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Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man [Hardcover]

Christopher Bray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 17.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010

Sean Connery's creation of secret agent James Bond invigorated Britain and its cinema, allowing a cash-strapped, morale-sapped country in decline to fancy itself still a player on the world stage. But while Bond would make Connery the first actor to command a million dollar-plus fee, the man himself was forever pouring scorn on the fantasies audiences found it increasingly hard to separate him from.

Undaunted, Connery went on to prove himself one of the cinema's most relaxed and assured stars and a guaranteed box-office draw. Moulding and remoulding his image to fit the contours of the age, Connery has gone from Sadeian Sixties sex symbol to the sagacious magus figure to which today's young stars are forever turning.

Spirited, argumentative and sardonically celebratory, Christopher Bray's SEAN CONNERY is both a

biography of a star and an investigation of what can happen to a man when the images he creates take over his life. And it's an analysis of what it means to be star-struck - a critical tribute to a secular icon who has shaped so many dreams.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571238076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238071
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'[An] insightful study.' --Independent on Sunday

'Bray, writing with the wit, skill and aplomb which made his recent biography of Connery s fellow 60s icon, Michael Caine, such a riveting read ... As should any biographer worth his salt, Bray takes particular delight in challenging the assumptions, apocrypha, received wisdom and PR nonsense which plagued previous biographies, and resolves to expose the roots of the false rumours of Connery s alleged propensity for off-screen violence, including towards women ... This may be the preeminent Connery biography even without the word auto in front.' -- Empire, 5-star review >> 'Christopher Bray's biography offers detail Sean's own book missed, and chronicles his journey from weightlifter to global icon with the enthusiasm of a lifelong fan.' -- Mail on Sunday >> 'Bray is an eloquent and inventive writer ... Bray has written a compelling study of stardom and what it signifies, both to the star and to his followers ... Bray - a witty, elegant writer ... His book amounts to an exceptionally vivid and searching account of what it is to be a fan.' -- Simon Callow, Guardian >> 'Bray valliantly tries to fill the gaps in our knowledge ... provides an entertaining resume of the man's career.' -- Sunday Telegraph >> 'This greatly entertaining book... a meditation on the weirdness of stardom and power of fantasy.' -- Frances Wilson, TLS >> ' Fascinating' -- --Total Film --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

For almost fifty years, men around the world have been measuring themselves against our age's prime definition of masculinity: Sean Connery.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is very thorough and enjoyable. It discusses the early days of entering the movie scene, the successes, and later the apparent frustrations of a talented actor trying to gain acceptance as a Serious Actor, and to try to escape the Bond mantra.
What I found quite frustrating was the frequent footnotes - referring to where the information was gleaned, although some would say this is essential, but more so from the writer's use of - to me - some very obscure words in his narrative. He is a very talented and well educated writer but this spoilt the book for me. I don't enjoy reading a book with a dictionary constantly at my side.
That said, it will take its place on my bookshelf together with my other Connery books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Connery Worship 7 July 2013
By DL07
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm normally not that interested in biographies but bought this as a Birthday present for my Grandmother and took the time to read it before sending it to her. Christopher Bray certainly has great enthusiasm for writing about Connery, almost making up for the complete lack of access to the man himself with sheer hero worship. But while I found the opening chapters about Connery's childhood and early career the most interesting, the rest of the book then becomes a kind of case for the defence excusing every questionable movie (and every questionable move) Connery's ever made.

Because Bray is clearly such a fan, Connery can do absolutely no wrong. His infamous defence of hitting women aside (Bray actually makes quite a good case here that Connery's words were taken somewhat out of context and blown out of all proportion), Connery is also credited with "Creating" James Bond. Forget Ian Fleming, Terrence Young, Albert R. Broccoli, etc.- it was all Connery! There would have been no series without him according to Bray and the post- Connery films barely rate a mention.

Bray does briefly- and somewhat grudgingly- praise George Lazenby's physicality, Timothy Dalton's intensity and Pierce Brosnan's looks but hasn't a good word for either Roger Moore or Daniel Craig (tellingly, the two most successful Bonds along with Connery), describing their films as being inferior to the Die Hard sequels as an example.

