Bruce Lee

Bruce Thomas, Author St. Martin's Griffin $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-09255-9
Thomas ( The Big Wheel ), a martial arts aficionado, has written a thorough, respectful biography of Lee (1940-73), the film star responsible for the explosion of Western interest in the martial arts. ``Bruce Lee is both an enigma and an open book,'' observes Thomas, and he offers fans much solid information about Lee's childhood in Hong Kong, where he was a child film actor, and on how the bright but difficult boy found a focus for his fierce ambitions in martial arts. He discusses Lee's appearance as Kato on the TV show The Green Hornet and the filming of movies such as Fists of Fury under sometimes unpleasant circumstances . Thomas criticizes those who insinuate that Lee's sudden death, which was officially listed as an allergic reaction to a painkiller he had taken, was a result of foul play, noting as well that Lee had previously suffered brain trauma and regularly absorbed accidental blows. A second section, devoted to Lee's legacy in films, writings and martial arts style, seems more like an appendix. This book was first published in Great Britain and is slightly dated. It does not report on the tragic death of Lee's son, actor Brandon, nor on the impact of the new film biography of Lee, Dragon. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1970
Release date: 08/01/1958
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-883319-25-0
Hardcover - 329 pages - 978-1-883319-11-3
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