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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, informative but with some frustration.
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,...
Published on 13 Nov 2011 by T. Swoffer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Connery Worship
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...
Published 14 months ago by DL07


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, informative but with some frustration., 13 Nov 2011
By 
T. Swoffer (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man (Hardcover)
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 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man (Hardcover)
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). Whilst the ugliest height of Connery's ungratefulness to the series that made him, 1983's god-awful "Rival" Bond film Never Say Never Again, seems to baffle Bray as to why it didn't work and failed so miserably (the answer pretty clearly being that Connery felt as he does- that he himself was the only essential ingredient).

So I'm sure it wasn't the author's intent that Connery doesn't really come out of this book very well. His disillusionment with Bond seems to have been more about wanting more money rather than about press intrusion into his private life. His Scottish nationalism seems to be more about being "Unable" to live in his homeland because of his tax avoidance. And his two belated returns to 007 were purely financially motivated (as well as being easily his two worst Bond films).

Don't get me wrong, I'm a massive Connery fan but chances are that unless (like the author) your heroes can do no wrong, you won't come out of this thinking what a nice guy he must be! The main thing I got from it was that the Bond producers should have let him go after Thunderball (another great film Bray doesn't seem to rate- again because other people are occasionally on screen!) which remains his last great Bond performance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Work at Probing Sean Connery`s Personality, Accomplishments, and Skillful Acting on Film and on Stage, 29 Dec 2012
By 
Jerry (Celil) Parker (Abitibi region of Québec) - See all my reviews
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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4.0 out of 5 stars An Helpful Book on Its Celebrity, Albeit Not a Truly Great Film Book, but One Worth Having and Reading, 23 Dec 2012
By 
Jerry (Celil) Parker (Abitibi region of Québec) - See all my reviews
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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Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man
Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man by Christopher Bray (Hardcover - 2 Sep 2010)
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