Monday, May 25, 2009

Book review: A tribute to Heath Ledger - the illustrated biography by Chris Roberts

A Tribute To Heath Ledger: The Illustrated Biography - Chris Roberts

This biography details the extremely short life of talented Australian actor Heath Ledger, who tragically died from a prescription drug overdose in January, 2008.
Printed alongside the lists of television and film roles that made Ledger famous are snippets of reviews, interspersed among the minutiae of his personal life.
This information is framed with a collection of photographs of the star taken from the paparazzi, press conferences, red carpets and the sets of his films.

What I gained from reading this book:
As an Australian who has followed Heath Ledger’s progression from small independent films to fame in Hollywood, I remember being deeply shocked when I saw the initial news reports about his death. I picked up this book more than a year after his death as a way of commemorating his brilliant life and as a way to learn more about him. Like River Phoenix, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe before him, Heath Ledger’s life has been immortalised in film and his death serves as a reminder that no one is immune to death, no matter their age or success.

This book showcases a varied assortment of photographs of Ledger: from early headshots to film and television stills, and from film premier photographs to paparazzi shots of him walking down the street with the various women of his life, including his daughter Matilda.

Although this book holds all the vital information about Ledger, it is nowhere near as comprehensive as you would expect, and you can’t help but get the feeling that this book was written quickly and rushed out in order to capitalise on the interest surrounding Ledger’s death. The book is filled with photographs of the star, most of which take up half of the page, if not the full page. It is also made obvious through the text that the author had never met Ledger and has never been in contact with his family, through the detached way in which the book is written. Instead, Roberts relies heavily on interviews and reviews from websites, newspapers and magazines to back up his claims. Despite this, the author definitely has strong research skills and wields the ability to piece together all the information he has collected, in order to produce a clear and coherent book about Ledger’s life.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Genre: Biography

Recommended for: Heath Ledger fans

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

A Tribute to Heath Ledger: The Illustrated Biography

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