John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I won John Wayne:The life and Legend, published by Simon and Schuster, written by Scott Eyman, after entering a giveaway on Goodreads. I was raised on John Wayne movies and was excited to get the chance to read and review this book.
This is a lovely hardcover book, with a black and white photo of a young, strong, John Wayne on the cover. The cover is inviting. It is a wonderful, well designed cover. Kudos to Simon and Schuster for a great outside product.
The book starts with a prologue in which the author tells the reader the ‘best’ Wayne movies. This comes across more of an opinion of the author, than as fact and is insulting to the reader. Anyone who is a fan of John Wayne, has a favorite movie. By having the author say that out of the over 169 movies, only 15 movies are the “best”, was irritating. I muttered “who says?” while I was reading this.
The first few chapters held my attention with detailed information covering John Wayne’s childhood and school years. Including, his stint in College. After that, with each chapter, I found less and less of the information interesting.
Each chapter has a black and white photo of Wayne, along with a quote from someone at the bottom before the text on the following page. I enjoyed viewing the photographs and reading the quotes.
Most of the time,through-out the book, the writing is muddled with opinions, by the author, on just about every subject, from movies, to Wayne’s thoughts and deeds. There are a ton of long-winded, detailed reviews of the movies by the author, that I rushed over just to get them over with. I, for one, did not want to read an opinion or critic review of a movie, in a book about John Wayne. I wanted to read more about his life and less about what the author thought about his movies. The constant reviewing caused me to start and stop the novel several times. I found myself sifting through the text to find the facts about his life and leaving the rest.
This book had the potential to be so much more.
Scott Eyman, appears to have done his research. He has included letters and interviews with several famous directors, actors and family. There are snippets of information about John Wayne’s life that are amazing to read. It is because of these and the wonderful cover, I give it two stars. If only the author had left his personal opinion out of it, I believe this would have been a great read.
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