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Nicholson: A Biography

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THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS—AND LIVES—IN HOLLYWOOD.   For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson crea THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS—AND LIVES—IN HOLLYWOOD.   For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure—Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world.     Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson’s working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson’s fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life.      Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.


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THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS—AND LIVES—IN HOLLYWOOD.   For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson crea THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS—AND LIVES—IN HOLLYWOOD.   For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure—Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world.     Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson’s working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson’s fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life.      Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.

30 review for Nicholson: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I wonder what Jack’s reaction would be to me giving his biography 3 Stars . . . Yep, that’s probably about right. According to Goodreads 3 Stars means “I liked it” and . . . . well, I liked it – I just didn’t like it like it. Part of me wants to say that it was because this book was more of a filmography rather than a biography, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it because I wanted to read about Jack’s movie career and already knew abo Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I wonder what Jack’s reaction would be to me giving his biography 3 Stars . . . Yep, that’s probably about right. According to Goodreads 3 Stars means “I liked it” and . . . . well, I liked it – I just didn’t like it like it. Part of me wants to say that it was because this book was more of a filmography rather than a biography, but I’m pretty sure that’s not it because I wanted to read about Jack’s movie career and already knew about/could have really given two shits about hearing more regarding all the chicks he’s banged. The problem with this book (for me, at least) was that it got so mired down in the details and mechanics of what it took to make each Nicholson film that it lessened my enjoyment. Being inundated with budget overages, failed production timelines, hiring and firing of various producers, directors, actors, script writes and re-writes is not my idea of what I want to read when someone offers me a “Jack Nicholson biography." All that Negative Nelly crap now said, Nicholson was still an interesting read. “My work motto is ‘everything counts’ . . . My life motto is ‘more good times’.” This book discusses EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of Jack Nicholson’s movies. From the ones waaaaaay before my time, to the one that officially put him on Hollywood’s radar as the “next Brando” . . . to his first Oscar win (and 5th nomination) . . . to a change in attitude and acceptance of the fact that he was getting older and not thinner, which resulted in another Oscar win . . . to playing one horny little devil . . . to a BIG payday. . . to one of the best movie quotes of all times . . . Nicholson even tells us about all the movies Jack turned down (and holy crap did he turn some good roles down). This book is a great reminder that Jack has truly “been there and done that” when it comes to cinema. His dear friend Mike Nichols probably sums it up best: “Jack is the hippest place in the universe, coolest place in America, the Independent Republic of Jack. The hardest thing to do is wear a gift well, and Jack wears it with a killer smile and a pair of shades.” ^^^^Okay, that’s the end of the “real review” (if you can call it that) – now I’m going to bore you with my personal history with Jack Nicholson. If you follow my reviews you’re already aware that I know a whole lot about movies (and not a whole lot about much else). This is apparently a genetic defect that I inherited from one of my first best friends . . . my Uncle Rod. Let me tell you, Rod was a movie quoting mother*&^%r. We could hold entire conversations in movie speak and one of the most quotable of all Hollywood icons was none other than Jack Nicholson. His two faves were One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Shining (both of which I highly recommend watching and reading if you have not done so yet). Rod was a drinking man and LOVED to quote Jack Torrance from The Shining. We constantly heard “ I'm the kind of man who likes to know who's buyin' their drinks” and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. US called each other “Lloyd” after the bartender. (He used that nickname so much that my other uncle his DAMN DOG Lloyd after Rod passed away.) Back in the 80s before there were eleventy billion television stations to watch, families actually spent time together. Any time we attempted to play cards or a game we would be inundated with quotes of "PLAY THE GAME, HARDING!!!!" until someone finally broke and got pissed off. It never stopped being funny. Rod was our resident McMurphy . . . a little crazy, but the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. His love for pop-culture and gift of endless movie knowledge lives on through me, and I’m happy to say my children appear to have the gene as well. Thanks to you, Lloyd, for introducing me to Jack. I’ll see you on the other side where I hope to be greeted with “Wendy, I’m home!” ARC received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest (and apparently super-touchy-feely) review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Avanders

