Vivre Vite by Philippe Besson

Hi there 🙂

Today, here I am to give you a review about a french book that has been recently released about a famous american actor. It’s named « Vivre Vite » and it has been written by Philippe Besson. I decided to write about this book because it’s related to James Dean’s life, who is one of my favourite actor and who is a real icon in Hollywood’s cinema during the 50’s.

This book is quite different from the biographical type that we all know. Here, the writter decides thanks to the testimonials that he got from James Dean’s relatives to write his book according these people and James Dean point of view : In others words, it tells James Dean’s life through different characters. For example the book opens on Mildread Dean’s point of view, who’s James Dean’s mother. She relates his childhood and her thoughts about her son. This system goes on and on until James Dean’s death.

Of course, because of this system, we move away from the biographical aspect and inevitably it gains a fictionalized look but if you don’t mind about it, the reading is really pleasant. Indeed, the book is really lively because at each chapter, we have a new point of view so the book gains a certain rythm. Moreover, something else has catched my attention : the writting style is made in the way that you have the feeling the character is talking to you about this actor; it’s really a weird when you start to read it but then you can’t stop (I read it in one setting) because it’s captivating. In fact, you see the main character who is evolving through someone else eyes. That’s why this book is really moving and interesting. Everybody knows that James Dean died very young and a real myth was born from this icon.

That’s why I came to the conclusion that to understand someone’s life and personnality, you have to take into account his relatives and his friends statements because it can appears as really useful. For example, I didn’t know but the Hollywood Environment was not that pleasant and people are vicious : some actors felt James Dean’s death as a relief because they were jealous. In a more psychological way I discovered that James Dean was a disturbed person and who has always had a problem with his identity and the way he looks like but I don’t want to spoil you the whole book so I think that I will stop here. 😉

By the way, if you someone interested in Hollywood and James Dean, don’t hesitate, this book is made for you 😉


Une réflexion au sujet de « Vivre Vite by Philippe Besson »

  1. I must admit that I’m not really interested in James Dean’s life even if I really liked A Rebel whithout a Cause in which he played. However, it could be interesting to have an idea of what was Hollywodd at that time.

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