He also has- to my mind- some funny ideas about Connery's later films. Two of his best- Highlander and The Hunt for Red October- are completely slammed for not giving him enough screen time (making me wonder if he bothered watching them properly at all).
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Format:Paperback
This biography of Sean Connery, with its description assessment of his work in theatre and especially film, is a worthwhile read. It falls far short of being one of the great books on film, but Bray does his conscientiously enough, so reading the book pays dividends in understanding for those who admire Connery as a man, as a Scottish patriot, as an handsome dude of studly heft and macho bearing (something that Bray himself actually emphasises), and as an actor. The author discusses the films as they occur in the biography of Connery`s life, not apart from it, which works just fine. The illustrations are good, though perhaps not always what piques the reader`s curiosity the most.

The book is fairly copiously documented, though it would have been so much more convenient to put in references as footnotes than as backnotes, which would have saved the reader constant flipping back and forth in the tightly bound book (at least that being the case with the paperback`s glue binding). Bray uses much colloquial British usage (English and some Scots), which means for the North American reader that it is a good idea to have at hand one or two U.K.-published dictionaries. Two good editions of Chamber`s Dictionary did that job rather well, most of the time, for this reader.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
This biography of Sean Connery, with its description assessment of his work in theatre and especially film, is a worthwhile read. It falls far short of being one of the great books on film, but Bray does his conscientiously enough, so reading the book pays dividends in understanding for those who admire Connery as a man, as a Scottish patriot, as an handsome dude of studly heft and macho bearing (something that Bray himself actually emphasises), and as an actor. The author discusses the films as they occur in the biography of Connery`s life, not apart from it, which works just fine. The illustrations are good, though perhaps not always what piques the reader`s curiosity the most.

The book is fairly copiously documented, though it would have been so much more convenient to put in references as footnotes than as backnotes, which would have saved the reader constant flipping back and forth in the tightly bound book (at least that being the case with the paperback`s glue binding). Bray uses much colloquial British usage (English and some Scots), which means for the North American reader that it is a good idea to have at hand one or two U.K.-published dictionaries. Two good editions of Chamber`s Dictionary did that job rather well, most of the time, for this reader.
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Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for Bond/Connery fans 30 May 2013
By David J. Makichuk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Mr. Bray's book on Sean Connery is a must read for any Bond/Connery fan ... while I would have liked more personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stuff, and less in the way of analysis, there is a fair bit of interesting info sprinkled here -- enough to keep you reading -- and, some pretty savvy reflections on the career of this remarkable man ... you may not agree with it all, but it's clear the author did his research ... there is also one great quote from Jerry Zucker, towards the end, which nearly caused me to rupture myself in laughter ... that alone, made it worthwhile, IMO ...
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Truly Important Book on Film, but One Which Really Does Help to Understand This Celebrity`s Character and Accomplishments 23 Dec 2012
By C.-P. Gerald Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This biography of Sean Connery, with its description assessment of his work in theatre and especially film, is a worthwhile read. It falls far short of being one of the great books on film, but Bray does his conscientiously enough, so reading the book pays dividends in understanding for those who admire Connery as a man, as a Scottish patriot, as an handsome dude of studly heft and macho bearing (something that Bray himself actually emphasises), and as an actor. The author discusses the films as they occur in the biography of Connery`s life, not apart from it, which works just fine. The illustrations are good, though perhaps not always what piques the reader`s curiosity the most.

The book is fairly copiously documented, though it would have been so much more convenient to put in references as footnotes than as backnotes, which would have saved the reader constant flipping back and forth in the tightly bound book (at least that being the case with the paperback`s glue binding). Bray uses much colloquial British usage (English and some Scots), which means for the North American reader that it is a good idea to have at hand one or two U.K.-published dictionaries. Two good editions of Chamber`s Dictionary did that job rather well, most of the time, for this reader.
2.0 out of 5 stars Sean Connery 7 Sep 2012
By Rani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a biography, it was felt readers were being kept at arms' length - was too remote. Could not get to know the real person, his feelings and experiences. Film buffs would probably get more from this.
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