    Review based on ARC. Sigh. I really like Jack Nicholson. At least, I really like what I think I know about him. I think he's a great actor and he seems really interesting. I knew someone who was at a fancy resort'y island restaurant that Jack was dining at, and she said he was a complete A**. This didn't shake my interest in the man or alter my favor of his acting. Nor was it really surprising. But then again, we all have bad days, and maybe that was just one of his. I'm not a big tabloid girl (an Review based on ARC. Sigh. I really like Jack Nicholson. At least, I really like what I think I know about him. I think he's a great actor and he seems really interesting. I knew someone who was at a fancy resort'y island restaurant that Jack was dining at, and she said he was a complete A**. This didn't shake my interest in the man or alter my favor of his acting. Nor was it really surprising. But then again, we all have bad days, and maybe that was just one of his. I'm not a big tabloid girl (anymore) and I don't particularly love gossip. I'm happy to watch actors on TV/movies and then maybe some day I'll read a biography or an autobiography. Preferably authorized. But, then again, this is Jack Nicholson, so I eagerly signed up for the advanced readers copy and I even more eagerly awaited my copy once I was informed that I'd won one! So the "sigh." Sigh. This was not what I was hoping it would be. And, from reading other reviews of other disappointed readers, I'm not alone. The so-called biography felt more like an article in US Weekly than a biography. I don't deny that Eliot did research, and I'm sure that he spoke with many "close friends" of Nicholson. But the book took the tone of a gossip column... "hey, psst, READ IT HERE FIRST! Nicholson has problems 'down there'!" It just felt kind of sad. Who knows, maybe Eliot was on the receiving end of one of Nicholson's bad days. But his tone was petty. I'm not saying lift the man (Nicholson) up as a god and ignore his faults. He has faults. Great. Show them. But there are ways to show a man's fault (see, e.g., Walk the Line re Johnny Cash) without being petty and gossipy about it. And, in this book, Eliot missed the boat. So. it's not a terrible thing -- there's a lot of good information in there, and I appreciated the time that Eliot spent seeking to learn more about a man that so much of the world finds fascinating. So it gets a couple stars. But the tone, the lack of real depth, the lack of a greater understanding of what really drives Nicholson, those things make the biography a bit of a disappointment. Overall, TWO AND A HALF of 5 stars -- a middle-of-the-road rating for a book with a lot of potential and some noteworthy disappointments. This and other reviews can be found at AllBookReviewer.blogspot.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mitch

    If you read only one biography...you should probably read this one. Eliot's crisp, accessible and seductive writing turns the story of Jack Nicholson into an nigh-operatic ode to the 2nd Golden Age of Hollywood (60s-80s). With a clear sense of dramatic narrative, he leads you along with ol' Jackie boy through a true American Dream: a continual rise and fall and rise and fall of this film icon and the world(s) he represents. A real page-turner, 'Nicholson' dives into both the man and the myth of H If you read only one biography...you should probably read this one. Eliot's crisp, accessible and seductive writing turns the story of Jack Nicholson into an nigh-operatic ode to the 2nd Golden Age of Hollywood (60s-80s). With a clear sense of dramatic narrative, he leads you along with ol' Jackie boy through a true American Dream: a continual rise and fall and rise and fall of this film icon and the world(s) he represents. A real page-turner, 'Nicholson' dives into both the man and the myth of Hollywood's most notorious bad-boys, emphasizing how one does not exist without the other. Sufficed to say, having read this book I now have to brush up on my Nicholson filmography - thank the gods Eliot provides a ridiculously thorough film/award/bibliography for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the wonderful world of Jack Nicholson.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    I gobbled this one up over Thanksgiving and it was a treat. We all know Jack Nicholson the actor but for me this was a better chance to get a look at him as a man and learning about his early challenges, his conquests and his failures and regrets was a wonderful experience. The films he has done, the people he has worked with...it's magnificent. The only thing I would have really liked is some more pictures and personal anecdotes from the man himself as sometimes the book feels like a reasonably I gobbled this one up over Thanksgiving and it was a treat. We all know Jack Nicholson the actor but for me this was a better chance to get a look at him as a man and learning about his early challenges, his conquests and his failures and regrets was a wonderful experience. The films he has done, the people he has worked with...it's magnificent. The only thing I would have really liked is some more pictures and personal anecdotes from the man himself as sometimes the book feels like a reasonably well put together collection of easily accessed information with a bit of judgment from the author to give it some colour. Very easy to read, I encourage you to give it a try! I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anton Koval

