Lee is responsible for helping to blend western and eastern combative ideas and Joe Lewis, an early pioneer of American kickboxing, credits Lee for improving his performance in competition. Purists will argue quite rightly that the Englishman E. Barton-Wright had already done this over half a century before with his short-lived bartitsu system, but the difference between them is the same across the martial arts world: Lee popularized what others had been doing under the public eye and then some. This has become a very prominent feature of 21st century marital arts.
Having said this, he acknowledges that Lee studied philosophy at university, had a huge collection of varied books and gives him the benefit of the doubt regarding the sound bites. He believes them to be as much a conscious part of his marketing gimmick as the onscreen style of fighting he developed. This is a major strength in the work. Davis can bring you in at any chapter to provide a fresh insight or idea. We see the life of a typical child targeted for bullying. Humans can do extraordinary things and achieve amazing feats, and some are clearly more gifted and driven then others, but here and there reality has to be there to check the balance.
These two parts of the book provide an interesting insight into the ideas that Lee helped put over and hope he provided for the small boys who were bullied at school.
It also provides an example of the wake-up call many martial arts students experienced when they realized a lot of what they were being taught was based on tall tales and was totally ineffective as a means for real combat. Miller is a very good writer, one of the most entertaining and insightful I have read, but many might be put off by the way he shifts his focus. His literary style involves regularly going off into some lucid purple passages that serve to explain his state of mind at the time he is describing.
Other iconic figures also crop up in the book too and some might feel there is undue attention onto them. It could be longer and have more emphasis on Bruce Lee and I would like to see some footnotes to source material, but there is enough for someone interested in pursuing the facts to follow up on. Miller does a great job in explaining the genuine cultural importance of Bruce Lee as opposed to the pseudo-philosophy that is attributed to him.
He also does well to show the difference between Lee the movie star and Lee the martial artist and, most importantly, the difference between Lee the god and Lee the human.
May 23, Mattparryyahoo. I have always been a huge Bruce Lee fan, I have read the books and watched the churned out documentaries, these combined have created the "myth of Bruce Lee", most of which I beleived. Davis Miller manages to deconstruct some of these myths without destoying the legend. It has been long overdue that someone should portray Lee as he was and give an honest evaluation of the man. The book is extremely well written and easy to read, I finished it in a couple of hours. The story centers around Miller I have always been a huge Bruce Lee fan, I have read the books and watched the churned out documentaries, these combined have created the "myth of Bruce Lee", most of which I beleived.
The story centers around Millers adolescence and the lead up to his discovery of Lee and how this began to change his life. It is a very powerful story of a man's desire to change and better himself, to follow his idols, idols that just dont exist anymore. This book also compliments his first work "Tao of Muhammad Ali" perfectly and presents 2 sides to the same story. It is possible to read and fully enjoy just one, but I recommend both, as the Ali book now means a lot more to me since reading the Lee book.
You will not get a more honest account of Bruce Lee.
It was nice to see someone become more then they see them as. Mar 04, Brandon Bell rated it really liked it. The journey of an inspired teen, growing up to become a bit disillusioned to one of his heroes. This book is an easy read that follows the authors transformation from a bullied youth nicknamed "Fetus" to a young training maniac majorly inspired by both Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali. The first two-thirds of the book try and put you in the mind of the author and convey how much of an impact Bruce had on his life.
Towards the final third of the book, the author starts to jump around a bit, speeding yo The journey of an inspired teen, growing up to become a bit disillusioned to one of his heroes. Towards the final third of the book, the author starts to jump around a bit, speeding you through a good fifteen to twenty years of his life, till he gets to a point where he is given an opportunity to write a biography on Bruce.
When he starts to do his research, he uncovers many things about Bruce Lee the man, that seem to make him disillusioned about one of his childhood heroes. The myths and legends of Bruce make it had to find accurate information about him at times. It's nice to see some other evidence and views of Bruce. They do help dispelled some of tales about him and give a more sobering perspective on him.
However, this is written in a very loose fashion and would not hold up as a bonafide biography in any way as there is little to no sourcing. The author also, annoyingly, has several one or two page chapters. So the final third kinda feels rushed and can fall flat to some of the build up you get in the first two thirds of the book.
The redemption of this book lies in much of the information given in those rushed and ill-sourced chapters. Much of what is related to the reader can be verified if the time is taken. As big and marketable as Bruce has become, it's hard these days to get information that shows you glimpses of the real man, before and during the hype surrounding his life.
Mar 09, Juergen rated it liked it. Works as an autobiography of the author, an aimless, scrawny kid growing up in North Carolina. His life changes after a chance viewing of Enter the Dragon. He becomes obsessed with Bruce Lee and martial arts. I can relate on a lot of different levels. The latter half of the book is much more a study of Lee's life, though rife with some obvious errors.
