October 04, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Paul Newman: A Biography

Current Status
In Season
Eric Lax, Paul Newman
Movies, Biography
We gave it a B+

Eric Lax, author of an acclaimed Woody Allen biography, is a stellar reporter and a fine writer; his subject in Paul Newman: A Biography is astonishingly beautiful in the lavish photographs sprinkled throughout. But the publisher seems to be marketing this oversized tome as a coffee-table book and not a biography, which means Newman fans might overlook the lively text. While the actor’s attitudes toward aging (”I can’t think of anything that gets better…I’m not mellower, I’m not less angry”) and racing cars (”It’s just fun; that’s all”) may not be headline-worthy, Lax makes a convincing case for why we’re right to have admired the upright Newman all along. B+

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