Clark Gable's name will be forever synonymous with that of Rhett Butler, a part he was extremely reluctant to play and forced into. I've been fortunate to have seen two of Gables' better films Possessed and Wife vs.Secretary on the big screen but realised I knew very little about him as a man and his overall career. This book is only 270 pages long and quite nicely presented so I thought I'd delve and learn more on this Hollywood legend.
Well it is fair to say that this biography was one the poorest I have ever read. By page 270 Clark Gable had at no stage made an entrance and I still know virtually nothing about his character or even feel like I had read of an actual person. Bret takes us through nothing more than anecdotal look at Gable, and worse still writes pages of un-neccesary synopsis on each of Gables' movies. At no time does Bret explore Gable the man and what made him tick or even attempt to project any sort of character assessment. To my mind getting inside the subject should be a biographers objective and sadly Bret doesn't even try.
What Bret has essentialy achieved is nothing more than a 270 page book of sordidness. The whole book read like the ridiculous forum letters out of Penthouse magazine. Every second page is about cock, hole, riding, cock, fuck, cock, homos, pubic hair, cock, sucking, foreskin, this orifice, that orifice.....oh, and cock. Think I'm kidding?? Then read the following, and I assure you they are all lifted from the book. I have added the page number as corroboration:
'...an imprint of his uncircumsised cock'! p 97.
' Clark suffered from premature ejaculation, and from acute phimosis - an inability to retract his foreskin...that left him with odour problems below......I can't stand a man who does'nt keep his ...cock clean...I hear he shoots too soon....a special gift..a cake of soap and a bottle of listerene...the accompanying note...Clark dear - the soap is to clean out the cheese beneath your foreskin and the Listerene to take away the smell.' p 110.
'...when Bogart was standing next to Clark at a men's room urinal....after doing some pecker checking....Bogie suggested a helpful surgical operation for Gable's penis...' p 111.
'..Clark's tiny meat.' p 118.
' Inside was a hand knitted cock-sock and a card...Don't let it get cold. Bring it home hot for me.' p 140.
' I've had my cock sucked by five of the biggest names in Hollywood, all of them guys!' Attributed to James Dean. p 228.
See what I mean?!! The whole book is riddled with this sort of sordidness. I'm not a prude and realise that movie stars do their fair share of bed hopping but Bret just delves into the world of sleaze and turgidness. I was not impressed and wondered how seriously he actually wants to be taken as a biographer. I think he is nothing more than a tabloid writer at best who can't lift his abilities and sights above trashiness.
He basically trys to sell the premise that Gable was a homosexual and when first in Hollywood was a 'fucks for buck's kind of a guy. In other words, a prostitute. He then says Gable tried to shake of the 'homo' image be 'fucking' lots of women to appear more 'manly' and started to act homophobic. If Gable was actually gay then Bret should have adopted a more professional approach and backed his arguments up with real reasearch and use of endnotes. All he has achieved is a 270 page article of smuttiness that doesn't bear up under scrutiny. By the end I wondered if there were ever any hetro-sexual's in Hollywood as Bret seemingly would have us believe they were all 'fags', 'homos', or 'carpet munchers', ( his use of words ).
Ulimately David Bret is nothing more than a gossip that prefers to listen to slander and innuendo whilst ignoring any actual facts by not looking for them. Gable's whole life is brushed over with anecdotes and I still don't know how he really got into acting and made his way to Hollywood. Once in movies all Bret does is write the sordiness such as the legendary dust-ups with powerful mogul Louis B. Mayer, the many sham marriages ( with many references to his 'cock' ), and very little of worth about his career and how he felt and percieved it. All the things a reader of a biography wants to know about the subject Bret failed to deliver on. Except one thing...Gable's 'cock'. I know more about Gable's genitals than I do about Gable the man, and that is the crux of Bret's biography. It is nothing more than a sordid, smut fest that will titilate the less intelligent and antagonise the rest.
When I have a serious look at this I can honetly say all I learnt about Gable is that he had bad teeth which gave him terrible halitosis. He was born William Clark Gable and his mother died after giving birth to him. His step mother then died and he never liked his father...um...um...and ...and...yeah you get the picture don't you?! Even the photo section is poor with only nine photos, and only of Gable with his wives and several leading ladies. Nothing with his houses, his movie roles, etc, Just nothing you would expect to see in a biography. Bret's main angle is just sex to the detriment of anything else about Clark Gable.
Clark Gable : Tormented Star then is a very poor biography. Why call it 'tormented star' and then fail to tell the reader why? As a biography it is a 270 page load of turgid gossip lifted straight from the pages of a trashy magazine. I really can't understand or abide books like this being published as they add nothing to the world of knowledge or culture.