I have seen a little of Bruce Lee’s work as an actor, but not much and I’m certainly not a big Bruce Lee fan. Having said that, I really love this book; so if I, as someone who isn’t a Bruce Lee fan, love this book then fans of Mr. Lee should be doing cartwheels over it. Really, it’s pretty awesome (as these kinds of books tend to me, at least in my opinion).
The book is written by Paul Bowman (a Bruce Lee expert) and contains a brief foreword by Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee. It’s a good read, and one that you can finish in 30 minutes or so if you’re just reading and you’ll learn a ton about of Bruce’s life: his family, his acting, martial arts, his training regime, etc. As good as the writing is though, it’s the pictures and especially the memorabilia that makes this a special book worth owning for even a casual Bruce Lee fan or old movie buff.
There are great pictures, black and white and color, on every single page. Some pages are nothing but pictures. The pictures are all nice quality, and it’s helped by the fact that the paper is of good quality too. The real star of the book though is the special inserts that you can remove. These inserts include five movie posters (most of which are Chinese language) that are big and awesome and 15 pieces of “rare facsimile documents and items of personal memorabilia.”
When you first flip the cover over, you’re immediately greeted with the first two enclosures: a big original Chinese language poster for the movie “The Big Boss,” and a hand-drawn bookmark. There’s a Kodak picture, several hand-written letters and drawings, business card, student membership card, theater ticket, a notebook showing how to do dangerous martial arts moves, and so much more (including a get well card from Steve McQueen). All of it has been recreated wonderfully; it all looks like the legit copy of the stuff. I mean really, I was amazed at how well this memorabilia has been recreated and feels. It really is just like you’re holding and looking at an actual hand-written letter or a Kodak picture right out of the family scrapbook. It’s some pretty awesome stuff, and I really like the movie posters.
The book is available now apparently, even though the fact sheet that accompanied my review copy lists the release date as being May 2013 for a suggested retail price of $45. Is it worth $45? It absolutely is, if you’re fan of Bruce Lee. I’m not a big Lee fan, but again I really do love the quality of the book and all of the removable items. I wouldn’t have paid $45 for it, but it is worth it. Luckily, you don’t have too. Amazon is selling this book right now for $26.32, and if you have the money lying around and have even a remote interest in learning about Bruce Lee and seeing some cool stuff, buy this book. I really can’t recommend it enough; it’s a great book.
Treasures of Bruce Lee gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.