    Mhh.., felt more like a very long film brochure than a Hollywood rake bio.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    This is essentially a really well-researched biography paper for school mixed with a tabloid article, sometimes with a little of what seems like derision. When I saw this, I thought it would be something that would actually be about Jack Nicholson. Which I guess it is, but it seems like the author could have gotten the vast majority of the information from this book by watching televised interviews and "The Making of..." features they always have on DVDs. I'll concede that I didn't know about the This is essentially a really well-researched biography paper for school mixed with a tabloid article, sometimes with a little of what seems like derision. When I saw this, I thought it would be something that would actually be about Jack Nicholson. Which I guess it is, but it seems like the author could have gotten the vast majority of the information from this book by watching televised interviews and "The Making of..." features they always have on DVDs. I'll concede that I didn't know about the drama surrounding Nicholson's parents, so I did learn about that, as well as his early years breaking into acting. But it felt flat. The author used the "a close friend of Nicholson said..." thing a bunch of times, and that just made it feel like I was reading a tabloid article. Because they're always a close friend, aren't they? It just made me more skeptical, especially when I started to realize that I really wasn't reading an interview with Nicholson or anything. All the things that were brought up I'd be able to find myself if I had the time and desire. And the attitude of the book was often mocking. Especially when Nicholson's later films were being written about (The Bucket List, for example) all I see is the author making little bitchy remarks. Generally a problem I face with reading biographies is that they tend to be a little too biased about showing the positive; this biography liked to knock Nicholson down. Which is ironic to me, because while Nicholson's attitude may need knocking down a bit, the author is making money on the guy he's mocking. I would have liked it if he had actually written his own biography. (I received this in a First Reads giveaway.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    This bio of actor Jack Nicholson should have been retitled ONE READ OVER THE TYPOS. It is so full of badly constructed sentences, mis-spelling, and actual incredibly laughable proof reading and fact checking. Ex: at one point, the author makes reference to Nicholson turning down an offer to once again play The Joker in BATMAN RETURNS: "He was both amused and relieved when the trades announced that his friend Danny DeVito was going to play The Penguin in the eventual sequel, BATMAN RETURNS, schedu This bio of actor Jack Nicholson should have been retitled ONE READ OVER THE TYPOS. It is so full of badly constructed sentences, mis-spelling, and actual incredibly laughable proof reading and fact checking. Ex: at one point, the author makes reference to Nicholson turning down an offer to once again play The Joker in BATMAN RETURNS: "He was both amused and relieved when the trades announced that his friend Danny DeVito was going to play The Penguin in the eventual sequel, BATMAN RETURNS, scheduled for release in 1992. Let Robin have a turn at some big bucks glory." Robin? Robin Williams? Didn't you just write Danny DeVito in the preceding sentence? Both were his buddies. C'mon. Otherwise, this gives no reading matter on the inside making of his numerous films and even when it does, it's so scant. He made so many good films and classics that you do want to know about something regarding the making of the films. It mostly references his sexual conquests and reads more like a looooong article in a fan magazine. This means he cribbed from other articles, books, and such and never really interviewed anyone. Amazingly not worth the time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg Messel

    This is a somewhat interesting book about an extremely interesting life. I liked learning more about one of my favorite actors but it some how lacked pop and pizzaz that I expected. About halfway through the book I was wondering if it was me or if it was the book. Then I compared it to two recent biographies I read--an excellent biography about Johnny Carson and an autobiography by Billy Crystal. Unfortunately Nicholson is a somewhat rote telling of the tale, mostly structured around what movie This is a somewhat interesting book about an extremely interesting life. I liked learning more about one of my favorite actors but it some how lacked pop and pizzaz that I expected. About halfway through the book I was wondering if it was me or if it was the book. Then I compared it to two recent biographies I read--an excellent biography about Johnny Carson and an autobiography by Billy Crystal. Unfortunately Nicholson is a somewhat rote telling of the tale, mostly structured around what movie scripts he accepted and which one Jack rejected. It's hard to make Jack Nicholson uninteresting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jolls

