THE SECRET OF INNER STRENGTH by Chuck with Joe Hyams Norris

THE SECRET OF INNER STRENGTH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A quietly inspirational autobiography from the karate-master/action-film super-star. Norris concludes his story with a 12-part ""Chuck Norris's Code of Ethics"": ""I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways,"" ""I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile,"" etc. His life as presented here dramatizes this code, from his stoic silence as a school kid falsely accused of vandalism to his decidedly non-glitzy life as a film star. Along the way, Norris--who's half Native American and whose father was an alcoholic--began the study of karate. Martial arts proved his ticket to success; within a few years, he was World Middleweight Karate Champion, karate tutor to stars including Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and the Os-monds. Enter Bruce Lee, who befriended Norris and gave him his first major film role, in Return of the Dragon. Then, a series of highly successful, low-budget ""chop-socky"" films (A Force of One, The Octagon, etc.), followed by the big time with Missing in Action and Code of Silence--in all of which Norris played the same basic character (""As long as I am perceived as a role model, I intend to be a positive one. . .The characters I play use their [fighting] skills as a last resort. . .the good guy always wins""). Has success spoiled Norris? Not to judge from his self-deprecating humor (""I love Snickers and always have a bag of the bite-sized bars at hand""); low-key lifestyle; the ""principles of inner strength"" elucidated near book's end; and the homilies that coda each chapter, summing-up lessons learned at each stage of life (""You can always do a little more than you thought you could if you push yourself beyond your limitations""). Too thick with fortune-cookie moralizing (""I believe that life is like a large pie, with pieces representing different priorities""), but Norris' sincerity and fascinating life odyssey add up to a likable and modest account from a likable and modest star.

Pub Date: Jan. 28th, 1987
Publisher: Little, Brown