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Steve McQueen [Paperback]

Marc Eliot
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 9.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2012
Steve McQueen is one of America’s legendary movie stars best known for his hugely successful film career in classics such as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, and The Towering Inferno as well as for his turbulent life off-screen and impeccable style. His unforgettable physical beauty, his soft-spoken manner, his tough but tender roughness, and his aching vulnerability had women swooning and men wanting to be just like him. Today—nearly thirty years after he lost his battle against cancer at the age of fifty—McQueen remains “The King of Cool.” Yet, few know the truth of what bubbled beneath his composed exterior and shaped his career, his passions, and his private life. 
Now, in Steve McQueen, New York Times bestselling author, acclaimed biographer, and film historian, Marc Eliot captures the complexity of this Hollywood screen legend. Chronicling McQueen’s tumultuous life both on and off the screen, from his hardscrabble childhood to his rise to Hollywood superstar status, to his struggles with alcohol and drugs and his fervor for racing fast cars and motorcycles, Eliot discloses intimate details of McQueen’s three marriages, including his tumultuous relationships with Neile Adams and Ali MacGraw, as well as his numerous affairs. He also paints a full portrait of this incredible yet often perplexing career that ranged from great films to embarrassing misfires. Steve McQueen, adored by millions, was obsessed by Paul Newman, and it is the nature of that obsession that reveals so much about who McQueen really was. Perhaps his greatest talent was to be able to convince audiences that he was who he really wasn’t, even as he tried to prove to himself that he wasn’t who he really was.
With original material, rare photos, and new interviews, Eliot presents a fascinating and complete picture of McQueen’s life.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA) (2 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307453227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307453228
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘This is an excellent biography – Marc Eliot clearly knows his way around Hollywood. Worth reading, if not for McQueen, then for its considerable insight into the business side of Hollywood.’ – Lynn Barber

(The Sunday Times (Culture))

‘Fascinating portrait of the insecure, complex and haunted film icon…an illuminating account of a life lived on the edge.’

(Lancashire Evening Post) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Marc Eliot’s biographies of Cary Grant and James Stewart have also been published by Aurum. His other books include biographies of Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles. He lives in New York. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The work of Steve McQueen 5 Nov 2011
By wogan
This Steve McQueen biography can be an interesting perusal of his life through his work. There is little mentioned of his personal life except a bit about his youth and through the biographies of 2 of his wives, Neile Adams and Ali MacGraw. There are some quotes from Steve, and his friends/coworkers, mainly concerning relating to his work.
The book has a limited number of pages about his life before show business, but the main substance relates to his work in motion pictures, why and how he chose the roles he did.

There is a confusing recounting of the early stages of the movie `The Great Escape'. The author writes the prison camp, Stalag LuftIII was just outside Munich, then a few pages later states it was in Poland. He also claims the officers in the prison knew about D-Day and planned the escape to help divert German forces. The diversion is an historical fact, but it is never explained how these prisoners could have been aware of the date of D-Day???
The most surprising omission to me was that in the beginning of the book where Steve's time in the marines is recounted the author tells of McQueen being assigned to "scrub and repair asbestos-laden pipes". Nowhere is this referred to when he is diagnosed with mesothelioma.

One can see the business technicalities of the film industry in this biography. We also read of the many faults, the drug use and drinking and the violent tendencies at times, of McQueen to his wives and others; but we also are made aware of McQueen's extraordinary talent. There are some questions about the accuracy of what has been written in this book, but we do learn about the essential times and life of Steve McQueen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing 16 Nov 2011
A let down. This book is completely sensationalised and manipulates McQueen's story, to simply read like a tabloid. Besides the errors the main issue is that is selectively repeats the good research undertaken by other biographer's. Personally, i prefer either of Marshall Terrill's biographies. I read his first one over a decade ago and his latest one is even better. By comparison, Eliot's biography is a poor man's account of McQueen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great 11 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good swift delivery. This was a gift for my husband for his birthday that is later this month so can't comment on book as a whole. However the condition was good and it looks ok. Would use this seller again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and not Illuminating 16 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Yet again Elliot has produced a wordy book (I always think he's submitting a thesis that's not going to get a good grade) not backed up by anything of substance. Consistent with his previous books, I get a sense that he hasn't actually seen many of the films the subject made. And, pretentious though it is to say it (and faintly ridiculous to say it about such a prolific writer on the subject) I don't think he really understands film. He makes mistakes, too. Yes, Tuesday Weld was married to Dudley Moore, but about ten years after Elliot suggests. His biggest howler, though, is when discussing the Frank Sinatra's film The Detective. He states that it's based on a novel written in 1954 (which may well be true) but goes on to write that it was previously filmed in 1954, directed by Robert Hamer and starring Alec Guinness, and known in the UK as Father Brown. This is mind-bogglingly stupid. Elliot obviously has seen neither film, and has clearly never even heard of GK Chesterton's famous clerical detective. Even given that stunning ignorance, did it not occur to him that you'd be looking long and hard at a British fifties thriller starring Alec Guinness before you mistook it for a late sixties one starring Frank Sinatra? Also irritating is Elliot's habit of always referring to films in passing by referring to them as possessions of the director. This is okay at the higher end, but when your discussing a minor film with no pretensions, to attribute auteurism to it is just pretentious and idiotic. In the past I've left Elliot alone (and despite all the caveats haven't minded his books) but after reading Steve McQueen, I'm afraid I've snapped!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cool 15 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent read did not stop reading from the moment I started and was pleasantly surprised by all the information and facts.Steve McQueen even though a troubled man is still one of my idol's.
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