The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean

Morrow, Aug 2004, 24.95
ISBN: 0380978393

In 1955, James Dean loves putting the pedal to the metal until his speeding Spyder met a Ford at an intersection. Encouraged by his sweet dead mom to get off the ground so he will not catch a cold, Jimmy awakens at Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital and later is moved to Santa Monica Hospital. Jimmy slowly recovers, but mentally is no longer the same Rebel Without a Cause.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Jimmy leaves the hospital, but is hooked on Demerol. He leaves Southern California for New York, following advice he once gave Marilyn Monroe. In Manhattan, Jimmy meets merry prankster writer Jack Kerouac and dreams of directing meaningful films. Marilyn, who he protects from the jealous rages of Joltin' Joe, introduces Jimmy to Bobby Kennedy. When Monroe commits suicide Jimmy suspects Bobby was involved. They battle over her incriminating diary. Jimmy is now a rebel with a cause as he plans to take on the Kennedy gang knowing he could end up rather quickly joining Marilyn in the afterlife.

This is an intriguing what if biographical-like fictional account of the life of James Dean if he recovered from the fatal car crash. The story line is at its best when fifties and sixties famous people realistically interact with Jimmy.   However, Jack Dann goes too far out with the High Noon confrontation between Dean and the Kennedy mob, making it feels more like fantasy. When Mr. Dann stays with the low level scandals even of high ranking people, fans obtain a fine tale of what could have been intermingled with happened.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   vigilante getting revenge General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   California

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean

Jack Dann Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian