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In this companion volume to his critically acclaimed first book, The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Davis Miller turns his attention to a second iconic figure of the twentieth century--and another of Miller's own seminal influences: film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Just weeks after completing Enter the Dragon, his first vehicle for a worldwide audience, Bruce Lee--the sel In this companion volume to his critically acclaimed first book, The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Davis Miller turns his attention to a second iconic figure of the twentieth century--and another of Miller's own seminal influences: film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Just weeks after completing Enter the Dragon, his first vehicle for a worldwide audience, Bruce Lee--the self-proclaimed world's fittest man--died mysteriously at the age of thirty-two. The film has since grossed over $500 million, making it one of the most profitable in the history of cinema, and Lee has acquired almost mythic status. Lee was a flawed, complex, yet singular talent. He revolutionized the martial arts and forever changed action moviemaking. But what has his legacy truly meant to the fans he left behind? To author Davis Miller, Lee was a profound mentor and a transformative inspiration. As a troubled young man in rural North Carolina, Miller was on a road to nowhere when he first saw Enter the Dragon, an encounter that would lead him on a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey and would change his life. As in The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Miller brilliantly combines biography--the fullest, most unflinching and revelatory to date--with his own coming-of-age story. The result is a unique and compelling book.


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In this companion volume to his critically acclaimed first book, The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Davis Miller turns his attention to a second iconic figure of the twentieth century--and another of Miller's own seminal influences: film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Just weeks after completing Enter the Dragon, his first vehicle for a worldwide audience, Bruce Lee--the sel In this companion volume to his critically acclaimed first book, The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Davis Miller turns his attention to a second iconic figure of the twentieth century--and another of Miller's own seminal influences: film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Just weeks after completing Enter the Dragon, his first vehicle for a worldwide audience, Bruce Lee--the self-proclaimed world's fittest man--died mysteriously at the age of thirty-two. The film has since grossed over $500 million, making it one of the most profitable in the history of cinema, and Lee has acquired almost mythic status. Lee was a flawed, complex, yet singular talent. He revolutionized the martial arts and forever changed action moviemaking. But what has his legacy truly meant to the fans he left behind? To author Davis Miller, Lee was a profound mentor and a transformative inspiration. As a troubled young man in rural North Carolina, Miller was on a road to nowhere when he first saw Enter the Dragon, an encounter that would lead him on a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey and would change his life. As in The Tao of Muhammad Ali, Miller brilliantly combines biography--the fullest, most unflinching and revelatory to date--with his own coming-of-age story. The result is a unique and compelling book.

30 review for The Tao of Bruce Lee: A Martial Arts Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Davis Miller

