From Publishers Weekly
Terrell reprises the warts-and-all portrait of the mercurial Steve McQueen, aided by 32 pages of intimate photographs. Building on the foundation of his 1993 Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel, he delves into the actor's turbulent childhood with an alcoholic, free-loving mother and an absentee father, making for a combustible personality, constantly fighting for his sense of self, not trusting easily, and becoming an at-risk teen in trouble with the law. After a stint with the Marines, McQueen broke on the New York theater scene with an Actors Studio pedigree, a highly rated TV series, and a collection of blockbuster films including The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Getaway, and Bullitt. Terrell's psychologizing of his subject can be too much at times, but in the end he presents an engaging chronicle of McQueen's lifelong inner demons, competitiveness, single-mindedness, obsessive desire to triumph, romantic misfires with women, and final dogged battle with cancer. (Oct.) (c)
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Approaching the thirtieth anniversary of Steve McQueen’s death, Terrill builds on his previous work, Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel (1994), to delve further into the star’s life. McQueen, known for his ultracool and antiheroic movie persona, started out life in rural Indiana. Born to a young, alcoholic woman and abandoned by his father, he was left in the care of his grandparents. Reunited with his mother at age eight, he was introduced to a series of her abusive and violent boyfriends. Compounding his problems were his partial deafness from a childhood ear infection and his dyslexia, making his adjustment to his new life particularly challenging. The young McQueen frequently got into trouble and soon found himself remanded to a home for troubled teenage boys. Following that, he joined the U.S. Marines and used the G.I. bill to study acting in New York. There, his rebellious angst and good looks helped him become a fixture of the theater scene, with movie and television success soon following. Terrill provides behind-the-scenes stories spanning McQueen’s career, his tumultuous love life, his greatest films, and, eventually, his fight with cancer. Well-written and exhaustively detailed. --Kathleen Hughes