    First off... I envy the amount of Hollywood history Marc Eliot has turned out in all the years of writing. At the same time, I'm always a little underwhelmed by his work, (this is the fourth biography of his I've read, and I'll still likely read his other work), yet material inevitably gets left out. "Nicholson" spends a lot of time in the tabloid, which to be fair, how can't you? Yet, it leaves the behind-the-scenes a little dry. Eliot blends his opinion in with history which can easily turn th First off... I envy the amount of Hollywood history Marc Eliot has turned out in all the years of writing. At the same time, I'm always a little underwhelmed by his work, (this is the fourth biography of his I've read, and I'll still likely read his other work), yet material inevitably gets left out. "Nicholson" spends a lot of time in the tabloid, which to be fair, how can't you? Yet, it leaves the behind-the-scenes a little dry. Eliot blends his opinion in with history which can easily turn the reader off from watching certain films - or tracking down some. Yet "Nicholson" is balanced between the personal biography and the production biography, giving a really solid presentation of 70/80 years in under 300 pages.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Came here to learn about Jack Nicholson and his acting career. Got just a smidgeon of that and endless pages of jacks sex life. I don’t think I’m gonna read any more Marc Eliot books about actors. they’ve all been pretty surface level, never diving deep into what went down on set or stories of how Jack got immersed in character. Just a quick anecdote then right on to box office numbers and critics reviews. Bleh. And also there was like two paragraphs dedicated to jacks work on the shining and al Came here to learn about Jack Nicholson and his acting career. Got just a smidgeon of that and endless pages of jacks sex life. I don’t think I’m gonna read any more Marc Eliot books about actors. they’ve all been pretty surface level, never diving deep into what went down on set or stories of how Jack got immersed in character. Just a quick anecdote then right on to box office numbers and critics reviews. Bleh. And also there was like two paragraphs dedicated to jacks work on the shining and all that was said was that it wasn’t fun shooting it so like wtf. Give us more! Idk I was expecting a lot more but it eez what it eez

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Piccione

    I LOVE Jack Nicholson and was expecting a great representation of him in this book. However, the book is hard to get through. It is a little dry and speaks more about his connections and the Hollywood bustle than it does to Jack. In addition, the grammar was hard to follow- a lot of run on sentences.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    Interesting bio. Language is rough but it fits Jack's character. Interesting bio. Language is rough but it fits Jack's character.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen Dodkin

    No sugar coating.

  14. 5 out of 5

    EВА ПАНТЕЛЕЕВА

    A great book but probably many would find dry and over detailed, I however found it had the right amount of detail. The author gives us an in depth look for а great actor.

  15. 4 out of 5

    DOUG G

    A very detailed and well documented book about an interesting man. After peering into life in Hollywood, I feel like I need a shower, maybe two, and covered in disinfectant.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Лилия Янева

    This book is a strange mix. Part of it is of a particular kind of obvious humour. I nobly envy the author for having such a person to write about. Jack Nicholson is very popular not only in Hollywood and deserves such a book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Cameron