This detracts from the otherwise interesting commentary by the author, which is far more relevant when related to his life. Sep 22, Leo Polovets rated it really liked it. The author of the book was a runt growing up, and was very inspired to see Bruce Lee — a little guy — play a badass in a number of movies. If you are going to read one self-help book this is the one. Jan 17, Glenda rated it liked it. Bruce Lee was an egomaniac who wore 4 inch platform heels, a floor length fur coat and died of a reaction to ingesting cannabis while at his girlfriends house.
He closed his schools because no one but himself was good enough to teach.
All of that may very well be true, but certainly most of that is not something that I've come across in any of the other Bruce Lee books that I've read. A good bit of the book is about the author himself, who I felt bad for with his difficult childhood and how mean Bruce Lee was an egomaniac who wore 4 inch platform heels, a floor length fur coat and died of a reaction to ingesting cannabis while at his girlfriends house. A good bit of the book is about the author himself, who I felt bad for with his difficult childhood and how mean kids can be as kids when they pick on and bully other kids.
I was perplexed a bit in the reading of the section about Bruce Lee At the end I concluded the author wanted you to see Lee as flawed by still an inspiration I also found the Ali and Sugar Ray things kind of randomly thrown in, and the comparisons Could Godzilla take Gamera? Could Will Smith beat up Jaime Fox? The list could go on I'm going to choose to see Bruce Lee more as the person in the other books I've read because I did admire him and everything he accomplished, and not as the Bruce Lee from this book.
Feb 18, Dana rated it really liked it Shelves: I was lucky enough to be able to read this book for one of my college courses regarding Bruce Lee. My professor was using both this biography and Bruce Thomas' biography to shed some light on Bruce Lee's life. I actually used your book as a reference for my research paper for the class. It was very interesting to see the differences and similarities in both this account and Thomas' about Lee's life. This book was actually very beneficial for when I had to write a research paper about Bruce Lee.
I I was lucky enough to be able to read this book for one of my college courses regarding Bruce Lee. I enjoyed being able to see another side of Bruce Lee. Since most accounts only show him as being the bad ass martial artist he was, it was interesting to be able to see a softer and more human side to him rather than the mythic Bruce Lee that is so prevalent in society today. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Bruce Lee and his life outside of the image we see today. Oct 20, Jeremy rated it it was ok Shelves: I was rather hoping this would be about Bruce Lee, not about a guy who really likes Bruce Lee.
A couple chapters near the end actually are about Bruce Lee. Those are good chapters. The rest of the book is basically the author telling you how tough he is, infusing the wankfest with some unconvincing self-effacing humor. There's a positive blurb from Joyce Carol Oates on the back. That probably should have been my cue to throw the book into the forest. Aug 10, Michael Hammond Jr. This is a solid book for someone who is a fan of martial arts. I myself have never read a memoir before this one.
So I did not really know what I was expecting. I will definitely have to read other memoirs of fields that I am interested in after reading this story. I highly enjoyed reading this story, and it is also a pretty short read if you want to dabble in memoirs. Oct 04, GRV rated it really liked it Shelves: Other half is a good overview of the life of Bruce Lee. Very worth reading about unknown things happened in Bruce Lee's life.
View all 5 comments. Feb 28, Bernie Gourley rated it liked it Shelves: Few lights have shone so bright that, while brief, they provided decades of afterglow. Bruce Lee was just in the news last week as he was made a character in a new MMA video game—over 40 years after his death. It might seem odd for Bruce Lee to be featured in an MMA game, but while movie Bruce Lee showed us high-flying, high-kicking kung fu, Bruce Lee the founder of Jeet Kune Do emphasized the ability to fight at all ranges, against opponents of any style, and in a pragmatic fashion.
But Bruce Lee the movie star delivered only four completed movies as an adult though he had a childhood acting career unrelated to Kung fu. Martial Artist Bruce had only one real fight that anyone knows about and even it remains a subject of great controversy to this day. There are competing claims about who came out on top, to what degree, and how. With the proceeding information in mind, it might not be such a surprise that the author took the tack he did and still produced only the slim volume that he did.
In fact, his profile is of a scrawny kid who got his fair share of wedgies and other bully-induced torments. The autobiographical parts are more homage than self-aggrandizement. Just as Miller is honest about his own lost pubescence as a scrawny kid, he will win enemies with his frankness about Bruce Lee and those in the gravitational pull of the kung fu superstar. Those who deify Lee will no doubt be displeased to read intimations that he died not on a walk with his wife and from a rare adverse side-effect of a prescription—but non-illicit--drug, and instead died on the bed of a lover from a hash or pot overdose.
Furthermore, Miller tells of how Bruce Lee told his students to stop teaching Jeet Kune Do , because Lee was worried about where it was going.
