsewhere. There's absolutely nothing new or revelatory here and the book is plagued by innumerable errors throughout. Far from entertaining, I found myself cringing with disgust at the author's blatant disregard for accurate and truthful reporting.
For example, the boat in Steve's only Oscar-nominated film The Sand Pebbles is referred to as the "San Pueblo." (p. 163) It's really the San Pablo. The author refers to Neile supposedly arriving in a "Ford Mustang convertible" for an interview with Hedda Hopper during the filming of Never So Few (p. 67). Never So Few was shot and released in 1959. The Ford Mustang debuted in 1964. That's not just sloppy journalism, it makes me suspect the author simply "invented" details and events along the way.
Eliot couldn't even get the date of Steve's death correct. Depth is entirely absent in this "biography", and it seems the author could only be bothered with the most superficial account of various events in Steve's life. In fact the entire book reads like a high school kid's term paper rushed to completion. Only most high schoolers probably would have written in a more lucid manner.
An example of the author's "elegance." During the filming of Love with the Proper Stranger, Natalie Wood kept trying to seduce Steve. McQueen resisted her advances, but even if he would've been receptive, the author claims he couldn't have acted on it because "Throughout the production, Neile clung to Steve like a tick to a dog's neck." (p. 132) Yes, very classy and elegant writing.
Further, there's no wit to be found here, only a snide and condescending tone throughout. According to Eliot, Steve was up for the role of Superman in the 1978 film. "Steve was interested in the project - for the right price, of course - but when the Salkinds saw him in person they decided he was too old and fat to play Superman." (p. 297) Again, a teenager could've written with more tact.
Steve McQueen: The Life and Legend of a Hollywood Icon by Marshall Terrill and Neile McQueen's My Husband, My Friend are far superior resources and both are enjoyable books. Avoid this one at all costs.