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Karie's Blog
Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Mar. 31, 2008 | 12:13 AM

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Gable deserves better!

I am fighting mad today and I don’t mean maybe!  I saw THIS book review about the new Clark Gable biography in the NY Times this morning.  This book looks like a poorly researched piece of crap that was clearly written for a fast buck.  This author doesn’t have any credibility as a historian or legit biographer.  I find this all very frustrating.  If someone were to write a biography of Martin Luther King or say Abraham Lincoln and use that sloppy standard of research, people would seriously be up in arms…BUT for figures in the entertainment industry it seems that anything is fair game.  Why aren’t celebrity biographers held accountable?  Whey aren’t standards applied to them? 
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The problem is that these types of biographies (like this Gable book) are SO badly researched and often not even researched AT ALL.  Rather many of these authors simply recycle old stories that are unsubstantiated and assume they are true because they have previously been in print.  New flash….just because something is printed or published doesn’t mean it is true at all.  I may be in the minority here, but when I read a biography on a historical figure, entertainment legend or anyone…I want to know the TRUTH.  I want to know that the author has done exhaustive research, extensive interviews and gone to painstaking lengths to tell their story with balance and accuracy.  I want to read a realistic and truthful depiction, not a book filled with gossip and outrageous lies. 

When I first started studying film history, I tried to read just about anything I could get my hands on.  I originally read the book HARLOW by Irving Shulman.  It was horrible and read like a cheap dime store pulp book instead of a biography.  Then I read David Stenn’s excellent book BOMBSHELL: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JEAN HARLOW and the difference was like night and day!  BOMBSHELL was carefully researched, well written and presented Harlow as the complicated and three dimensional woman.  I felt the book got the heart of who she really was and dispelled the myths and lies about her life.  I think that books like the Shulman book are offensive and unfair not only to the star’s life and legacy, but also to their friends, family and fans.  Even stars are human beings and deserve to be treated as such.  These trash biographies also usually gloss right over the performances and who that person was as an artist and tend to reduce these people to shallow stereotypes.  If you don’t believe me, read HARLOW and then read BOMBSHELL and see exactly what I mean.  The truth is that no one has ever written a deep, intricate, well researched piece on Clark Gable.  He deserves one.  He was a major figure in Hollywood history and he deserves FAR better than this.

People like this awful writer David Bret accomplish nothing except furthering lies and spreading gossip that many people simply assume as fact.  Bret and his ilk do nothing more than damage reputations and collect a paycheck while doing so.

After reading numerous bad biographies and then reading the great ones, I have learned that not only do these people deserve the truth BUT that the truth is far more interesting and compelling than the lies could ever be!



  1. Exactly what we were talking about earlier. After I read up on him, Bret seems to be making his way around Hollywood’s elite circle trying to turn them into sexually-confused opportunists. I think the Classic Hollywood crowd has boycotted his books.

    Posted by TheMidnightPalace on 05/15 at 12:00 AM