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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in 3 days!
I think that the Author Paul Green has done an excellent job of capturing the complex character that was Pete Duel. This book is a very tender tribute to his short life. It's a very honest book sharing heartfelt memories from those who clearly loved him.

Someone commented that they would have liked more of...
Published on 27 Aug 2007 by G. D. Kennedy

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag
There are some very eloquent reviews which pretty much say it all, both here and on the US site. So below I'm just going to reiterate a few points from my own perspective.

On the plus side, this is a richly researched book which sheds quite a bit of light on Pete Duel without attempting to gloss over his contradictions and weaknesses.

Possibly it...
Published 4 months ago by AS&J fan


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!, 27 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in 3 days!
I think that the Author Paul Green has done an excellent job of capturing the complex character that was Pete Duel. This book is a very tender tribute to his short life. It's a very honest book sharing heartfelt memories from those who clearly loved him.

Someone commented that they would have liked more of 'Alias Smith and Jones' in the book, but, having read the book, I don't think that Pete himself would have wanted that! Although everyone loved the series here in the U.K. I just don't think that Pete realised just how great he was in it!

It was a shame that Ben Murphy didn't contribute, but the fact that he didn't adds authenticity to this books story. Before I read this book, I knew very little about Pete Duel. I came away thinking "I would have really liked the guy!"
This book also unveils the cynical side of Hollywood. The side that Pete didn't like. You get a 'behind the scenes' look at the decision making processes that went on in the studios.
A Great book! Well researched & well written.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unanswered Questions, 18 Aug 2007
By 
E. M. Pearce (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
The release of the Alias Smith and Jones Series 1 DVD rekindled my bittersweet memories of the show and its stars. Like many others in their teens or twenties at the time of his death, I was very upset at what seemed to be the senseless passing of such a charismatic icon. Thus I decided to read Pete's biography.

What the book tells about his life is fascinating, although sometimes seemingly contradictory (concern for the environment but penchant for fast cars/ really sweet sensitive guy - well sometimes, anyway - that sort of stuff). I found interesting the fact that, even after all these years, the various parties that had been close to him still seem to be squabbling over the relationships they had with him, and with each other. Having myself relatively recently lost a brother through alcoholism, I felt a great deal of empathy with the frustration expressed by his close friends as his drinking worsened.

Where I think the book fell down was in what it left out. I never knew that Pete had an actor brother, Geoffrey. Whilst much mention is made of Geoffrey throughout the book by others, there are no quotes from him personally. Indeed, with many references made to Geoffrey in the past tense, I was expecting to learn that he too was dead, although subsequent internet searches show this not to be the case. Now I can imagine that Geoffrey might not have wanted to contribute to the book, but I feel that the lack of explanation by the author leaves questions that should have been answered. Similarly, we were not told whether or not the senior Deuels are still living. I know that I bought the book because of my interest in Pete, not his in family, but sometimes I felt it left too many loose ends. Nonetheless, extremely interesting reading.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pete Duel: A Biography, 18 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
Pete Duel: A Biography

This book for me was a real eye opener. It is told by members of his family, his friends and colleagues. The material included cannot be disputed. They are memories of people that knew Peter best. I did not know him or claim to know him and for me, any information regarding his life and tragic death was something that I was truly grateful for.

Not hearing about his death back in 1971, I found out the hard way. I had tuned in to Alias Smith and Jones and discovered that Peter's character, Hannibal Heyes, aka Joshua Smith had been replaced by another actor. Very upset, I went searching for any and all information that I could find on the subject. I had come up empty handed except for a few television review books described what had happened in a few short sentences. Well, I wanted to learn more and I couldn't find anything to help me. I did discover in 2005, two Internet sites that helped me solve the mystery, but it still left me wanting more. Paul Green's book was both a revelation and a Godsend for me. I can describe the book as everything you always wanted to know about Peter but were afraid to ask. It is well written and concise.

It is authorized by his sister Pamela and is not a scathing unauthorized mess of negative stories and ideas. Paul has included the good and the bad of Peter's life, if people just took the time to read these pages and understand a little of what is being presented.I cannot understand what some fans are saying about the author and this book. Is it possible that we were reading the same information? Is it possible for fans to contradict what family and friends who have been close to him are saying? I don't understand.

I'll admit that I have no experience with an alcoholic relative, boyfriend or husband and those that do should have a clear picture of what was happening with this man instead of trying to put him down or analyze just what the author is saying here. I have however, had experiences with depression and epilepsy and seen firsthand what they can do. In this way I can empathize with Peter's situation and can finally put him in a positive light after all these years. The book is final closure for me as I'm sure for a lot of others who feel as I do.

