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Endless Highway Hardcover – November 15, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

David is the Carradine brother who played Woody Guthrie in the movies, not to be confused with another one, Keith, who played Will Rogers on Broadway. Their father was character actor John Carradine, and David Carradine says they were once considered princes of Hollywood. His autobiography is breezy and anecdotal and so good-natured?even when blaming everyone else for all its author's failures?that only toward the end does it come through as the dreary catalogue of human disaster it actually is. Carradine tried to kill himself when he was five. Later, his drunken mother, confusing him with his long-departed father, tried to seduce him. Schooling consisted of one expulsion after another. The high point of his acting career came in the early 1970s with Kung Fu, a popular TV series. As recorded here, the rest of his adult life is remembered in terms of LSD, pot, peyote, cocaine, alcohol, unsuccessful films, cars, horses, wives and wandering children. And always there are blithely belabored excuses for everything. The book ends with a long journal of the first seven months of 1995, with Carradine attending A.A. meetings and shooting a new Kung Fu series on the cheap in Canada. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Admirers of the popular Kung Fu television series may be disappointed that Carradine, who starred as the introspective, ascetic Kwai Chang Caine, reveals himself in this autobiography as a fairly stereotypical, thrice-married Hollywood actor fond of fast cars, women, drugs, and tequila. While a narrative along these lines has some entertainment potential, Carradine's unexciting prose is rather trite and at times simply crass, making the reader wish he had collaborated with a professional writer to edit the overlong text and more eloquently express his innermost feelings. Most interesting is Carradine's recollections of his famous father, John Carradine, whose friend John Barrymore made a lasting impression on David and influenced his acting style. His poignant description of his father's death in Milan is one of the few moments when genuinely sensitive emotion seems to come across. Considerably more engrossing is David's book Spirit of Shaolin (LJ 12/91), in which he discusses the making of Kung Fu and his involvement with Eastern philosophy and martial arts. Recommended only for comprehensive film/television collections.?Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 647 pages
  • Publisher: Journey Editions; 1st edition (November 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885203209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885203205
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
this book is one of the rare books I have read more than once, and everytime I read it, there is always something new to learn about him. it's worth getting even if you have to go throught your pulbic libary to get it!
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Format: Hardcover
Well I took my time with this one after plowing through David's most recent book (The Kill Bill Diary). It was worth the trip, but it is a long and winding one, and one could argue on the negative side that it is a little repetitive. At 647 pages, it's probably 200 too long, and while you would never expect an autobiography to be objective, the editor probably should have been. While over-long the only section that could have been completely dispensed with is the last 50 pages which is sort of a journal about the writing of the book and his attempts to get sober and repair his sometimes strained relationship with his daughter. It's somewhat confusing, lacking in style, and certainly takes you out of the story you've been following (the entire tone seems off) and the real ending of the book occurs at Part 4 where he sums up his "journey" quite well.

One word of note to anyone looking for interesting stories of Kung Fu. Look somewhere else. This book is about his "life" which, of course the TV show occupied only a small part. If you are fascinated by children of movie stars this book is very interesting as David does not get his first TV job until Chapter 42 / Page 268! Kung Fu doesn't really get mentioned until page 344 in a chapter entitled "Grasshopper."

What's amazing to me is the level of detail in the stories of his life. Some of the mundane stuff (first girlfriends and petty squabbles and drunken episodes) are rendered with an amazing amount of detail. I wondered if he had always kept a journal? Did people help his memory with stories about the incidents? This isn't explained, but the details make for a fascinating portrait that I don't think is normally found in a memoir (perhaps an in-depth bio, but not a memoir, which can often be self-serving).
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Format: Hardcover
Colorful and intriguing tale of David's life and career, told in his own inimitable style. Especially recommended for readers who remember him from the original KUNG FU series, or enjoy today's updated version of the series. Despite his reputation as one of Hollywood's "bad boys", particularly in his younger days, David has mellowed in recent years. He pulls no punches and is almost brutally honest in many places, but he applies this same straightforward honesty to his own failures and shortcomings, so it's not just another "look how everyone has screwed me over" story.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating and intelligent read. I couldn't put it down so read more than half the first day. Last quarter of the book dragged a bit for me and yet was still interesting. It might not have dragged had I not read it all so fast.
This should definitely be read on tape by the author. It's that entertaining and the author is so obviously talented. It does remind me a bit of the way I feel when I read books about the Fitzgeralds. By the end I'm somewhat alcohol soaked, as I experience the author's fast-paced and raucus existence.
I learned of the book when I heard Quentin Tarantino highly praising it on TV. He not only loved the book but while he was reading it he realized he'd found the actor to play Bill in his movie, "Kill Bill."
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Format: Hardcover
It took me a week to read,and enjoyed every minute of it.I like it when he said he's a writer now.I am a unknown writer so I understand.His nickname Pokey as a child was great.His writing was real,you went away from the book with the feeling you know him.Better than the people you really know because they don't write their life story.
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By A Customer on April 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I thought that ENDLESS HIGHWAY was an interesting book. It showed a lot of what Carradine went through, and his triumphs. It has amusing moments and memories in it, along with powerful ones. It gives you a new dimension to add to that of which you see on television.
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Format: Hardcover
Great biography and cringe inducing in wonderful ways because Carradine had no issues with making himself out to be who he actually was; no crap, nor artifice just a very sexually attractive, adventurous and talented man who came from a chaotic actors family. Why anyone would read this an expect some kind of moral, biblical redemption is beyond me, this man personifies Hollywood in the 70's while being completely unique and kind of a loner. He was multi-talented, physically awesome and very, very handsome plus he knew it and had fun with it! Children of stars rarely make it to the ripe old age of 72. Had his life not been cut tragically short, its is clear from this read that he'd have been going well into his 90's. Rest in peace David.
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Format: Hardcover
Very well written and extremely detailed autobiography by Carradine. How he remembered all of those details about relationships, marriages, movie and TV shootings is incredible! And all wrapped up chronologically with photos from childhood through his Kung Fu TV days up to the 1995 publishing date - amazing! What floored me most is how honest he is about himself - and his kind of "fast cars, women and drinking" Hollywood lifestyle - a total contrast to the Kwai Chang Caine character and martial arts aficionado he is most famous for. That shows what a talented actor David Carradine truly is and that he is a human being as well as an icon. I found his writing and the book to be honest and entertaining.
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