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Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Donald Spoto's eagerly awaited, full-scale biography of James Dean will be the definitive work on America's most enduring enigmatic bad boy.Although he starred in only three major motion pictures before dying in a car crash at the age of 24, James Dean influenced millions in his brief career. After his sudden death, many stories surfaced and continue to confuse fans even n ...more
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Lara Abdallah
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative I really didn't know anything about James Dean other than he was an actor and was killed in a car crash but his life was devastating and sad I wish that he had lived long enough to sort out all the feelings he was going through but at least he didn't have to suffer in life anymore.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the take of Donald Spoto. At times I almost felt like he disliked James Dean but he was really trying to give his best objective opinion. I didn't know a lot about Dean but what I heard about him was wrong. He was very insecure and unsure of himself. He played roles that were very similar to himself. He should not have been a role model for anyone. He treated people quite badly to be honest. A lot of stemmed from the loss of his mother who he loved dearly and the bad relationshi ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of classic films, but hadn't really been a huge fan of James Dean. I didn't find him as appealing as so many others have, and even thought his acting skills were mediocre. The book made me an admirer of James Dean, and allowed me to look at his films differently, as well. It's a worthy read, imho.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still trying to update my list as I remember books I have read. I read this before going off to film school while working as a projectionist in a movie theater. One time I was sitting in a chair, reading away when out of nowhere the film just snapped as it was rolling onto the platter! I'd never seen that happen before all on it's own... I think he was playing a trick on me(?).
Michelle Juergen
I loooooove James Dean but the author went on too much about things not relating to Dean. and that's just not acceptable.
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very tight biography, well written, and very informative; so informative I felt I lived James Dean's life side by side with him all the way till his tragic end.
Nov 21, 2007 rated it liked it
I would have rated this "Okay", but the pictures are too cool for that. James there anyone cooler? :)
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Wow. Troubled much? I don’t want to be famous anymore. There was more tragedy than good times in the short life of this amazing talent who touched the lives of so many.
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The life of man can change a history people but a couple of times in a lifetime, James Dean was one of those men.

If this book is the correct one i'm thinking of. It reveals a life that those of us who admire this actor would never have known. He is so much more than disturbed, he is amazing! If I could only meet those who really this man I would not know what to do, but wish i could have been in their shoes...
Dylan Moucka
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading about an American hero for lack of other words. I would not have guessed anything about how he grew up and just how his life was up until his death. I thought i knew some of his history but once i started reading i clearily realized i was wrong. I think for people who like James or the time period of Hollywood in the 50s, this is exactly for them. Many people dont actually know how bad of a life James had soo its not easy to relate to him for most people.
Kathi Jackson
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading and watching documentaries about someone, you start to understand what's true and what's rumor. Author Donald Spoto has written many biographies and seems to know his stuff. I felt that what he wrote is accurate and entertaining.
Nikki Omillian
I read a little too much about James Dean back in the day.
Lucia Caporalini
Good Dean biography. It helped me understand that I spent my entire life judging Dean for someone he wasn't - at all. Worth the read.
Victoria Nicholson
I suspect Spoto writes for people who are jealous of Hollywood. I know celebs can be idiots but this is so obviously written for people who dislike the paticualr celeb
Sandi Mann
very illuminating...have read it before ofcourse
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and entertaining read. Well researched.
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A prolific and respected biographer and theologian, Donald Spoto is the author of twenty published books, among them bestselling biographies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, and Ingrid Bergman. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Donald Spoto earned his Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University. After years as a theology professor, he t ...more
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