CLARK GABLE bio Review by Arno O'Thames at…

“Is that you, David Bret?”  The author of CLARK GABLE: TORMENTED STAR, caught recently in a private moment.”

The same author who wrote Errol Flynn: Satan's Angel is at it again trashing another iconic star who can't rise from the grave to defend himself…

The Review:

1.0 out of 5 stars INSANITY, January 11, 2008
By  Arno O'Thames (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

A well-known definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over, yet all the while expecting a different result. Well, David Bret, British chronicler of such celebrity lives as Valentino, Morrissey, Elvis, Errol Flynn, Joan Crawford, and Edith Piaf, has done it again. As in Camus' famous essay on the myth of Sisyphus, he's pushed the rock all the way to the summit of the mountain, only to have it stop, teeter, and then roll back down to the bottom, crushing him along the way. Once again, despite all his attempts to win some sort of respectability, he has provided the world with yet another model of how not to go about writing a biography. He seems to think that by continually assailing the book stalls with questionable attempts at recreating past lives, he may yet acquire, by sheer attrition, a favourable reputation.

He is sadly deluded. His whole enterprise banks on the fact that when dealing with the dead, there are no laws of criminal libel. The dead have no rights or recourse of redress to their reputations. However, there should, and must be, a law against criminal ineptitude. Libeling the dead aside, Bret's books characteristically exhibit the equally serious offences of terrible writing, frequent misprints, misspellings, misstatements of fact, bad taste, and – worst of all – an almost supernatural lack of acquaintance with correct research methods.

All of which means that if you are a serious-minded person who wants to discover something about a major film star of the past, buy CLARK GABLE: TORMENTED STAR at your own peril. You will learn almost nothing about William Clark Gable, figure of Hollywood history, but everything about David Bret, frustrated celebrity hanger-on and would-be literary mover and shaker.

In this case there will be some moving and shaking, but it will be the moving and shaking of the reader's head in disgust, followed by its removal to the nearest toilet for vomiting.

Despite the claims of his misguided publisher, this is not a biography. Like his other books, it is a diary of his own homoerotic imaginings projected onto a dead celebrity. The dust jacket of the book claims: “Bret draws on a wealth of unpublished material to examine every aspect of Clark Gable's career and personal life, telling story as it has never been told before . . . .”

Okay, at least the second part is true. Nobody has yet – for good reason – had the audacity to claim that Hollywood man's man Clark Gable, at the beginning of his film career, was a male prostitute, and that he had numerous prolonged affairs with men. The first part, however, is patently misleading. CLARK GABLE: TORMENTED STAR is a tired rehash of material from other books and fan magazines, mangled by Mr. Bret's personal proclivities, and peppered with his trademark salacious tidbits of sexual shock-talk. And if the book draws upon any material that's “unpublished,” it's only unpublished because Mr. Bret has just recently thought it up.

Why a publishing house that cared a fig about its reputation would touch anything with David Bret's name on it continues to be one of the unsolved mysteries of our day. With a little digging perhaps the mystery might be solved, but then the question becomes: Who cares? Why bother?

My sympathies go out to John Clark Gable and to any others who might be hurt by this vile, bungling, utterly contemptible piece of trash.

— David DeWitt

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