    Jack Nicholson. A huge name in Hollywood. Linked to famous movies such as The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, was once a normal boy from New Jersey with dreams to be famous. Then a normal man, living in LA, trying to find his way to stardom. Marc Eliot paints a intimate portrait of the life of One of Hollywood's elite. I'm not a huge fan of biographies. It takes me forever to read them. It wasn't that this one wasn't well written, it's that way with all biographies. I'm a fan of Mr. Jack Nicholson. A huge name in Hollywood. Linked to famous movies such as The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, was once a normal boy from New Jersey with dreams to be famous. Then a normal man, living in LA, trying to find his way to stardom. Marc Eliot paints a intimate portrait of the life of One of Hollywood's elite. I'm not a huge fan of biographies. It takes me forever to read them. It wasn't that this one wasn't well written, it's that way with all biographies. I'm a fan of Mr. Nicholson, but not as big as my mom. She is mainly the reason I choose this book. I plan to give it to her as a gift. About the Author: New York Times bestselling author Marc Eliot has had his books translated into more than a dozen languages in countries all over the world. They include biographies of Cary Grant, James Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Phil Ochs, and Steve McQueen. Born and raised in New York City, he graduated from New York's High School of Performing Arts-the "Fame" school-recieved his BA from the City University of New York, and his MFA in writing from Coloumbia University's School of the Arts. He did his postgraduate film work at Coloumbia, studying under Andrew Sarris. He frequently lectures to classes, at film events, and at conventions, speaking about his writing and his auteurist views of film. His work has appeared in several magazines, both in the United States and abroad. He is a favorite guest on several radio and television shows. He is also a member of the legendary Friars Club. Nicholson is his twenty-fifth book. *I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from, Blogging For Books, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I was in the mood to read a biography so I scouted Blogging for Books to see what was available for review. I stopped and was excited to see Marc Eliot's Nicholson: A Biography available for advance review. Library Journal quipped, " Fans of celebrity bios and film students alike will welcome this well-researched addition to the genre." I am not a fan of celebrity bios but I am a fan of Jack Nicholson's performances ever since I saw "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest". The trade copy of the book arr I was in the mood to read a biography so I scouted Blogging for Books to see what was available for review. I stopped and was excited to see Marc Eliot's Nicholson: A Biography available for advance review. Library Journal quipped, " Fans of celebrity bios and film students alike will welcome this well-researched addition to the genre." I am not a fan of celebrity bios but I am a fan of Jack Nicholson's performances ever since I saw "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest". The trade copy of the book arrived in the mail and I sat down immediately and read the introduction and scanned the photos throughout the book. The intro promised to reveal some dark family secret and I looked forward to learning what made Jack "Jack". I wanted to know about his children and a deeper look at the factors that made him the wild child he remains today. The book began, as expected, with Jack's early life as a child and moved very quickly to California. By page 40 it was apparent the book was less about Jack and more about the Hollywood culture and Jack's attempts to join it. The writing was dry but I struggled along hoping at some point to get a bit deeper into "Jack" and less about his drugs and sexual appetites. By page 178 I hit the photo inserts in the middle and knew that I just couldn't go further. I felt soiled and sick reading about motion picture industry and the non-stop sex and drugs. The story had become nothing more than a description of movie plots, a listing of the actors involved and the critical reviews. And sex, drugs and women. Repetitively. It felt like a reading a Ground Hog day script crafted in one of the level's of Dante's inferno. Very disappointed. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The following is a First Reads winner review: Let me explain what happened here. I received a copy of this book as a First Reads giveaway. Now the book is clearly marked as an uncorrected proof. So far no problem, as I have received uncorrected proofs prior to this. And after 58 pages I really got to say I hope the editors can catch all of the errors I spotted before this hits the shelves of your local bookstores and libraries. So, 58 pages into it the story of Jack is starting to get some giddy The following is a First Reads winner review: Let me explain what happened here. I received a copy of this book as a First Reads giveaway. Now the book is clearly marked as an uncorrected proof. So far no problem, as I have received uncorrected proofs prior to this. And after 58 pages I really got to say I hope the editors can catch all of the errors I spotted before this hits the shelves of your local bookstores and libraries. So, 58 pages into it the story of Jack is starting to get some giddy up go. Then the brakes slam on at seemingly high speed. What appears to be the ending of a chapter at page 58 does not continue on. The next page is 61. So where is pages 59 and 60? At this point I have to question if the journey is worth skipping over a few pages. Yet the fear looms as to what else may be missing here. Sadly enough this really looked as if it may be an interesting book. So at this point I am dropping this project and moving on. Good luck to others who take this journey and hopefully your books will be complete ones.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    I read the author's book about Clint Eastwood a couple years ago, and when I saw this I thought it would be better than the Eastwood book because Jack Nicholson is more popular (I think) than Eastwood and I was right about it being better. Because Nicholson doesn't give TV interviews the viewing audience doesn't really know who he is so I found this book kind of objective in terms of finding out what makes a really well respected actor tick. I didn't know that his relationship with Angelica Hust I read the author's book about Clint Eastwood a couple years ago, and when I saw this I thought it would be better than the Eastwood book because Jack Nicholson is more popular (I think) than Eastwood and I was right about it being better. Because Nicholson doesn't give TV interviews the viewing audience doesn't really know who he is so I found this book kind of objective in terms of finding out what makes a really well respected actor tick. I didn't know that his relationship with Angelica Huston was so long and the fact that they really loved each other made him seem more of an actor's actor's (that's what I've read about him) than any other actor I can think of. Jack kind of seems outside the system and an outsider and I think that is what has made him so easy on the eyes. I've seen some of his movies, but not all of them and this book made me want to watch some of his under the radar ones like Carnal Knowledge and the Last Detail. I didn't really like reading about all the women and drugs he's had but reading it made him seem human.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I received my copy from Blogging for Books. I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the authors extensive background research that he did that I want to read his other biographies. Marc Elliot is an awesome actor and I really like how he did his homework for the book. Jack Nicholson has always been one of my all time favorite actors and I was amazed at how early on women made such an impact on him. He grew up in a family with mostly females all his life which has shaped him to be a I received my copy from Blogging for Books. I really enjoyed this book and was so impressed with the authors extensive background research that he did that I want to read his other biographies. Marc Elliot is an awesome actor and I really like how he did his homework for the book. Jack Nicholson has always been one of my all time favorite actors and I was amazed at how early on women made such an impact on him. He grew up in a family with mostly females all his life which has shaped him to be a ladykiller. His unique family life has help to transform him into the most awesome method actors around. You can't help but to feel sorry for him once he finds out the woman who he thought was his biological mother, turns out to be far from the truth. The author captures Jack's struggle for independence and roles that were iconic in the movie industry. I was intrigued by him and this book helped to satisfy the mystique of Jack Nicholson.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    A very eye opening account of the life of Jack Nicholson and his humble beginnings. A very dysfunctional family life and one that probably has led to his inability to have any lasting personal relationships. That being said he is loyal to a fault when it comes to friends - male or female. An eye opening account of a pervasive culture of sex and drugs in Hollywood that is hard to fathom. It also makes you wonder how he produced any performances on film that were of merit with his lifestyle. Fathe A very eye opening account of the life of Jack Nicholson and his humble beginnings. A very dysfunctional family life and one that probably has led to his inability to have any lasting personal relationships. That being said he is loyal to a fault when it comes to friends - male or female. An eye opening account of a pervasive culture of sex and drugs in Hollywood that is hard to fathom. It also makes you wonder how he produced any performances on film that were of merit with his lifestyle. Father to 5 children (4 illegitimate) with 4 different women, a big time art collector, a shrewd contract negotiator (banked $60 million alone from Batman), and still lives in the same house he bought in LA years ago. Most fascinating to me was the background on the film projects, who "may have been" in movie classics we know today.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily Wiersma