Then there is the suggestion that Lee had little first-hand fighting or sparring experience on which to build such a combative art in the first place. However, the overall portrait of Lee is of an exceptional human being, and one who had such a wide range of influence, from fitness to philosophy. One may look no further than his Way of the Dragon nemesis, Chuck Norris. People are intrigued about how a man who looked to all appearances to be one of the healthiest men on the planet could have died so young. Nov 05, Ramanaidu rated it it was amazing.
Jan 06, Kali Srikanth added it. Like it was mentioned on book's cover The Tao of Bruce Lee TTBL is half-memoir, meaning half of it is about author discovering a personal philosophy that allows him to grow as an adult and feel secure in himself. I would have probably enjoyed it if I knew who "Davis Miller" was, before I picked up this book. But sadly I didn't. But having said so it was not a boring read either.
Anyways, the best part of the book lies in those last 50 pages. This book asks some very serious questions about the man, and answers the same deftly. I believe that defines this small yet phenomenal book. Because this version of truth is all that matters. BTW Truth is singular, the versions of it are mistruths.
Who really is the man? Is he that great a Martial artist the world claims him to be? Was he really murdered?
How did he die? What is he like, as a person? Book opens with Bruce Lee's influence on the author and closes with who is Bruce Lee.
And finally sums up with the idea of Bruce lee by a Bruce lee fanatic. RGV was correct, it's like a defining book about Bruce Lee, He was also undoubtedly right in calling Bruce Lee a post-modern philosopher because even if you read everything else by or about Lee they can never tell you more than what this book brings forward.
So as a final word, If you are looking to read about "Hero worship" in general, yes this can be tha-t book for you, pick or no, but for everyone else who has the itch of Bruce Lee like I did, yes, you should definitely read this. Mar 13, Alan rated it it was ok Shelves: I would put this in the "why bother" category.
If you like Bruce Lee, you won't like this book and can easily dismiss it. If you don't like Bruce Lee you have probably already decided he was a showboat and lacked substance. He was a celebrity.
He wasn't a all that deep, and lots of the true history was made up. Enter the Dragon at least was good exciting stuff and it worked some magic getting people interested. Do you think all the tai chi, bagua, and shaolin seen today, or even the ev I would put this in the "why bother" category. Do you think all the tai chi, bagua, and shaolin seen today, or even the ever present tae kwon do and now MMA would be out there if it wasn't for Bruce Lee's explosion in and out of sight, and the mythologizing? Judo didn't do it, Robert Smith's estimable efforts, Chen Man Ching, the JkA, even the somewhat phony zen associations never grabbed the imagination like a few TV shows and a movie.
Of course some of the core message was wrongheaded. It was comic book, not Bhagavad Gita for pity's sake. This book was pretty disappointing, not because it wasn't a biography of Bruce Lee--I knew what to expect--but because it didn't seem that there was much "Tao" there beyond the author's admiration which was, curiously, completely missing from his other book--odd because Muhammad Ali is very definitely in this one, but Lee is nowhere in the Ali book, even though Lee was apparently the primary motivating force behind years of the author's life.
I wanted to think that Bruce Lee was deeper, but I This book was pretty disappointing, not because it wasn't a biography of Bruce Lee--I knew what to expect--but because it didn't seem that there was much "Tao" there beyond the author's admiration which was, curiously, completely missing from his other book--odd because Muhammad Ali is very definitely in this one, but Lee is nowhere in the Ali book, even though Lee was apparently the primary motivating force behind years of the author's life.
I wanted to think that Bruce Lee was deeper, but I found little to support that here, despite the enticing title. In the end, this book is neither memoir nor biography, nor is it a philosophical primer. It's the author's musings on the impact of the Chinese actor--and that's what he was, not necessarily the consummate martial artist that he appeared to be on film--mixed with some autobiographical stuff and some interesting research on the "true" story, not the myth, of Bruce Lee.
I'm not sorry I read it, but I wouldn't particularly recommend it either. Jul 16, Alberto rated it it was amazing. Mar 14, Pantteri4 rated it it was ok. The book tries to be both an autobiography as well as a description of Bruce Lee, his life and his philosophy.
Lee's wife, Linda Lee Cadwell holds the copyright to the book. The book is attributed to Bruce Lee as his notes and work were used to compile the book. It is important to understand that although Lee's material was utilized it was not organized by him; therefore Bruce Lee was not strictly its author. Tao of Jeet Kune Do was compiled posthumously from Bruce Lee's personal notes, some of which were in turn copied from Bruce Lee's personal library of martial arts and philosophical books.
After the book's initial publication, additional passages were discovered to have been sourced from the works of D. Suzuki , Eric Hoffer, and other authors. Many of Bruce Lee's statements are derived from his own studies of various schools of philosophy and the martial arts, and are sometimes paraphrases of previous expressions by others which he wrote down for his own instruction into his own words.