Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
James Dean: The Mutant King: A Biography Paperback – September 1, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Vividly intimate, engrossing.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
David Dalton has written a number of books, including "Piece of My Heart: A Portrait of Janis Joplin" and "Faithfull: An Autobiography," Coco Pekelis Dalton is the author of "Everything I Know I Learned on Acid." The Daltons live in upstate New York.
Top Customer Reviews
The only problem I have with this book is I wonder how carefully it was fact-checked. There was at least one blatant gaffe in the book, which alleged that James Dean was a big fan of Elvis Presley. Now every Elvis fan knows Presley was a huge fan of James Dean, even to the point where he is said to have memorized all of Dean's lines in the classic "Rebel Without a Cause." The question I have is, was Dean really a fan of Elvis?
On page 195 of the paperback 1983 edition, a friend of Dean's is quoted as saying how much James Dean loved the Elvis hit "Hound Dog," and how Dean loved to wake people up in the middle of the night by calling them on the phone and playing the record when they said "Hello." It's a compelling tale.
Unfortunately, this story cannot be true. By the end of 1955, Elvis had signed on to RCA and had obtained Col. Tom Parker as manager. Elvis was still a regional performer in 1955, and his Sun recordings (today big collectors' items) sold only modestly in the South. Elvis did make appearances on "The Louisiana Hayride," and he made some other appearances on local and regional television programs, but it wasn't until January 1956, when he made his first national television appearance on the Dorsey Brothers program "Stage Show," that he became a sensation. Furthermore, Elvis did NOT record "Hound Dog" until July of 1956, almost a year after Dean's death.Read more ›
David Dalton's Dean biography is one of the best books on James Dean available, because some Dean fans still search for answers and deeper understanding. Why does James Dean still have such a massive number of fans and acolytes worldwide, of all ages, so long after his death? This book helps us with that question.
Our brains are wired for certain heroic archetypes. For many people, Dean is a perfect fit. Dalton tells why James Dean remains an icon and how and why his appeal rose after his death. Dean's story carries strong, mythic resonance. In folklore he would be regarded as a shapeshifter or a trickster. In mythology, as a god. The force of his personality, his beautiful and powerful screen presence, his brief and brilliant career on celluloid--and sadly, his premature and violent end which felt so outrageous, impossible, implausible, so wrong. Dean's death at 24 still angers people--as though he was stolen from us. Anger is a stage of grief. He is so alive on film and in cultural imagery, how can we accept his death?
All that lost potential. Had he not died in his Porsche that hazy late afternoon in California, he would have made more films and most likely would have directed. He might still be alive--an elderly man in his eighties now, and not frozen in time as the eternal, potent youth. To see him grow old and die would have been a different kind of loss, because it would have been incremental, natural, and expected. Dean acquired his elements as mythic, heroic, part trickster, part deity, through early death.Read more ›
Several country versions exist as well, recorded 1953-1956.
My point being, eyewitness testimony or memories are unreliable. Most times due to our human brains being so psychologically prone to confabulation. However, it is all we have in the case of remembering people and events. It is hard to have someone so famous like Dean and not have people "invent" who they think he should've been - instead of who he was. I think we never truly know another human being anyways. We are all of us "touching from a distance" and only scratching the hazy surface of who we ourselves are. Most can only hope to achieve some measure of immortality in their lifetimes. How wonderful on film, how brightly did Dean shine. He shines for the ages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed reading this biography of my favorite actor. The author presented a well-researched account of his life, meteoric rise, and sudden death. Rock on, Jsmes Dean.Published 8 months ago by John K.
I totally am fascinated by James Dean and tend to love all I can read.Published 11 months ago by C. Jay Pees
This is the only biography that describes James Sheldon in Blue Velvet.Published 12 months ago by Yoshiyuki Mukudai
I've read so many books about James Dean. But this is perhaps the most beautifully written. Beautiful, thoughtful prose.Published 20 months ago by Robert L. James
I was appalled to have received THE MUTANT KING with many of the pages having photographs cut out from them making the book unreadable. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Russell Aaronson