    The following are newspaper and magazine reviews of my book, which was named Sports Book of the Year by the editors of the American Library Association's "Booklist" magazine. Ted Leventhal, Booklist (starred review): This fantastic second book by Miller runs deeper than an account of the author growing up as a "karate kid" in the 1970s. It is equally a study of the nature and role of the hero in popular culture, a poignant and unusual coming-of-age story, and an informative biography of Bruce Lee. The following are newspaper and magazine reviews of my book, which was named Sports Book of the Year by the editors of the American Library Association's "Booklist" magazine. Ted Leventhal, Booklist (starred review): This fantastic second book by Miller runs deeper than an account of the author growing up as a "karate kid" in the 1970s. It is equally a study of the nature and role of the hero in popular culture, a poignant and unusual coming-of-age story, and an informative biography of Bruce Lee. The Times (London): A martial arts Nick Hornby, Miller bulks up with a punishing regimen and reads everything he can by or about Lee, discovering a personal philosophy that allows him to grow as an adult and feel secure in himself. Miller is illuminating about the ability to transform oneself no matter what the circumstances. San Francisco Chronicle (editors' recommendation of the week): Bruce Lee freed Miller to transform himself from someone his high school classmates called "Fetus," and shut inside lockers for fun, into a sinewy, 140-pound kickboxer. In the section solely about Lee, Miller usefully debunks numerous myths about the martial artist's life, and especially about his strange death with his mistress. (At the end of the book,) one gets the impression that, in future stories, Miller has lots more to say about his idols, who are always with him. Richard Martyn, Toronto Star: Quite inspirational . . . With the publication of his second book, Miller continues to invent a powerful new form of writing. Tony Parsons, author Man and Boy, (London) Daily Mail: I loved Davis Miller's The Tao of Bruce Lee, a book about hero worship. Library Journal: During his adolescent years, the diminutive, troubled Miller was probably the only guy on the planet who could have had the hurt put on him by the 98-pound weakling of Charles Atlas ads. Then came Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee. Miller devoted his life to the martial arts and in the process discovered that he did, indeed, have a life. After telling his own story, Miller attends to Lee's saga, gently debunking many myths. Waikato (New Zealand) Times: Part autobiography, part biography, part confession, part revelation. Miller details in compelling and tender fashion how his discovery of Lee, initially through the film "Enter the Dragon," transformed him from a reclusive, hesitant 90-pound college student to a confident, successful adult. In doing so, Miller brilliantly shows why Lee and the mystique that still surrounds him became the prime factor in why there are now twenty million martial arts students in the U.S. alone. Yet, it's the first half of the book, the stories about Miller's own life, that makes this homage so noteworthy. Ron Shelton, director and writer, Cobb, Blaze, Bull Durham: Davis Miller is singlehandedly, brilliantly, and beautifully reinventing memoir, biography, and coming-of-age books. Ed Bumgardner, Winston-Salem Journal: The book -- part autobiography, part biography, part philosophical guidepost -- is an an often poignant, always potent narrative, a spiritual purging and rebirth. Miller has created the place where New Journalism comfortably collides with classic reporting and timeless storytelling. From one perspective, the resulting tale extends, and brings into sharper focus, Miller's Everyman quest for identity and his odyssey toward enlightenment. Times Literary Supplement: A combination of memoir, essay and magazine feature. Miller's approach combines affection and iconoclasm. He is good on Lee's cross-cultural borrowings and the very American process of self-creation. Surprisingly engaging. Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia): Miller writes with elegance, insight and beauty. Terry Peters, Vancouver (Canada) North Shore News: Miller tells of his own transformation from withdrawn weakling into martial art enthusiast. His story of growth with its own pitfalls makes for great reading. As we see the powerful effect of a contemporary icon on an obsessed fan, Miller's tale intertwines with Lee's -- one offering insight into the other. (One result) is a very fresh look at a man who will forever be the benchmark for martial actors. Joe Tougas, Mankato (Minnesota) Free Press: Unlike writers who make the readers do the work, Miller's nonfiction has a style that pulls the reader into the story in a way that seems automatic or to use his description, natural. He achieves this through the use of first-person narrative and without the use of literary snobbery. Lee Smith, Slate magazine: . . . a really interesting, beautifully written book with amazingly random but cool distinctions like: Lee was a Confucian in a Taoist's clothing. Creative Loafing: . . . a genre-bending writer whose eloquent, semi-comic tales about, well, life are written with himself at the center of the story. Sort of an inner travelogue. Raleigh (North Carolina) Spectator: Infused with humor, pathos and distinctive insight. Greensboro (North Carolina) News and Record: A wonderfully refreshing change from the ordinary biography-from-a-distance format. Miller is quite candid about his experiences, warts and all. Lynn Felder, Winston-Salem Journal: . . . a vivid evocation of place and (a) refusal to adhere to ordinary reality. Important writing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juniper Lim

    I just found out from another book called Zodiac Baby Names that Bruce Lee was a Saggitarius. Now I wonder what sign Davis Miller was born in? He is a really very good writer. I enjoyed the details he squeezed into his memoir section of the book. An honest look at Bruce Lee's skill and life and death... I just found out from another book called Zodiac Baby Names that Bruce Lee was a Saggitarius. Now I wonder what sign Davis Miller was born in? He is a really very good writer. I enjoyed the details he squeezed into his memoir section of the book. An honest look at Bruce Lee's skill and life and death...

