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Michael Douglas: A Biography Hardcover – September 18, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952363
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,483,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
At the outset, this book appears to be more a biography of Michael's father, rather than Michael! When finishing the last chapter, my knowledge of Michael's work was more extensive than knowing the man, himself; disappointing result of hours invested, in an attempt to learn something about the man as a person - off screen, and away from the tabloids. I would not recommend this book to anyone, unless they are seeking reference material for another book about a celebrity's career accomplishments.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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