Author/ Year: John McShane/ 2008

Genre: Biography


With his huge charisma, vast talent, and smoldering looks lighting up the screen, Heath Ledger quickly became a Hollywood A-list following his debut in the 1999 teen film 10 Things I Hate About You. But it was his award-winning and controversial role as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain that cemented Ledger’s place in the pantheon of acting greats. He was one of the youngest actors to ever to be nominated for an Oscar, and it was on the set of Brokeback that he fell in love with his costar Michelle Williams, with whom he had a daughter in 2005. With the world at his feet and a star role in the new Batman movie—The Dark Knight—in the can, there was worldwide shock and disbelief following his sudden death in his New York apartment on January 22, 2008. Prescription drugs—found next to his body—were thought to be the cause, but mystery surrounded the circumstances. Was it an accidental death? Or were the pressures of life in the spotlight too great to bear? This is the tragic story of the brilliant actor whose light shone so brightly, but all too briefly, upon the world.


My first time of watching Heath was in the Knight’s Tale, then I saw him again in The Patriot, and Cassanova. A few years later, I heard he was dead. I was shocked; not because I knew him so much, but rather because I felt he was too full of life to have died at a very young age. And the manner of his death was mind boggling.

I loved Heath as an actor who did things his way, and he did worked some really interesting films. Though I am still yet to see everything that Heath Ledger was in, but I would say my favourite is The Dark Knight.

I was really happy when I saw this biography by McShane, even though I knew it wasn’t an authorised biography, the desire to read it was irresistible.

The book is simple to read, and the author just sticks to the facts providing the basic information that one might need to know without becoming too involved.  The book is short (with really short chapters), and straight to the point.

I had this feeling that the book was rushed. A quick effort by the author to make the most out of the death of the Australian star using the little material at his disposal.  A lot of the information contained in the book are quotes from interviews, and then some statements gets repeated to often.  The book didn’t feel intimate.



  1. Hi, I just stopped in to visit your site and thought I’d say thank you.

    Posted by a vitamin | June 19, 2012, 10:28 pm

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