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Mclean

    I love this book, and I'm not sure that the best audience for it is Bruce Lee fans. Half of the book features the only real biography that's been written. Or at least the only one written by a real writer. The first half of the book is about the author's fascinating struggles growing up as a runt whose mother died unexpectedly and how Muhammad Ali and later Bruce Lee rescued him from his misery, eventually helping him find his own rich life. More than anything else, I guess, the book is about ho I love this book, and I'm not sure that the best audience for it is Bruce Lee fans. Half of the book features the only real biography that's been written. Or at least the only one written by a real writer. The first half of the book is about the author's fascinating struggles growing up as a runt whose mother died unexpectedly and how Muhammad Ali and later Bruce Lee rescued him from his misery, eventually helping him find his own rich life. More than anything else, I guess, the book is about how each person's life influences so many others. This is not a Bruce Lee fanboy love letter. It's very easy to read, in fact it's wonderful to read and it reads like a good novel, but it makes the reader ask tough questions of himself and about media heroes. After you finish it, Tao of Bruce Lee is a book that will stay with you. I found myself starting it again to read it more slowly and carefully. Strongly recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    J.P.

    The best, most even-handed portrait of the last martial artist/actor, bar none. On top of that, it's a fascinating chronicle of how Lee inspired Miller to become involved in martial arts, which in turn got him into writing. Miller's is a unique, sympathetic writing voice. While Bruce Lee fans and martial artists will probably get the most from Miller's memoir, I believe any fan of good biography will appreciate this insightful, often surprising book. Great stuff. The best, most even-handed portrait of the last martial artist/actor, bar none. On top of that, it's a fascinating chronicle of how Lee inspired Miller to become involved in martial arts, which in turn got him into writing. Miller's is a unique, sympathetic writing voice. While Bruce Lee fans and martial artists will probably get the most from Miller's memoir, I believe any fan of good biography will appreciate this insightful, often surprising book. Great stuff.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Wellington

    Half of the book is actually a biography on Bruce Lee. The other half is more of a biography of the author. Though initially turned off by reading a biography of someone I didn't know, I warmed to him and eventually cheered him on. The book moved on, we look as Bruce Lee the legend to Bruce Lee the man. This book made me pause and think with some well-placed quotes and poems without lathering it on too thick. Half of the book is actually a biography on Bruce Lee. The other half is more of a biography of the author. Though initially turned off by reading a biography of someone I didn't know, I warmed to him and eventually cheered him on. The book moved on, we look as Bruce Lee the legend to Bruce Lee the man. This book made me pause and think with some well-placed quotes and poems without lathering it on too thick.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Clubb

