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James Dean: The Mutant King by David Dalton

James Dean: The Mutant King


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The biography James Dean: The Mutant King by David Dalton is a book that certainly popped out to me. Throughout the book David brings you to the life of the icon of the 1950’s James Dean. Learning how Jimmy got his label of being a rebel without a cause and how he followed through with his quote “Live Fast ,Die young”.
David drives you from the beginning of Jimmy’s life to the very end bringing you into his personal life and his public image. Explaining exactly how his main thesis is correct,”that James Dean was a self-created new creature, a ‘mutant’, who crystallized the image of youthful rebellion as no one ever had before.” This book gives an abundant amount of details on Jimmy Dean the small town farm boy creating himself into the legendary heart throbbing icon James Dean. Showing him as a starving artist living in the slums and into him being in hit t.v shows and big time movies. David does an excellent job of showing you the real James Dean including portraits and interviews with close friends and family. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in James Dean and his becoming of a legend.
A great quote mentioned by the author is “ I never knew him to be a complex and difficult personality... Jimmy was not moody, temperamental, unpredictable or rude.” said by a close friend. Basically, he’s trying to prove to you that the paparazzi doesn’t always give out correct information. James wasn’t the jerk he was put out to be. In reality he was quite shy and didn’t date much either. He was very close to his family and helped out a lot, sure sometimes he acted out during his teen years and showed his rebellious side but, that’s not unusual for a teen. Jimmy was the model for a bad ass teenager he made adolescence seem heroic instead of being like a socially awkward redhead lost in the world. He wasn’t afraid to show the world what he had and he brought it but, in the meantime he managed to maintain himself and not lose the real Jimmy to fame and hollywood.
A major point in the book that David tries to prove is that James was just a normal person he had his own problems and worries just like everybody else. He struggled terribly in dealing with the death of his mother. He lost her at the age of nine and ever since he’s blamed himself for her death. Always saying if only he was a good boy she would’ve stayed with him. This lead to some anger but, just like David said he’s only human. All through the book it goes into details about James striving for success and him going through the hardships of poverty to get there but, he never gave up. He never let people get him down and change him. I personally admire that. So many people in the pop-culture now a days change themselves in an instant just for fame and let it take them over but, not Jimmy. He stayed true to himself they tried to change him and said he needed a new wardrobe but, he stuck to his guns and stayed with his white t-shirts and jeans, In the end believe it or not the fans were crazy for him. The look was hot and they loved him. That is who you look up to James Dean the rebel who doesn’t care what people think of him. Who works for what he wants and who fights for what he believes in.
This book is unbelievably powerful and will make you not want to stop reading. It gives you so much to look forward to. Constantly learning amazing facts about Jimmy that shocks you. Giving you interviews with close friends that bring you to past memories of Jimmy and photographs of the little Jimmy. I truly recommend this book. You will not regret it.





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