Inherited Risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam

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Simon & Schuster, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
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A brilliant father-son biography of the scandalous life of movie star Errol Flynn -- and of his son's equally glamorous yet doomed career as a war photographer in Vietnam

On April 6, 1970, the charismatic Sean Flynn rode his motorcycle into a roadblock, was captured by the Vietcong, and vanished into the jungle. Errol's son shared his father's good looks, charm, athleticism, courage, and artistic talent. But Sean also inherited his father's love of risk, compelling him to lead an equally romantic but tragically brief life.

The story of both men's chillingly similar lives begins with Errol. He was born in Australia, where his mother either beat him or ignored him. He spent his early adult life in the savage outposts of New Guinea as a tobacco planter, gold prospector, bird trapper, diamond smuggler, and slave trader. By the time fame arrived, drinking, drugs, and sex with underage girls assured him legendary status for recklessness, as well as an early death.

Sean was obsessed with his father, a remote and mythical figure. Never able to break free from Errol's overpowering legacy, Sean established his own heroic reputation. The father played a daredevil on screen, the son -- as brilliant and daring as his father -- was driven to increase the stakes. His final gallant and suicidal gesture carried the Flynn tradition to its inevitable conclusion.

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Inherited risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Literary critic and biographer Meyers (Hemingway, etc.) traces the tragic similarities between Hollywood legend Errol Flynn and his son Sean, a freewheeling war photographer who died in the ... Read full review

Review: Inherited Risk: Errol and Sean Flynn in Hollywood and Vietnam

User Review  - Goodreads

Parts of this were excellent but the book didn't land with its intended effect b/c of a few major tone/organization issues. Sean and Errol Flynn both loved risk, had thwarted bouts with introspection ... Read full review


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Seans Life 19411965
Seans War 19661969

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About the author (2002)

Jeffrey Meyers has published forty books and more than five hundred articles on modern American, English, and European literature. He has received a multitude of awards and fellowships, and is one of twelve Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Berkeley, California, and is now writing a biography of Somerset Maugham

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