    Davis Miller argues that, of all the living icons that have emerged in the 20th century, Bruce Lee is perhaps the closest to be revered as a god. This is not just down to his extraordinary worldwide appeal, his legacy on film or in the martial arts, but also the mythology that has built up around him. As Miller points out, few facts have been written about the Little Dragon. It’s quite extraordinary for a modern well-known individual to have their complete life fictionalized from start to finish Davis Miller argues that, of all the living icons that have emerged in the 20th century, Bruce Lee is perhaps the closest to be revered as a god. This is not just down to his extraordinary worldwide appeal, his legacy on film or in the martial arts, but also the mythology that has built up around him. As Miller points out, few facts have been written about the Little Dragon. It’s quite extraordinary for a modern well-known individual to have their complete life fictionalized from start to finish by the majority of the media. In this respect, he has become close to a god-like figure. His life story is often portrayed as miraculous and his death is shrouded in mystery. Davis argues that Lee’s impact on the world was more immense than most people realize. He changed the way we look at action films and the way martial arts are used in them. Outside of this, his legacy is vast, and its influence similar to the way a religion takes hold in the minds of the followers its founder leaves behind. There are those who say he was anything but great. The martial arts historian and writer, Robert W. Smith, dismisses Lee as a fake. This is not surprising. For all those who revere an icon to godly status there will be those whose view is the polar opposite. One man’s god is another’s devil. As numerous documentary makers, biographers and martial arts writers have discovered, it is not difficult to find positive support for the cult of Bruce Lee. However, Miller, who singles the man out as one of his two major influences in life, is not content with hearing what those who mythologize him have to say. He doesn’t go to Lee’s harshest critics, but rather those who seem to be more grounded in the idea of the “human” Lee – people like “Judo” Gene LeBelle and karate champion Joe Lewis. The truth is Bruce Lee was most certainly a driven man with many original ideas and massive ambitions. Although revered in his home country, Lee chased the American dream. His first three movies may seem to be chauvinistic towards Chinese culture, but off-screen Lee wanted to be accepted as an American more than anything else. Evidence more than suggests he wasn’t faithful to his wife or spent a great deal of time with his children in pursuit of his dreams. Miller also argues that Lee cared little for teaching martial arts, but was more interested in developing himself through training with his students. He taught to earn money and his decision to teach westerners was probably more based on business than a desire to make Asian martial arts transcend the culture barrier. More fuel is added to the fire regarding Lee’s prowess as a fighter, as Miller draws upon contemporary accounts and uses training footage of the man to form a cold analysis. He might have given hope to the small people of this world, but Miller suggests his hero was probably more of a bully with all the psychological hang-ups associated with this behaviour than a defender of the weak According to Miller Lee shut down his schools and forbade anyone from teaching jeet kune do, the name he gave his approach, because he felt no one but he understood what he was trying to do. One has only to read one the last notes in Lee’s posthumously published book “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” to see that the great man feared his approach might become a style. He actively says that if anything like this starts to happen then the name should be dismissed. Despite there being some wonderful Jeet Kune exponents out there, it is not difficult to see how many have completely missed the point of the Lee’s postmodern martial arts message. We now have schools divided up into those who follow the jeet kune do according to which area and period Lee taught, many mimicking the stance he used and exactly how he held his hands. Lee certainly put across new ideas in the martial arts world, many of which are not fully appreciated even now. He pioneered the use of a lot of training equipment. He married the concept of the athlete with the martial artist. This statement is certainly true of the Chinese martial arts, where the sight of shapeless men performing chi sau or “sticky hands” with cigarettes hanging out of the side of their mouths is still not an uncommon in Hong Kong. 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: timing and marketing. Lee popularized what others had been doing under the public eye and then some. Lee’s philosophy is also brought into question. Miller perhaps didn’t realize it when he was writing this book in the 1990s, but his research and conclusions suggest that Lee was ahead of his time in blending the self-help movement with the martial arts. This has become a very prominent feature of 21st century marital arts. Many of Lee’s sayings have more to do with the likes of Napoleon Hill than Taoism (Daoism). Being an experienced writer as well as a martial artist, Miller clearly isn’t awed by Lee’s supposed profound adages and is less impressed with some of his reading material. 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. Despite being promoted as a companion volume to Davis Miller’s first reflective and introspective study on a childhood icon, “The Tao of Muhammad Ali”, “The Tao of Bruce Lee” can easily be read as a stand alone book. This is a major strength in the work. Davis can bring you in at any chapter to provide a fresh insight or idea. He is a dedicated storyteller and not a dry historian or “paint by the numbers” biographer. The reader who comes to the work in hope that they will be getting a full researched biography of Bruce Lee might be put off by the first two parts of the book, which focus on Miller’s early life growing up and the dream-like influence Lee exerted over his development. We see the life of a typical child targeted for bullying. With troubles at home and obvious physical disadvantages that led him to being called “foetus” by his enemies at school, Miller was not only a target for abuse, but ripe to be seduced by the mystique of the martial arts. He is no less critical of himself as he is of Lee, although I don’t see this as a negative thing. It’s an honest reflection on being human, which is the central message of the book. 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. It’s a sobering lesson for nostalgic martial artists who try to put over the argument that ineffective martial arts were born purely out of the mainstream that followed Lee’s popularity. However, this is also the book’s weakness. This isn’t to say these two parts aren’t of interest, but they seem somewhat disproportionate and self-indulgent when you consider the book’s topic. 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. For example, he reflects on his time spent with “Sugar” Ray Leonard and how his familiarity with the gifted boxer gave him an inflated sense of his own abilities. It’s an interesting observation and introspection on the human condition, but it is better addressed in a chapter called “Wanting to Whup Sugar Ray” in Miller’s collected work, “The Zen of Muhammad Ali”. Despite these problems, “The Tao of Bruce Lee” is perhaps one of the most important reflective martial arts books written in a long time. 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. This isn’t a reference book or intended to be a typical scholarly study on the life of Bruce Lee, more an honest cultural and personal reflection. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mattparryyahoo.com

    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. 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 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James Fabrizius

    It was nice to see someone become more then they see them as.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Bell

    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. 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 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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Juergen

    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. 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leo Polovets

    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. “The Tao of Bruce Lee” intertwines stories of the author’s life with his quest to learn more about Bruce Lee, who turns out to be surprisingly flawed. The book was good, but the author’s discovery of Lee’s fallibility seemed oddly dispassionate.

