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The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman: My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman, and Other Movie Heroes

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  211 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
"No CGI can match what Vic can accomplish" - Steven Spielberg 

"Vic is The Man" - Pierce Brosnan

"Vic Armstrong is, of course, a legend" - Martin Scorsese

"This is the best and most original behind-the-scenes book I have read in years, gripping and revealing. Vic Armstrong is modest, humorous and wry - altogether brilliant company." - Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

"[A] page-turner..
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Published May 30th 2011 by Titan Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Apr 26, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biographies are a strange breed of books, a genre of which I am still finding my way around. This title is pretty explanatory however I still wasnt sure what I was letting myself in for.
The book is broken down in to short chapters some only a couple of pages long. Each chapter represents a part of Vic Armstrong's career and development of the stuntman and coordinator he is today. These chapters are usually represented as a film or show that he has had some sort of professional connection to - so
Alan Kingsley
Jun 28, 2011 Alan Kingsley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this one, but what a boring, badly-written disappointment it turned out to be. Almost every chapter dealt with movies I love but told stories I just didn't care about.

About halfway through, I started skipping around to look at chapters that caught my eye. I hoped that *something* might reinvigorate my interest, but each one had the same bland, rambling anecdotes about a guy he met or a fall he took. I wanted to find the things he talks about fascinating, but it was all so
Jun 24, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this book so far, but I may stop reading it because the language is so bad.

OK, I give up. I'm giving this 2 stars because I was really into this book the first 250 pages, but then, it just got redundant and boring and crass. It definitely doesn't make me want to go into the movie business - it appears that all people who work on movies do is screw around and party and get drunk, which I'm sure appeals to many, many people. Just not me. This author definitely likes to toot hi
Roger Kean
Jun 18, 2011 Roger Kean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extraordinary life, lived to the full, and by no means over. Go to the end first and read the looong list of films that Vic Armstrong, film stuntman extraordinary, has appeared in, disguised as one famous actor or another.

The style is entirely personal documentary, unvarnished, not necessarily polished, but honest sounding.Even before you're a quarter in, the engaging character of the man comes across—neither boastful nor falsely modest. The nicest aspect is how much Vic gets along with his o
May 19, 2011 Lucas rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't know what kind of book I expected from a stuntman, but this is a mess. Armstrong is all over the place, the world's greatest stuntman needs the world's greatest proof reader. He goes from stressing the importance of work ethic in one sentence to openly bashing directors and executives in the next. Some areas of the book are completely irrelevant, like when he describes meeting Marlon Brando by explaining how much money he made for his 10 minutes in Superman or when he brags about helping ...more
Jul 26, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The World's Greatest Stuntman" could have benefited from "The World's Greatest Editor". This disappointing memoir is too long, too self-congratulatory, and too full of celebrity name-dropping.
If you're looking for the inside scoop on how they do all those pre-CGI stunts, look elsewhere.
Nov 25, 2011 Nate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How can a book about a stuntman be so goddamn boring. Blegh.
S.Q. Eries
Jul 05, 2012 S.Q. Eries rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, film
I’ve long been a fan of behind-the-scenes stuff on films and in the early 80s, thanks to “The Fall Guy” and a Harold Lloyd run on BBC2, I became fascinated with stunt men. Most were American but then I started to hear about this bloke called Vic Armstrong, who did a lot of work on the Indiana Jones films (which I loved) and I kept noticing his name on credits - a sure sign the action in the film would be good. This book is his collection of memories and it makes for fascinating reading. Followin ...more
Aug 05, 2014 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This man has without a doubt had an incredible career. He is, almost definitely, a super nice guy and probably awesome to hang out with.

He is not, however, a writer. This book was very clearly published on its first draft, and for whatever reason never saw the eyes of an editor or proofreader. The sheer number of grammatical errors is staggering.

Vic's stories meander and drag on and change topic and lose the plot and run on much in the same way that this sentence here does. He writes exactly l
Jul 10, 2011 Rachael rated it it was amazing
This is such a fast, easy and interesting read! There's some complaints in the reviews about feeling like a long interview instead of a true autobiography, but lets face it. The man does something like 8 movies a year! Do you really want to hear every single detail? No, you want to skip to the good bits. And that's exactly what Vic does. He gives you important information relative to set the story up and then you learn all these neat things about how stunts really get done, how much planning goe ...more
Garrett Leun
Sep 17, 2012 Garrett Leun rated it it was ok
I don't have much to go on as this is the first book I've ever read about a stuntman - but my overall review is that this book was 'fine.' Not a glowing review mind you, but I can't really think of anything that would make it better. Vic Armstrong is the guy who (for me) doubled as Indiana Jones and Superman - pretty much anything before and after that is either something I've never seen or something I didn't realize was even doubled. He's great at what he does and seems like a real stand up (an ...more
Jim Minteer
Jan 04, 2013 Jim Minteer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I have been a huge Indiana Jones fan for years, and Superman, which is what got me to pick up this book. The first 40 pages or so are a bit slow but it picks up really fast. I do have to say this is more of a memoir about making movies and stunts and less of a book about how the movies are made and the stunts pulled off. It is not a technical manual. There are great stories about Vic and his crew and/or actors, such as Harrison Ford, in these pages. If you love movies a ...more
Jun 29, 2011 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While not written in the most dynamic or flowery style, this account offers a unique insight in to the world of cinema as seen through the eyes of a stuntman on some of the biggest films of the last 30 years.

