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Clark Gable: A Biography

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  305 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Clark Gable arrived in Hollywood after a rough-and-tumble youth, and his breezy, big-boned, everyman persona quickly made him the town’s king. He was a gambler among gamblers, a heavy drinker in the days when everyone drank seemingly all the time, and a lover to legions of the most attractive women in the most glamorous business in the world, including the great love of hi ...more
Paperback, 424 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2002)
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My Autobiography by Charlie ChaplinClara Bow by David StennFalling Waters by Gary D. HenryTrue Hollywood Noir by Dina Di MambroMe by Katharine Hepburn
Best of Old Hollywood
18th out of 296 books — 109 voters
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldRebecca by Daphne du MaurierCary Grant by Marc EliotCagney by Cagney by James CagneyTrue Hollywood Noir by Dina Di Mambro
Classic Film Books
47th out of 294 books — 68 voters


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Community Reviews

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Lori
Jun 18, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
Clark Gable: A Biography" isn't a terrible book, but it's not a great one either.
While Harris does an able job reporting on Gable's childhood and acting career and ascent in Hollywood, it seems just that - - reporting, and not a true in-depth examination of the man. Gable, as the King of Hollywood, reigned for thirty years as a celebrated actor, movie star and idol, and yet we don't get much insight into the man. It was refreshing to read of Gable's insecurities as an actor (he hardly considere
...more
Nicole
Feb 06, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I've been a huge fan of Clark Gable ever since I saw "Gone With the Wind" back when I was 17. This book filled me in on everything I ever wanted to know about him.
Graceann
Mar 25, 2011 Graceann rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gable fans
Shelves: biography
I read Mr. Harris' book on Marilyn Miller, "The Other Marilyn," and found it interesting and enjoyable. I was thus encouraged when I found that he had written a book on Clark Gable, and hoped that it would provide a similar level of scholarship.

In some ways, this biography does indeed cover Mr. Gable's life in an even-handed and informative way. We learn about his rough and tumble early years (which makes his later miserliness easy to understand), and his early marriages, which seem to have bee
...more
Margarita
Jan 13, 2016 Margarita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Harris does a solid job of compressing Gable's life and extensive career into under 400 pages. The writing is clean and articulate though riddled with gossip. I honestly felt like I contracted a venereal disease reading this book. Some insights though (for example - the major studios, contracts versus freelancing) were super interesting. These parts could've been better developed in lieu of the gossip.
Kendra
May 20, 2008 Kendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got about 70 pages into it before it had to go back to the library...so far, so good. It's only up to the beginning of Clark's MGM movie career.

I'll be grabbing this one from the library soon so I can finish it.

Update 4-16-08: got it back from the library and will try to get it finished before it has to go back in 4 weeks.

Update 5-20-08: finally finished it. Very good read on Clark Gable's life. It didn't gloss over details like a super-fan's bio might, but yet it didn't trash him to pieces li
...more
Jadine
Mar 28, 2009 Jadine rated it it was ok
As expected and hoped for, I found out tons of stuff about Gable that I didn't know. There is tons of information in this book and much of it is discussed as fact and not opinion. There was maybe too much about Hollywood that I either knew, or didn't care about, but overall if you want to know the King of Hollywood this is an easy and comprehensive biography.
Jaime
Mar 02, 2016 Jaime rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the subject matter... Clark Gable is a fascinating man. But sometimes the book felt like a list of names, movie titles and dates that added too little to the story. I wanted to know more of the tidbits and the quirks and moments that contributed to his life and a little less of the filmography. I also wish more photos had been included in the book.
Ruth
Jan 24, 2014 Ruth rated it really liked it
Clark Gable is one of my favourite actors, although he died before I was born. Whenever I watch his films, I can always see just why he was so popular – women loved him, and men wanted to be like him. He was the ultimate in masculinity, and was not known as King of Hollywood for nothing.

