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Publisher's Summary

The first authoritative biography of film legend Bruce Lee, who made martial arts a global phenomenon, bridged the divide between Eastern and Western cultures, and smashed long-held stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans.

Forty-five years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at age 32, journalist and best-selling author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. It’s also one of the only accounts; incredibly, there has never been an authoritative biography of Lee. Following a decade of research that included conducting more than 100 interviews with Lee’s family, friends, business associates, and even the actress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon.

Polly explores Lee’s early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father’s struggles with opium addiction and how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school and eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like James Coburn and Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to a white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery.

Polly breaks down the myths surrounding Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he was an ambitious actor who was obsessed with the martial arts - not a kung-fu guru who just so happened to make a couple of movies. This is an honest, revealing look at an impressive yet imperfect man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played onscreen.

©2018 Matthew Polly (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"…an engrossing examination of the life of a martial arts movie star and his shocking, early death…In what is certainly the definitive biography of Lee, Polly wonderfully profiles the man who constructed a new, masculine Asian archetype and ushered kung fu into pop culture." (Publishers Weekly)

"Students of martial arts, film history, and the 1970s alike will find much to enjoy in Polly’s homage." (Kirkus Reviews)

"The first noteworthy treatment of its subject—and a definitive one at that...Fascinating narrative threads proliferate." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Ever Want to Meet Bruce Lee?

This is as close as we’ll ever get to meeting Bruce Lee. I’ve watched and read countless biographies on Bruce Lee and this is the only time I’ve ever come away feeling like I got to really “know” the man. This biography goes past the lengend and the gossip and show the man on his journey, warts and all.

This accounting of Bruce Lee’s life felt, real, sincere, and honest. Thanks Matthew Polly!

The narrator was no slouch either. His narration is like a great special effect, you didn’t know there was one. The biography was read simply, and I REALLY appreciated his pronunciation of Chinese words. Not try-hard, but not annoyingly English. The narrator didn’t make it about his performance, he simply performed it. Thanks Johnathan Ross!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very good listen ,it explains alot I loved it.

awesome read I've learned some facts I've never known about . thanks for sharing. thanks

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Super Dragon: A Legacy Worth Remembering!

Wonderful Biography, Extremely Well Researched With Great Narration, This Title Will Give Anyone Even Those With a Passing Interest and More Rounded Understanding of Action Superstar BRUCE LEE'S Life and Extraordinary Life Path, A Rich Story Giving Full Justice to Lee's Amazing 32 Year Journey to Immortality!
Bruce Lee Wasn't Perfect, But He Sort Perfection and Continued to Inspire Many Many Years After His Tragic Death From Heat stroke in July 1973, Please Take Your Time to Enjoy This Magnificent Book, Bruce Lee in Life a Superstar and in Death An Enduring Legend That Will Never Be Surpassed.

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Its ok

Without going into too much detail. Just was not impressed & was not glued to it. The story seemed to drift onto many other non Bruce things, which very often lost my interest. I know these things in some way pertain to Bruce, but to me they seem very distant & unnesesary & the reader (or in my case, the listener) doesnt really need this much wording & details when mentioning an unknown person that somehow fits in the story ... See how Im kinda going on here? This is how I felt too trying to stay interested in this audiobook,meanwhile the guy telling the story keeps bringing up lots of irrelevant things that does not pertain to Bruce. Im about 10 hours in, chapter 15 & have caught myself skipping forward "30 seconds" many times because I get tired of wondering .......... Why is he telling us about this guy, mention him & move on. Im interested in BRUCE not a guy that knew a guy that knew a guy & how that guy that knew a guy that knew a guy ...dressed & what he liked to eat fro lunch. I wanna know about what Bruce ate for lunch,if anything. - Sorry but so far Im not impressed at all & growing tired of losing interest & trying to skip past lame dilogue so the story will get back to Bruce. - If I finish this audiobook & change my mind about it I will come back & update this,as for 10 hours in this is how I feel about it so far.

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The only biography you’ll need. Unforgettable.

With the drove of second rate biographies out there, “Bruce Lee: A Life” brings everything together in a systematic and detailed fact-oriented biography that is both entertaining and enchanting to read. If you have a vivid imagination, you will find the details of Bruce Lee’s life playing out before you like an epic movie. Unforgettable and trustworthy, Johnathan Todd Ross’s book truly sets the standard, and can be read over and over again. A must read!