Luckily, Vic has a sense of humor too and it shines through in the book, and while there are some stories he doesn't go as in-depth about as one might hope, there's enough in the form of anecdotes and histories about his experiences and about multiple stars of the day that make the book ver
May 30, 2011 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really fun read if you are a big movie fan like I am. It is amazing to see how many iconic movies Vic Armstrong has worked on over his long career and the hairy situations he has gotten himself in while performing stunts. It makes me appreciate what stuntmen do and how important they are to the movie industry despite the advancement of CGI.

While the books is written by a Brit and thus uses some common Brit spellings (realise instead of realize, etc.) and sometimes isn't the most gramma
Jun 03, 2016 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'll enjoy this book if you're the type of person who loves watching the special features on DVDs.

I enjoy the LOTR special features as much as or more than the actual movies, so this book was right up my alley.

Basically, this book is the memoir of Vic Armstrong, a prominent stuntman - he doubled Harrison Ford for the Indiana Jones movies, did stunts for several 007s, worked as a stunt coordinator for ages, and eventually got into directing as well. Although the start and the end of the book a
Sep 25, 2014 Mrs.Lady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super book -lets the reader know all that is involved in those action shots that seem to fly by even though they may be months in the planning and execution. I support live action, CGI is OK for movies like Avatar but otherwise ita movie is a lot more exciting if you know real people are performing the stunts. What a life Vic Armstrong has been blessed with, just the globe troting and have the best of Hollywood always calling, does it get better than that? And to work with the family besides, wh ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Earl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While full of interesting anecdotes about the birth of the stuntman industry, for whatever reason I just couldn't get into it. I don't think non-fiction is my thing. I put the book down for a long time with little interest in picking it back up again and have since misplaced the book. Perhaps if I find it again I'll continue, especially considering I didn't even reach the point in Vic's career where he even was Indiana Jones or Superman.
Oct 27, 2012 Tony rated it liked it
Some people seem to have found this book quite boring, but for me it seemed to zing along quite nicely, and it didn't take long to finish.
In future I will be taking a closer look at "Jane Eyre" (1970),when George C. Scott, as Mr. Rochester, is thrown from his horse.

I also noticed from the list of films in the back that Mr. Armstrong was once stunt double for Frankie Howerd. That must have been dangerous.
May 31, 2011 Abby rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Non-fic is so refreshing sometimes, and this didn't disappoint. A great inside look into movie making. Unbelievable how much work goes into them. And very cool to read about the artistic process. Sounds like he really is an expert, and that is from so much experience, saying yes to everything, and being creative. Inspiring to work hard and be inventive even if you're not in the industry.
May 22, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
At first I didn't really like his Faulkner-like (train of thought) writing style, but then I got into it. It began to feel like we were out to dinner and he was telling me all the crazy stories from his life. I also learned so much about the film stunt industry. Just a note: He really looks a LOT like Harrison Ford. At first I thought it was HF on the cover, but after reading the book I realized that it was Vic Armstrong. Fun read.
Bryan Young
Jul 05, 2011 Bryan Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a lot of fun to read. Maybe my familiarity with a film set supplemented the anecdotes that filled out the story for me, but I found the writing fun and engaging.

After finishing, I felt like I knew Vic Armstrong, and he seems like an incredibly happy, enthusiastic guy.

There are tons of great stories in there, too, I was laughing out loud frequently.
Sean Wicks
Detailed account of Vic Armstrong's impressive career as a stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director. Very enthusiastic and a man that clearly loves his job, but the book is light on details and more of a CV with the odd controversial tidbit about actor or director interference. Still, it outlines a very long and impressive career.
Jennifer Lahowetz
The writing isn't the best and for someone who's had such an action packed life and career you'd think his storytelling ability would be greater. The book has a lot of insider info and it's an interest take on moviemaking and politics.
May 15, 2015 Sharon rated it really liked it
Fantastic book, it is unbelievable how many major films I have seen that this man has been part of. I doubt anyone can claim to have had a career like Vic, it has certainly been one heck of a interesting life and career he has had.
May 28, 2011 Dave rated it it was ok
This book was an interesting insight into the movie stunt business told by a a pioneer in the business- Vic Armstrong. After awhile, however, the book got a bit redundant and tiresome especially when it came to the self promotion by the author. I skimmed the last half of the book.
Aug 26, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it. It isn't a biography so much as let's sit down with Vic Armstrong and listen to him tell stories about the movies he's been in. He's been in so great movies and it ws cool to go behind the scenes. This book will change how I watch movies.
Apr 24, 2016 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the most compelling biography, but there are enough interesting moviemaking tidbits in here to engage fans of action films.
Jul 14, 2011 Marla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting view of the film industry. It was a fun read but not a spectacular narrative. It read more like an interview written out (which maybe it was).
Jan 08, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book makes me want to go watch the movies again to see the scenes Vic did. It made me more aware of how the old school stunts were done, surprised they were not hurt more often.
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