This book is a fairly decent biography, which seems pretty evenhanded throughout. It does a good job of telling the facts – although there are a couple of errors regarding some of the films – so in a sense, it do
...more
Lisa
May 01, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
I have always adored Clark Gable, he is the perfect physical specimen of a man, and his movie characters are usually so sexy. After reading this biography, however, I like him considerably less. Clark Gable comes across of selfish and lacking empathy, though he does seem to soften up a bit in his later years. Clark's first 2 wives were considerably older than he, and he apparently married them solely for success/money rather than love. A lot of people marry for money, but it was disappointing to ...more
Kristal
Mar 15, 2016 Kristal rated it really liked it
A truly great and thorough portrait of a larger than life man who lived a lot of life in his 60-odd years. I tore through this in a couple days and could have easily read even more details about his acting career ad Hollywood in its golden years. Really, really great.
Jenni Rodriguez
As someone who didn't know much about Gable when I picked the book up, I enjoyed it more than I thought i would. This book made me cry a couple of times, but it also made me laugh a bit. However I felt as if there was something missing in this book, I just can't put my finger on it though. This book does do a good job where other biographies don't which is giving me a feel for his personality; there are many where we get tidbits of the person's personality, but with this book we get an actual fe ...more
Roxanne
Oct 26, 2015 Roxanne rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book about Clark Gable. He had a wonderful career and could have any women he wanted until he found Carole Lombard who was killed in a plane crash. He had an interesting life.
Kate Stout
Aug 06, 2015 Kate Stout rated it liked it
Shelves: movie-related
Perfectly fine bio of Gable. Not much sense of the inner person, in part because he's probably not the sort who shared his "inner person"
Emily Wiersma
Learning about Clark Gable was a great experience. It also caused quite a debate at work over whether he was gay or not. I came to the conclusion he was bi. Not that it really matters anyway but it was interesting to learn about all of Gables "little" romances. This book really made me think I missed my calling to go to Hollywood. The lifestyle they lead, the glamour I lack that they have. If you are interested in classic actors from back in the day you should give this one a go. Than read Anne ...more
April Reynolds
Feb 18, 2015 April Reynolds rated it really liked it
very informative
Sarah
Jul 08, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Old Hollywood Fans
Shelves: biography
A fine read for the summer, but more then anything this biography serves as a spoiler to all of Mr. Gable's films. I'd be reading about all the fabulous behind the scenes dish on Clark's rendezvous' and then, BAM, the ending of the movie would be told. Unneccessary, but the biography does lend a helping hand towards understanding the tumultuous, romantic marriage of Clark and his beloved Carole Lombard. Taken away from him all too soon.
Rachel
Mar 10, 2016 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot, but for the most part this felt like a very painful list of movies and movie stars, with maybe one paragraph of actual insight into Clark every two pages. Hard to get through.
Jenn Chaplin
Aug 03, 2013 Jenn Chaplin rated it it was amazing
Some biographies choose to focus on his bad teeth and the women he's slept with, this biography have a deeper insight into Clark Gable as the person, not the star. I would highly recommend this book!
Nancy L.
Aug 06, 2007 Nancy L. rated it it was amazing
Long overdue Gable bio to supplant the mediocre one Lyn Tornabene did in the mid-1970s.
Celeste
Sep 02, 2012 Celeste rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
great book but new a lot of it from visiting Cadiz Clark gabel museum
Lesley
Jul 27, 2011 Lesley rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography
a very close look at the stars life, very good
Lesley
Aug 07, 2009 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book about his life and film.
Travis
Travis rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2016
Isa Vilà Bonilla
Isa Vilà Bonilla marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Marilyn Beker
Marilyn Beker marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Karla Ferguson
Karla Ferguson marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
trudy burnham
trudy burnham rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2016
Jazmine Collins
Jazmine Collins marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Tori DiMatteo
Tori DiMatteo rated it it was ok
Aug 13, 2016
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