    This book made me fall in love with Jack Nicholson even more. I loved getting a personal insight into his life. It follows him from his dysfunctional family to how he got his start in Hollywood to his semi-retirement. The book doesn't only tell the good things about him but also gets down to the gritty nitty. He couldn't stay away from the women or the drugs but I think this is what made his movies much more intense. Nicholson was never afraid to speak his mind and let the world know "I'm Jack N This book made me fall in love with Jack Nicholson even more. I loved getting a personal insight into his life. It follows him from his dysfunctional family to how he got his start in Hollywood to his semi-retirement. The book doesn't only tell the good things about him but also gets down to the gritty nitty. He couldn't stay away from the women or the drugs but I think this is what made his movies much more intense. Nicholson was never afraid to speak his mind and let the world know "I'm Jack Nicholson!" and was very good at getting people to do what he wanted, Of course that still didn't stop his long time love Angelica Huston from trying to beat the crap out of him. Marc Elliot writes a lot of biographies on celebrities and I can't wait to read the next one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    Received from GoodReads' First Reads giveaway. First I have to state that I am a HUGE fan of Jack as an actor and as a person, so I was extremely excited to get an in depth view into his life and work. While Eliot does cover Jack's life from birth to recent times, it never gets deep enough to give the reader some real insight into Jack Nicholson. Also a major annoyance for me was a few times in the book Eliot would mention Jack had some "issues" well "down there". It was thrown in randomly with n Received from GoodReads' First Reads giveaway. First I have to state that I am a HUGE fan of Jack as an actor and as a person, so I was extremely excited to get an in depth view into his life and work. While Eliot does cover Jack's life from birth to recent times, it never gets deep enough to give the reader some real insight into Jack Nicholson. Also a major annoyance for me was a few times in the book Eliot would mention Jack had some "issues" well "down there". It was thrown in randomly with no explanation; it was like Eliot was trying to take a jab at him for no reason. Hopefully one day Jack will write his own story so we can get a better glimpse into his life.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Beck