  12. 4 out of 5

    okyrhoe

    If you are going to read one self-help book this is the one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Litvak

    This Book was a breezy read and is but one, eloquently written autobiographical account of how Bruce Lee's movies and in some part Bruce's Confucian/Taoist philosophy have influenced the author Davis Miller to take responsibility for his development as a man and martial artist, and to use the drive for self-actualization and Bruce's non-linear, postmodernists approach of "take what's useful, discard the useless, and make it your own" to carve out a beautiful life of his own. This book will reson This Book was a breezy read and is but one, eloquently written autobiographical account of how Bruce Lee's movies and in some part Bruce's Confucian/Taoist philosophy have influenced the author Davis Miller to take responsibility for his development as a man and martial artist, and to use the drive for self-actualization and Bruce's non-linear, postmodernists approach of "take what's useful, discard the useless, and make it your own" to carve out a beautiful life of his own. This book will resonate with any true Bruce Lee fan looking to establish Bruce Lee as a real person and not as some idol/mythical hero of worship. Too many previous works of Bruce Lee seek to deify the man pandering a kind of a "perfect man gone too soon" narrative, setting the rest of us for failure in believing we can never achieve the purity and glory of our martial arts superhero. Or, far worse, be deceived by the false narrative of other books/articles/myth builders who believe we should learn to be more like the "legend" and "grind" ourselves out in order to reach the top of the success ladder, or prove others wrong, or seek success at any cost, till there is nothing left - without also counterbalancing argument for the consequences of doing so. What can I say, this book is both an inspirational account of the author's life inspired by Bruce lee, and the pitfalls of inflated Ego, burn out, megalomania, and 'tooting one's own horn'. It's a sobering account and one every true Bruce Lee fan can use for a well-rounded perspective and balanced view of our hero, Bruce Lee. Davis Miller's own story of discovering Bruce Lee and then discovering his own innate power for "self-transformation" is a great reminder of why someone would want to become a Bruce Lee fan in the first place, and something every true "Dragon fan" can relate to in their heart and soul. My personal suggestion is, read this book by Davis Miller prior to reading "Mathew Polly's Bruce Lee bio 'A Life'". The revelations about Bruce's real-life in Miller's book will be explored in detail in Polly's book, hence, if you read Polly's book first you will not be shocked or surprised when reading the info on Bruce in Miller's account. The only details about Bruce's life that differ between Miller's and Polly's investigation is the "what killed Bruce". I will not spoil the reading any further. Read Miller's short book first and then expand your knowledge of Bruce with Polly's bio, that is my recommendation. Personally, I think this book is a great present or read for any youth, male or female, age 13 to 24, as half of this book, is dedicated to the author's own "coming of age" story, and as such, would be inspirational to this demographic. Be water, my friends!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Glenda

    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. 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 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 times it seems as though it was a bit of a character assassination on Lee and other times not. At the end I concluded the author wanted you to see Lee as flawed by still an inspiration... though I sort of felt too much damage done. I also found the Ali and Sugar Ray things kind of randomly thrown in, and the comparisons ... not useful. Maybe others like to speculate on "Could Bruce Lee beat up Muhammad Ali?" but I have no interest there. Could Godzilla take Gamera? Could Will Smith beat up Jaime Fox? The list could go on... but does it really matter? 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    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. 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 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I was rather hoping this would be about Bruce Lee, not about a guy who really likes Bruce Lee. Alas. 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. I was rather hoping this would be about Bruce Lee, not about a guy who really likes Bruce Lee. Alas. 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    GRV

    THE TAO OF BRUCE LEE Rating 4/5 Half part of the book is much more an autobiography of the author where he wrote about Bruce Lee's influence on his life after watching Enter The Dragon. Other half is a good overview of the life of Bruce Lee. Very worth reading about unknown things happened in Bruce Lee's life. THE TAO OF BRUCE LEE Rating 4/5 Half part of the book is much more an autobiography of the author where he wrote about Bruce Lee's influence on his life after watching Enter The Dragon. Other half is a good overview of the life of Bruce Lee. Very worth reading about unknown things happened in Bruce Lee's life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jagadeesh Rampam

