Book Review: American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood by Marc Eliot

I borrowed this book from the local library.
American Rebel by Marc Eliot
As a big Eastwood fan I was looking forward to reading this biography.

American Rebel” by Marc Eliot is divided into three parts:
Part 1 – From Aimless to Actor – which follows Eastwood from birth until 1979
Part 2 – From Actor to Auteur – which takes place from 1979 to 1990
Part 3 – From Auteur to Oscar – which takes place from 1990 to 2009

The Good:
This book was a fascinating read and reminded me of Mr. Eastwood’s body of work in-front and behind the camera. I knew that Eastwood is a cinematic genius and the book cemented that opinion. The book emphasizes the struggle which Clint Eastwood fights everyday during his life to maintain his independence and individuality from the Hollywood studios as well as society in general.

The Bad:
There is nothing new in this uninspiring book. Nothing which is not available on public record. Reading “American Rebel” was like reading a 330 page magazine article. There are no, or very little, anecdotes which make a biography worth reading and gain new insight into the Eastwood persona. The author doesn’t make any new revelations, gives us any new insights and some of his commentary (the ones not quoted from other magazines) I found misguided.

The Ugly:
I don’t really care how Eastwood acts in his personal life and the Entertainment Tonight (TMZ for you younger folks) style of “news” doesn’t appeal to me, yet the author seems to thrive on this sort of gossip, sordid rumors and “he said – she said” court room dramas.
I know this type of information is part of any biography but does the reader really wants to spend reading pages of soap opera type public-record nuances which doesn’t give us any insight into the subject’s personality?

If you are an Eastwood fan you’d enjoy this book – if nothing else to remind you of the vast body of work he has done over the years.
Clint Eastwood’s rags to riches lifelong adventure is an amazing American success story and he deserves a better book – maybe in his own words (I hope).

My rating for American Rebel – 3

Zohar – Man of La Book

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