Bad Motherfucker: The Life and Movies of Samuel L. Jackson, the Coolest Man in Hollywood

Gavin Edwards. Hachette, $29 (368p) ISBN 978-0-306924-32-3

Former Rolling Stone contributing editor Edwards (The Tao of Bill Murray) uses his access to actor Samuel L. Jackson to deliver a rollicking, expletive-filled look at the life and career of “The King of Cool.” Famous for his performances in Jurassic Park, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars among his over 140 feature film appearances (“more than Bill Murray and Tom Hanks put together”)—Jackson’s path to becoming a movie star was anything but predictable. Born in Washington, D.C., in 1948 and raised by his single mother after his father abandoned the family, Jackson began acting out stories for himself as a child before pursuing acting as a serious career in college. His early stage successes led to his being noticed by filmmakers, and eventually his breakout role in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Studded throughout are amusing mini-reviews of Jackson’s films—which include fun trivia such as the number of minutes that pass “until he shows up” on-screen and humorous quotes (“dying is a happening thing”) pulled from interviews with the legend himself. Edwards is especially adept in his handling of Jackson’s personal life, including his triumph over cocaine addiction and involvement in the civil rights movement. This highly entertaining consideration of the prolific actor is long overdue. (Oct.)