    A wonderful narration of how the author starts with how Bruce Lee influenced him in his personal life, while growing up what was the impact of Lee in his early days to the research he has done interviewing, gathering information from different sources on Lee. We all know Bruce Lee is a sensation and god of martial art even for ages to remember after his death for ~40 years but not aware how he was like, what he was like, what caused his death, who he was with when he died, two funerals happened f A wonderful narration of how the author starts with how Bruce Lee influenced him in his personal life, while growing up what was the impact of Lee in his early days to the research he has done interviewing, gathering information from different sources on Lee. We all know Bruce Lee is a sensation and god of martial art even for ages to remember after his death for ~40 years but not aware how he was like, what he was like, what caused his death, who he was with when he died, two funerals happened for him and the death about his son after 20 years after. And more to add, what people talked infamously talked about reincarnations of Bruce Lee. Amazing book to read for all Bruce Lee's fans out there! About author: Wonderful to read, Looking forward to pick up more of his books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Balu

    The Tao of Bruce Lee narrates the story of Author’s (David Miller’s) life - struggle after his own personal depressions and how Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee rescued him and it clearly set an example how one person life influence others when you adore his actions and words. Miller discussed about his own life struggle and how Lee influenced and changed his life and the later part of the book deals with the Iconic Bruce Lee’s work, actions, philosophy and his habits, and it shares the darkest and The Tao of Bruce Lee narrates the story of Author’s (David Miller’s) life - struggle after his own personal depressions and how Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee rescued him and it clearly set an example how one person life influence others when you adore his actions and words. Miller discussed about his own life struggle and how Lee influenced and changed his life and the later part of the book deals with the Iconic Bruce Lee’s work, actions, philosophy and his habits, and it shares the darkest and unknown topics which deals with death of Bruce Lee...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Toby Jepson

    One of only three sport-related books I've read which feel important. The other two are Miller's Tao of Muhammed Ali (my all-time favourite book) and Terry Davis' Vision Quest. Miller's coming-of-age tales have a universality about them and are important American lit - at least that;s the way I regard them as a Brit who's a bit of a 'Yankophile'. Miller's books could also make brilliant movies. One of only three sport-related books I've read which feel important. The other two are Miller's Tao of Muhammed Ali (my all-time favourite book) and Terry Davis' Vision Quest. Miller's coming-of-age tales have a universality about them and are important American lit - at least that;s the way I regard them as a Brit who's a bit of a 'Yankophile'. Miller's books could also make brilliant movies.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    While one expects this to be a biography of Bruce Lee, the first half of it is much more an autobiography of the author that is loosely themed around Bruce Lee’s influence on his life. It’s an unusual book in this regard. However, while my description may induce visions of a dismal read by a self-absorbed author, it’s really not so bad. The latter half of the book is much more tightly focused on the events of Bruce Lee’s life—or, more dramatically, his death. To be fair, there’s not much materia While one expects this to be a biography of Bruce Lee, the first half of it is much more an autobiography of the author that is loosely themed around Bruce Lee’s influence on his life. It’s an unusual book in this regard. However, while my description may induce visions of a dismal read by a self-absorbed author, it’s really not so bad. The latter half of the book is much more tightly focused on the events of Bruce Lee’s life—or, more dramatically, his death. To be fair, there’s not much material for a Bruce Lee biography. 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. According to the book, there’s not even much of a sparring record of which to speak. 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. Miller’s description of his own life pulls no punches and he spares himself none of the embarrassment incumbent in being a young man seeking to emulate the squealing man with the fists of fury. He doesn’t come across as the narcissist that one might expect from a person who devotes at half of a biography of a global superstar to his own obscure juvenile years. 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. Miller goes on to report about how Bruce Lee’s martial art went awry according to many. 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. While the Bruce Lee physique is now much sought after and regularly seen among movie stars, all the leading men of Lee’s era were doughy by comparison. (One may look no further than his Way of the Dragon nemesis, Chuck Norris.) Lee wasn’t just a movie star and martial artist; he was also a philosopher and thinker. While it’s true that he didn’t produce much in the way of novel ideas, by Hollywood standards he was a regular Algonquin Roundtable member. Lee oozed charisma so powerfully that after all these decades he’s almost as likely to be seen on a T-shirt as Che Guevara—don’t ask me why the Latin American Guerrilla fighter is so popular in silk screen, but that’s beside the point. To sum it up, this isn’t a book about Bruce Lee, it’s about how his life and death shaped so many other lives—starting with Miller’s. While I didn’t count pages, there seems to be about as much space devoted to the events surrounding Lee’s death as the events of his life. Of course, there’s a bit of sensationalism, but inquiring minds want to know. 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. (It’s an interesting irony that Bruce Lee’s almost complete lack of body fat—estimated at under 1%--could well have exacerbated his oversensitivity to whatever substance killed him.) I’d recommend this book for anyone curious about the life and death of Bruce Lee.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ramanaidu

    this book gives you what effect Lee given on world, how much impact he created in 20th century.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kali Srikanth

