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Publisher's Summary

Paul Newman, the Oscar-winning actor with the legendary blue eyes, achieved superstar status by playing charismatic renegades, broken heroes, and winsome antiheroes in such revered films as The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Verdict, The Color of Money, and Nobody's Fool. But Newman was also an oddity in Hollywood: the rare box-office titan who cared about the craft of acting, the sexy leading man known for the staying power of his marriage, and the humble celebrity who made philanthropy his calling card long before it was cool.
In Paul Newman: A Life, film critic and pop culture historian Shawn Levy gives readers the ultimate behind-the-scenes examination of the actor's life, from his merry pranks on the set to his lasting romance with Joanne Woodward to the devastating impact of his son's death from a drug overdose. This definitive biography is a fascinating portrait of an extraordinarily gifted man who gave back as much as he got out of life and just happened to be one of the most celebrated movie stars of the 20th century.
©2009 Shawn Levy (P)2009 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Glory on 07-25-09

Charismatic subject makes for great reading

What a man! I listen to a lot of biographies and loved hearing the details of Paul Newman's life and learning what a nonconformist he was. It was so captivating that I think I listened to the whole thing in 2 days. Well written and read--the icing on the cake.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Glenn on 12-26-14

Not Enough About the Movies Newman Was In

Would you try another book from Shawn Levy and/or Marc Cashman?


How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

For 17 hrs worth of listening I would have expected more treatment of the movies that Newman appeared in. In some instances there is barely a paragraph or two discussing such movies as The Long Hot Summer, or Cool Hand Luke. Very disappointing for a movie buff when hardly any of the material focuses on Newman's appearance and performance in these seminal pictures.

Sure, there's plenty of time spent on his personal life, association with The Actor's Studio, his relationship with Joan, etc. But what about his movies! Perhaps I'm spoiled by biographies like the recent John Wayne by Scott Eyman which not only details Wayne's personal life but spent a great deal of time on the pictures that Wayne made, his relationship with the various directors he worked with, and the movie making process. The Wayne biography would spend upwards of 20, 30, or 40 mins on one picture alone. In the Newman bio we're lucky to get 5-10 mins discussion an important film like The Hustler.

Why no in-depth look at the pictures Newman appeared in? Surely more time could have been spent researching & interviewing actors, production staff, directors, and studio execs.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Marc Cashman?

Depends. Not my favorite voice for an audiobook.

Do you think Paul Newman needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not sure what it would be except for a more in-depth rewrite to include details regarding the films that Newman appeared in.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By peter on 10-30-12


considering his brilliant life and attainment, regrettably he should have written and narrated it with the title and sub head - MY LIFE - and screw you all - this book was factual, fast-forward and flat, therefore missing everything he stood for and made him unparalleled in the late 20th. century. this book - while i love modern day biographies - was a huge disappointment.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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