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Nicholson: A Biography [Hardcover]

Marc Eliot
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Nov 2013
For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure—Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world.
    Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson’s working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson’s fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life.
     Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group, Division of Random House Inc (26 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307888371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307888372
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Although informative it was boring to read 6 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although informative it was boring to read. i think jack Nicholson is a wonderful actor but something was missing from the way the material was presented.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good book with great stories 20 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the stories about easy rider my favorite film of all time. Nicholson was brilliant in easy rider. This book is Well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 2 Jan 2014
By Ayla
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present - recommend it to any Jack Nicholson fans. Great insight in to his life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.4 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING 12 Nov 2013
By Richard Masloski - Published on
I was very excited when I heard there was a new bio of Jack Nicholson just released. But once I saw who the author was, I wasn't excited anymore.

One might ask "Why?" Well, Marc Eliot's previous take on the life and times of Steve McQueen was laden with errors of fact and misinterpretation. My review of that 2011 book is here on Amazon.

But perhaps, one might say, an author learns from their mistakes? Well, I was just in my local B&N and thumbed through a copy of Eliot's latest. It is a very short book, by-the-way, for such a storied life that covers 76 years. Anyway, right off early on in the book on page 38 I learned that in 1963 Nicholson was "working on but not acting in Roger Corman's THE RAVEN, often incorrectly remembered as Jack's debut film."

The trouble is Nicholson did star in THE RAVEN. Talk about something being "incorrectly remembered"!

The overwhelming question therefore is: why can't this author accurately research what he is writing about? I see from several reviews of his many other celebrity biographies that Eliot has a track record of factual inaccuracies and contextual misunderstandings.

I will flip through the book - as opposed to buying it! - whenever I am in B&N and report all errors I come across here on this post for those on the fence as to whether to buy or not buy Eliot's latest endeavor.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars He blames his fact checker in the Acknowledgement section...... 7 Dec 2013
By sooz-a-ma-gooz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
And maybe he should but such glaring errors as naming Jennifer as Jack and Rebecca Broussards daughter was astounding. She was Jack's first daughter with first wife Sandra Knight as covered in multiple chapters before the error. I agree with another reviewer about the sloppy facts. Also, some of the details about Jack's love affairs came across as if Eliot was writing his own script right out of the National Enquirer....right Marc......and where did you get those facts. I found the book too focused on the deals and the Hollywood machine. Also, we never really get to see the intimacy of his male relationships ,I.e. Bob Evans, Warren Beatty, John Huston...important people in his generous life.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money 21 Dec 2013
By Wayne Courtois - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a horrible book this is. Supposedly the author has published 24 books prior to this one, and I can only think the others must be much better.

I've never seen sloppier writing. Sentence fragments, vague or missing antecedents, poor subject/verb agreement, sentences that don't make sense...every possible mechanical error is here. And while it's one thing for an author to care nothing about presenting his work in a readable manner, where was the publisher in all this? Is there no such thing as copyediting anymore?

Unfortunately, the content of the book isn't much better than the presentation. We don't learn anything more about Nicholson than what the mass media have already shown us. We see the pussy-hound, drug user, and narcissist; but where is Nicholson the artist, who has to exist somewhere underneath all the muck? Or is there really nothing there? I prefer to think that there is something there, and that Nicholson deserves better.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy! 28 Dec 2013
By CPerc - Published on
This book is written very poorly. Unbelievable to think that someone actually edited this mess and published this trash. It is fragmented in many areas but is mostly a run-on sentence of irrelevant names and obscure relationships. It is a complete bore. Do not waste your money. I would have given it zero stars but it is not an option.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 29 Oct 2013
By J Clancy - Published on
I became a fan of Mr. Eliot after reading his Michael Douglas biography and have since gone back and read his earlier works on Phil Ochs (fantastic), Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood, and others. I find his strongest attribute is not only writing about the person but also about the world that person lived in. Jack Nicholson is no exception.

Nicholson has lived an incredible life with a career that spans over five decades and Eliot makes each one interesting and accessible. I highly recommend this book for its story of one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood.
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