    I am all styles yet I am no style ~Bruce Lee When a man of RGV's stature claims he is Bruce Lee fanatic and goes on to call Bruce Lee a post-modern philosopher claims in an interview that The Tao of Bruce Lee is the best book among the lot, I had to get my hands on this book immediately, no questions asked. 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 fe I am all styles yet I am no style ~Bruce Lee When a man of RGV's stature claims he is Bruce Lee fanatic and goes on to call Bruce Lee a post-modern philosopher claims in an interview that The Tao of Bruce Lee is the best book among the lot, I had to get my hands on this book immediately, no questions asked. 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 . . . which I haven't enjoyed much, which means I am not going to talk about it or mention about it here. 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. Because TTBL shatters the myth of Bruce Lee for you and goes beyond and into it. 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? and what surrounded his death? 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. Absolutely Recommendable. 4/5

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    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. Surprise! 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. 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. Surprise! 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 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. The author of this memoir/biography shows the folly of teaching yourself, obsessive behavior, and ego.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debby

    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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alberto

    uno dei libri più profondi che abbia mai letto. mi ha aperto ad un nuovo stile di vita, di pensiero. ali è la persona migliore che abbia mai conosciuto ( anche se solo attraverso questo libro). da leggere assolutamente!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria Alexandra

    Unfortunately, this is not a book about the life and training of Bruce Lee; it is a drawn out, coming of age and sanity story of a man who like Lee a whole lot. I was really hoping for more based on how much the author/main character studied and researched Lee, but I couldn’t force myself past the 46% mark because of how little I was learning about the martial arts legend. In that first half of the book, Lee would be about 5% of the contents. Otherwise, it is about a wimpy, whiny boy who I have Unfortunately, this is not a book about the life and training of Bruce Lee; it is a drawn out, coming of age and sanity story of a man who like Lee a whole lot. I was really hoping for more based on how much the author/main character studied and researched Lee, but I couldn’t force myself past the 46% mark because of how little I was learning about the martial arts legend. In that first half of the book, Lee would be about 5% of the contents. Otherwise, it is about a wimpy, whiny boy who I have no interest in learning more about. If you want a tale of the human psyche, how little it cost to fill up a tank of gas or see a movie, what a young man who feels like nothing until his early twenties feel like, or the butterflying of someone who mooches off of their daddy so they can go from rut to martial artist, go ahead. Me? I’m going to look for a book whose title and cover page actually represent the contents.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pantteri4

    The book tries to be both an autobiography as well as a description of Bruce Lee, his life and his philosophy. For someone expecting a full-rounded version of the latter, there is less substance than would be required to form a clear picture of the "tao" of Bruce Lee. Towards the end of this short book, mostly the failings and character flaws of Bruce Lee are being brought out and, while this is a welcome assessment with such a historically mystified celebrity, I was left looking more clarificat The book tries to be both an autobiography as well as a description of Bruce Lee, his life and his philosophy. For someone expecting a full-rounded version of the latter, there is less substance than would be required to form a clear picture of the "tao" of Bruce Lee. Towards the end of this short book, mostly the failings and character flaws of Bruce Lee are being brought out and, while this is a welcome assessment with such a historically mystified celebrity, I was left looking more clarification on how he got there, why he made the decisions that led to his rise and yes, to his untimely death. The book is well-written but it provides a lacking picture of its proclaimed target.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book is interesting in that it takes the author's view of how one man changed his life. I think the book improves the further that you read on so do persist with it. However, the latter stages of the book are more reportage and anecdote than any actual knowledge of Bruce Lee as far as I can ascertain. This book is interesting in that it takes the author's view of how one man changed his life. I think the book improves the further that you read on so do persist with it. However, the latter stages of the book are more reportage and anecdote than any actual knowledge of Bruce Lee as far as I can ascertain.

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