Synopses & Reviews
A thrillingly written look inside the crash-bang world of the professional stuntman—the first reported book to venture into this wild corner of the movie business.
In The Full Burn, bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Kevin Conley takes readers inside one of the most fascinating and dangerous jobs in the world. With bravura storytelling and full access to many of the legends of the field (including Uma Thurmans double for Kill Bill and the genius behind the Jason Bourne movies, among many others), Conley gives a passengers-seat view of the stuntmans life: the history, the culture, and the tricks of the trade, showing how—and why—stuntmen do what they do.
Whats the greatest stunt ever performed? Why is the divorce rate among stuntmen so high? Whats it like to go to work not knowing whether youll come back? Whats it like for your wife? Whats the scariest trick a stuntman does? Conley delivers the answers in the form of vivid tales from his subjects lives—and, in trying to answer the last question, one from his own, when he subjects himself to the rite of passage known as the “full burn.” Funny, gripping, and packed with amazing stories, this is an irresistible book for anyone who loves the movies.
"In this brisk and entertaining look at Hollywood stuntmen, Conley (Stud: Adventures in Breeding) offers a close look at a daredevil community. Describing the physical skills, exacting preparation, and cinematic challenges, Conley, like his subjects, makes even the glass-smashing, metal-crushing car chases in the Bourne movies (starring Matt Damon) seem easy, as if avoiding certain harm were only a matter of craft and timing. From chapter to engaging chapter, Conley blends film history with his subjects' realistic assessments of athleticism, sexism, death and technological innovations of the mechanical and computerized kind. The most memorable (and humorous) exchanges come, though, from the stuntmen themselves: the seasoned pro who confesses his biggest enemies to be 'gravity and blonds' and a stuntwoman who endures a wardrobe malfunction while filming the '70s-era TV series Wonder Woman. In fact, Conley develops such an impressive camaraderie, access and feel for the stunt world that his newfound friends prep him to set himself aflame in an attempt to do 'the full burn,' the stunt that gives the book its title. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Bestselling author and acclaimed journalist Conley takes readers inside one of the most fascinating and dangerous jobs in the world--the Hollywood stuntman--and explains why they do what they do.
“[An] edge-of-your-seat look at the slam-bang world of stunt pros…Great supplemental reading for movie fans.”—Rocky Mountain News
In The Full Burn, Kevin Conley goes inside one of the coolest and most dangerous jobs in the world. With bravura storytelling and full access to legends of the field, he gives a behind-the-scenes view of the stuntmans world: the history, the culture, and the tricks of the trade, showing how—and why—stuntmen do the crazy things they do. He even subjects himself to the stuntmans ultimate rite of passage, the books eponymous stunt, in which he is doused in jellied gasoline and set aflame. Packed with amazing stories and fascinating insights into the movies you love, this is truly immersion journalism at its finest.
About the Author
Kevin Conley is the author of the national bestseller Stud: Adventures in Breeding. He has written for GQ, the New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Amy, and their children, Max, Sarah, Jack, and Gloria.