Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean by Donald Spoto - review by Tony Parsons

Tony Parsons

From Tarry Stool to Teenage Icon

Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean


HarperCollins 275pp £18 order from our bookshop

When the biggest American rock star of the Nineties, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, removed the top of his head with a shotgun, his mother commented that her boy had ‘joined the stupid club’ – meaning the crowded fraternity of star-crossed young celebrities who died before their time.

James Dean would have been sixty-five last February – a rebel with a free bus pass. He never made it, of course, expiring in the gloaming of a California freeway after wrapping his Porsche Spyder around a station wagon driven by a young man called Donald Turnupseed. That was September

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