    This was a first reads book. I was happy to win this book and am grateful to Goodreads for the give a ways. However, I was hoping for more info on Jack then on his movies. I understand that jack is rude and crude, but the biography didn't have to be. I would have given this book at least 3 stars if not for all the unnecessary foul language. I would then have given it another star if I could trust the author and his quotes. From ever thing I have read about Eliot, I just can't trust what this gu This was a first reads book. I was happy to win this book and am grateful to Goodreads for the give a ways. However, I was hoping for more info on Jack then on his movies. I understand that jack is rude and crude, but the biography didn't have to be. I would have given this book at least 3 stars if not for all the unnecessary foul language. I would then have given it another star if I could trust the author and his quotes. From ever thing I have read about Eliot, I just can't trust what this guy writes. And if all that were to happen, I would still need to see some direct quotes (ie: an interview from Jack) to have given this book 5 stars.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The following is a First Reads Giveaway review. Marc Eliot's bio of Jack Nicholson hits the sweet spot between solid journalism and tabloid expose in that there's enough of the good and bad present to make it a fairly entertaining read. Overall, it does treat Nicholson pretty fairly - fans might take some exception when it dwells on Jack's relationships, namely with Angelica Huston, but it's mainly as reportage and not gossip mongering. Being an ARC, this copy had numerous misspellings and mistake The following is a First Reads Giveaway review. Marc Eliot's bio of Jack Nicholson hits the sweet spot between solid journalism and tabloid expose in that there's enough of the good and bad present to make it a fairly entertaining read. Overall, it does treat Nicholson pretty fairly - fans might take some exception when it dwells on Jack's relationships, namely with Angelica Huston, but it's mainly as reportage and not gossip mongering. Being an ARC, this copy had numerous misspellings and mistakes - I'm assuming that a decent proofreader will have caught most if not all of that when the book is released in a week or so.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A quick, enjoyable read, but it only scratches the surface of Nicholson. There's not really any new material here, and the last few chapters in particular are cursory and abrupt; it feels like Eliot just stopped writing, making little attempt to understand or to contextualize his subject. This is as much the private Nicholson's fault as it is Eliot's, but like Folsom's Hopper biography last year, it begs the question, Why write it if there's so much that remains undisclosed? Hopefully Jack will A quick, enjoyable read, but it only scratches the surface of Nicholson. There's not really any new material here, and the last few chapters in particular are cursory and abrupt; it feels like Eliot just stopped writing, making little attempt to understand or to contextualize his subject. This is as much the private Nicholson's fault as it is Eliot's, but like Folsom's Hopper biography last year, it begs the question, Why write it if there's so much that remains undisclosed? Hopefully Jack will one day collaborate on something a bit more definitive; until then this fun but slight tome will have to suffice.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    Not a big fan of The Jack to begin with and less so the more I found out here. One thing cannot be argued though is the man has been about as successful as one in long movie career. A fair amount of turkeys he played in but offset by the big Oscar rewards, far more than most. This bio leans more toward neutrality and matter of fact presentation of the man. Eliot has written a number of bio's on actors. Jack's goals in life aside from becoming a star were getting laid, getting high, and watching a Not a big fan of The Jack to begin with and less so the more I found out here. One thing cannot be argued though is the man has been about as successful as one in long movie career. A fair amount of turkeys he played in but offset by the big Oscar rewards, far more than most. This bio leans more toward neutrality and matter of fact presentation of the man. Eliot has written a number of bio's on actors. Jack's goals in life aside from becoming a star were getting laid, getting high, and watching all the Laker's games. In this he succeeded and he certainly can say he did it his way. He comes across as a real slime ball in his relationships, but no big deal, just his way

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Splenda

    Jack Nicholson, one of the most legendary figures to ever grace the silver screen, deserves something better than this crap. Marc Eliot's "biography" is nothing more than the retelling of everything we already know. It reads more like a bullet-pointed list of events than anything else. It's true that Nicholson's character is less than admirable, but Eliot focuses the majority of the book on his multiple flings over the years and very little else. This "book" is tabloid garbage and has nothing to Jack Nicholson, one of the most legendary figures to ever grace the silver screen, deserves something better than this crap. Marc Eliot's "biography" is nothing more than the retelling of everything we already know. It reads more like a bullet-pointed list of events than anything else. It's true that Nicholson's character is less than admirable, but Eliot focuses the majority of the book on his multiple flings over the years and very little else. This "book" is tabloid garbage and has nothing to offer. We can only hope that a much richer biography of this legend will be produced in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kevin McAllister

    Close to the end of this biography the author mentions that Nicholson has on occasion thought about writing his own bio but has never got around to it. I immediately though to myself ; I wish he had. Because this one just didn't do it for me. I mean Jack is an awesome actor and has led an amazing life but this book really just skimmed the surface, it never really probed deep enough. Jack, if by some slim chance you read this review, do us all a favor and write your own bio. Only you could truly Close to the end of this biography the author mentions that Nicholson has on occasion thought about writing his own bio but has never got around to it. I immediately though to myself ; I wish he had. Because this one just didn't do it for me. I mean Jack is an awesome actor and has led an amazing life but this book really just skimmed the surface, it never really probed deep enough. Jack, if by some slim chance you read this review, do us all a favor and write your own bio. Only you could truly do it justice.

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