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

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

East of the Wardrobe

Follow Literary Review on Twitter