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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 49 reviews
on October 10, 2012
This biography of Michael Douglas is interesting as far as it goes. There are details about the production end of the business and the grosses of Douglas's movies as well as very interesting critiques of his interpretation of his roles in Basic Instinct, Romancing the Stone, among others and how his interpretations capture the essence of a particular type of contemporary American male. The disappointment is in the fairly superficial discussion of his relationships with his famous father, his son and his first wife. Undoubtedly these relationships are far more complex and driven than is described, as are his second marriage and his bout with throat cancer. Since all individuals are still living, including the magnificent Kirk, the author probably felt that discretion was necessary. The biography holds the reader's attention but I thought that it didn't do full justice in explaining the life of a gifted, complicated, and somewhat troubled man.
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on December 23, 2012
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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on April 7, 2014
As an avid reader of bios I've admittedly read several of Marc Eliot's. While they're almost always entertaining his books range from average to excellent depending on his subject matter. He sometime doesn't do his research and there are often inaccuracies...hence is subject matter rarely give him direct interviews (but that's ok, since they tend to be biased on themselves).

As far as Michael Douglas bios go I'd say this was pretty informative. It didn't want to dive too deep into his sex addiction and gently breezed on some of this alleged affairs, while only painting ex-wife Diandra & him as 'flawed parents". The only one who really doesn't come out well in this book is papa Kirk, who's self-absorbed with his career and treats Michael (and his brothers) almost as an afterthought.

Good read that was pretty quick and easy to stay on...nothing too deep or philosophical and stays on track thru his early pot-smoking/hippy days as struggling actor to "lucking out" for role as 28 yr old to co-star w/Karl Malden in popular 70s tv show, Streets of San Francisco. Interestingly Malden & Kirk Douglas were longtime friends (since early 1940s) and yet couldn't be more opposite individuals. Malden is renown Hollywood good guy and took Kirk's "recommendation" of son Michael as a favor. Eliot doesn't mention this likely because of no verification but this has been well-known/hinted in Hollywood circles since the show played 40 yrs ago.

Would like to have read deeply into interesting father/son dynamic between Kirk and Michael. Michael really doesn't seem like bad guy - its just his father was/is kind of a self-absorbed jerk who's mixed feelings of his son's success topping even his own's seems real. Interesting that Kirk made MORE $s from his investment/position in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (which he never forgave Michael for not giving him the role he starred in on Broadway & for which he sold Michael the rights to) then any of the earlier successful movies he starred in during his legendary career.

Btw get the paperback edition a lot cheaper if you get the chance...
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on August 10, 2013
Although one "learns" how Michael Douglas ended up in the movies, and succeeding, the book does not give you any real insights into the man. The beginning of the book is so much about Kirk Douglas that I had to check the title of the book a few times to make sure I was reading about Michael.
The characters come off very shallow in this book and indeed, perhaps they are although one believes that this could not possible be the case with people like the Douglas' who seem so fascinating on the screen.
Both Douglas's appear to be nothing more than two super egotists who love nothing more than having sex with as many women as they can. This is o.k and understandable...they are two fascinating, gorgeous men. But, come on. Is this all there is to them??
Michaels' wife, Diandre, comes off as a Waspy bitch, his next wife, Catherine, as a young up and coming actress who makes a good deal with herself by netting Douglas as her daddy/husband, Warren Beatty and Nicolson,as two morons who hang around swimming in his pool and looking for the next victim to have sex with.
Most of the book is pretty boring, almost listing Michael's movies, one after the other, either as success or failures. There were
many pages I simply skipped from boredom.
Michael Douglas deserves a better book than this one. His father Kirk, already wrote a better one about himself .......
Was glad to finish it. Learned nothing.
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on December 23, 2012
This book should be titled "Michael Douglas' Movies" rather than Michael Douglas. We learned a lot about his movies and the trials and tribulations of being an actor and producer and having to live under the shadow of a famous father in the same field. Very little of his personal life was chronicled. The author slammed just about every single movie Douglas has made, saying they were mediocre or worse. I kept reading iot because I thought it would improve, but it did not. This book was mildly entertaining but not really what I was expecting. If you are a Michael Douglas fan, give it a whirl just because it exists, but if this will be your first biography on Michael Douglas, I'd skip it. Just not that interesting.
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on November 13, 2012
I expected more than I received from this biography and found it a little too sympathetic to its subject, for example, by labeling his inadequacies as due to 'passivity' rather than allocating some responsibility for them to him. Michael was obviously an attractive young man with no financial problems who lived the sixties to the limit and the writer makes little effort to connect this period with the events and situations which occurred later in life. The book is well written and maintains the interest of the reader; what it does not do is make an in depth examination of its subject. If the author did so, and found nothing, we who have enjoyed his movies for more than thirty years deserve to be told.
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on October 17, 2012
I thought it talked too much about what films he made, who was in them and the reviews and not enough about his personal life, since mine was on a kindle there was about 20% at the end that just gave information about how they got their information. I thought it was a waste of my time.
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on October 21, 2012
Unbelievably boring account of a rather fascinating man. The writing is so forgettable that I would consistently loose my place and have re-read entire pages. I was unable to complete the book due to total boredom.
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on February 10, 2013
This biography reads more like an accumulation of facts that might have been gleamed from other summaries or articles. The book suffers from a lack of access to Douglas or any associates close enough for real insight into his behaviors. Though the author states that sources-not-to-be-named helped him right, you'd never know it from reading the book. There were no great stories from this life of privelidge, in the limelight.
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on May 30, 2015
Another well written biography from Marc Eliot. Not a Hollywood tell all book. Some great insight into the Douglas family dynamics and the early years of Michael's career. Overall a good read.
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