This book hasn't changed the way I feel about Peter Duel, in fact this information has given me the respect that he has deserved and never received, even to this day. He is still a talented handsome man and a brilliant actor whose work I'd admire and enjoy. Thank you, Paul, for writing an excellent book and a job well done. Please know that it is appreciated.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brief, shining life revisited, 16 Aug 2007
This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
In this excellent biography, author Paul Green tells a compelling and unnerving story of the brief life of this promising young American actor, political and environmental activist who ended his own life at age 31. Duel was a rising star who appeared to have a brilliant acting career ahead of him, but as we learn from Paul Green and his contributors, Pamela Deuel Johnson, Duel's former girlfriends and close friends, career and material success matter little to the wounded, howling with pain. And Peter Duel was howling. Highly recommended and heartbreakingly honest.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag, 18 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
There are some very eloquent reviews which pretty much say it all, both here and on the US site. So below I'm just going to reiterate a few points from my own perspective.

On the plus side, this is a richly researched book which sheds quite a bit of light on Pete Duel without attempting to gloss over his contradictions and weaknesses.

Possibly it does raise more questions than answers - but I'm not sure that there are any neat answers to a complex and sad life.

It provides some illuminating insights into the political scene in late 60s America, and into the workings of Hollywood and the TV industry.

It's ultimately a satisfying read if you have a curiosity about the man and the incidents which led up to his death.

It's emotionally quite wrenching, particularly towards the end, as the tale is told by those who were there and who loved him.

On the downside, the book is not particularly well-written. Some parts flow well, especially where friends, family and ex-lovers tell their story. The description of the McCarthy campaign is engrossing. But the chronology is confusing; and the sections on Duel's early theatre and TV careers are hard work. They contain a wealth of interesting information, for sure, but Green jumps around, throwing in names, facts and dates to create a hailstorm of detail which requires serious concentration, and frequent recourse to the index.

Like some other reviewers, I was frustrated by the lack of information about Duel's parents and some randomly dropped, never-developed, but possibly very significant details - such as his mother's alcoholism and the emotional distance of his parents. Even his sister's singing career suddenly plops into the story with no warning and no explanation.

In truth, this reads (and looks) to me a bit like a self-published book that would benefit from editing and subbing to improve the structure and make the narrative more coherent and engaging in places.

It's also eye-wateringly expensive - but I don't know whether that's because the paucity of information about Duel makes it a seller's market, or whether in real terms there isn't enough interest in the book to bring the price point down.

On the whole, is it worth it? If you really want to understand Pete Duel better, then I would say yes. This is a genuine attempt to tell his story respectfully and honestly, and by and large it succeeds.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "open mind open heart", 9 May 2009
This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
This book was written, with total respect for Pete Duel..Family, girlfriends and pals, have trusted the author enough to offer their individual memories of this great man..
Most of us only knew him through a tv screen, this book gives us a better insight beyond that, but done in a tasteful way..accepting that Pete Duel was not only an actor but a human being....
Take a look, and make your own mind up...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, 5 July 2008
By 
B. A. Hicklin (West Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
As a huge Pete Duel fan in the 70's, finding this book was fantastic but after reading it I was a little disappointed. Whilst, no doubt, documenting the facts behind his life, and death, it jumps around date-wise so that sometimes you don't know where you are. I also found the inconsistent use of his name throughout quite distracting. Sometimes the author uses 'Peter', sometimes 'Peter Deuel', sometimes 'Deuel' - often in the same sentence as if he believes we'll have forgotten who he is talking about! A consistent 'Peter' would have sufficed. The reference to American political history was a little drawn out and although relevant to Pete's life, I think it could have benefited from some editing.

Overall it was an interesting but ultimately sad tale of a fabulous talent, who was clearly a sensitive, intelligent, man sadly lost before he really had a chance to prove what a wonderful actor he was.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but limited biography., 23 Sep 2014
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This is certainly an informative biography of Pete Duel for those wishing to know more about the man and the actor, beloved for his role as Hannibal Heyes in Alias Smith and Jones. It is, however, also a rather frustrating read as it consists mainly of quotations from those who knew Peter, and as such feels quite a limited biography compared with other biographies, lacking a fluent, enjoyable style. It also fails to satisfactorarily address why Peter suffered from depression, alcoholism or suicidal thoughts, but given the lack of biographical or autobiographical material available on Pete Duel, this is essential reading for anybody interested in knowing more about him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pete Duel, 23 Mar 2010
By 
J. Irvine (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
This is an informative and interesting read. Fans of Alias Smith and Jones would enjoy this. I also enjoyed reading about his earlier career on American TV before he hit the big time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pete Duel's sister brought the book alive., 16 Aug 2007
This review is from: Pete Duel: A Biography (Paperback)
The above review explains the book very well but personally I was disappointed. Pamela Duele's memories were very interesting and brought the book alive, but the Author (Paul Green) went off track often as if to fill pages. I wanted to know more about Pete Duel and more detail about his days in Alias Smith and Jones, but I did not learn anything about Pete that I did not already know. It is still worth reading though.
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Pete Duel: A Biography
Pete Duel: A Biography by Paul Green (Paperback - 17 May 2007)
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