I am Jackie Chan : my life in action

by Long Cheng

Paper Book, 1998

Status

Available

Publication

New York : Ballantine Books, c1998.

User reviews

LibraryThing member badgenome
As English isn't Jackie's native language, he enlisted Jeff Yang to help him into print. Good call, as Yang gives this book structure and a novel-like readability. But it's not the typical ghostwritten "autobiography." Jackie's trademark sense of humor is all over this; at times it even resembles some of his movies. Dwells heavily on his childhood spent in the relentlessly demanding opera academy, providing a fascinating picture of an institution that has pretty much vanished. A thoroughly engrossing rags-to-riches story with which no Jackie Chan fan can go wrong.… (more)
LibraryThing member hagelrat
Very interesting and entertaining if you are a Chan fan, but unsurprisingly, of little interest if you are not. I am so I enjoyed it.
LibraryThing member loafhunter13
-In I am Jackie Chan, Chan tells the fascinating, harrowing, ultimately triumphant story of his life: How the rebellious son of refugees in tumultuous 1950s Hong Kong became the disciplined disciple of a Chinese Opera Master. How the paradise that young Jackie so eagerly embraced proved to be, in reality, a ruthlessly competitive place whose fierce master wielded the legal authority to train his students even to death. How the dying art of Chinese opera led Jackie to the movie business- and how he made the leap from stuntman to superstar. How his broke into Hollywood big time by breaking almost every bone in his body. Finally, after year of plunging off skyscrapers and living to tell the tale, Jackie Chan proves – the this witty, poignant, and often astounding memoir- that it’s always been a tale worth telling. Seeing the Hong Kong movie industry from one of its founding sons is interesting. The insight into Jackie’s home life and opera school is also enjoyable. Chan keeps the chapters short so to better frame each memory and it is enjoyable to get a non-Hollywood account of the pictures, studios, etc. Chan picks and chooses moments to talk about, as is the way with autobiographies and it doesn’t always match up to accounts given by some fans from Asia. Every event is presented as to how it impacted him alone and even moments in which he presents negative aspects do not seem to bring much shame. Interesting with lots of background on his movies but with a little too much self-promotion. Still, one cannot deny his chops as a martial artists, stuntman or director and he does make entertaining movies. Just not books.… (more)
LibraryThing member MarcusKB
From his humble beginings as the son of a cook and a cleaner all the way to his current 'superstar' status - with everything between. This is an honest and often moving account of Jackie Chan's life; detailing his harsh upbringing, his struggle to reach the top, his joys and his regrets. This book has given me a new insight on a man I have admired since my early childhood. "I am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action" also includes Jackie's comments about every film he has made, lists of his favourite stunts and fights and details of the injuries he has sustained as the result of his unique "The more terrified my friends and family are, the more satisfied my fans will be" stunt directing formula, that has had fans gasping for breath for over two decades. The book begins with Jackie about to plunge 250 feet down the side of a skyscraper (the main stunt in Jackie's recent film 'Who Am I?'). As he prepares to jump, his life flashes before his eyes and it's another 315 pages before he actually jumps. For me, the book really begins when Jackie is packed of to Opera School by his parents; little Jackie thinks he's in for a great time but when his parents sign a form permitting the Opera School Master to 'discipline the boy, even to death' you can't help feeling rather worried for him. I won't go into any real detail about his time in the opera school, as you really should read the book to find out more but I will say that the way he (and the other children at the school) was treated will almost certainly shock you. Eventually, to get some time outside of the school (and to earn some money), Jackie starts to work as a stuntman, performing dangerous stunts that others won't risk and never admitting it hurts. His stunt performing soon makes him a sought after stuntman and work comes flooding in, he progresses to a stunt coordinator and an actor and after a lot of blood,
sweat and certainly some tears, he has become successful and wealthy. This is not the end of the story; he loses almost everything by gambling it away and moves back with his parents (in Australia) and works on a building site (plus some other jobs) and works his way back up to where he is now. 'How does he do this?' I hear you ask, read the book to find out. No fan should be without this, but I also recommend it to people who are not fans simply because it is a very moving and heart felt story of a remarkable man. When I got this book I literally did not put it down until I'd finished; it took me a whole day to read but it was worth every minute (and every hour). This book was written by Jackie Chan and translated into english by Jeff Yang.
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