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Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"[A] loving account that's also very candid, staring unflinchingly at the painful moments, including Martin Sheen's alcohol-fueled psychotic breakdown on the set of "Apocalypse Now," seen through Emilio's eyes and recalled with the humiliated clarity of a self-conscious teenager.
Spirituality — Sheen's Catholicism and Estevez's quest for a personal spirituality, which eventually leads him to farming and planting his own vineyard — is at the heart of the book, as is the nature of family relationships and what it means to at once love another human and allow them to walk their own path. Though Sheen's wife and Estevez's mother Janet is dealt with sparely, it is clear that she has always been — and still is — the glue that holds the family tightly together." -- LA Times

"It's refreshing to find a dual memoir between a father and son from the same profession that's so honest and cathartic. Veteran actor Martin Sheen and his eldest son, Emilio Estevez, the accomplished actor/filmmaker, reveal eerie, often ironic parallel journeys, both personally and professionally. They've struggled as artists and fathers, and we come away with a deeper understanding of the sacrifices and compromises they've made in balancing craft and family. In many ways, they've actually grown up together during their remarkable relationship. What's so fascinating about Along the Way is this insightful back and forth. Sheen confesses what a horrible father he was during the making of Francis Ford Coppola's legendary Apocalypse Now. He was at his most self-destructive during this Vietnam opus, which eventually led to a near-fatal heart attack. And Estevez admits how much he needed his father's attention when they were on location together in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Estevez relates his own vices on the way to becoming part of the '80s "Brat Pack" generation (a gross misnomer, it turns out). Yet he overcomes his share of obstacles, too, in attaining satisfaction and enlightenment. Both father and son found inspiration in the life of Robert Kennedy, with Estevez writing, directing and co-starring with Sheen in Bobby, an ode to the charismatic and compassionate political figure in the wake of his assassination. ... This cries out for a follow-up." -- USA Today

"Icons of the silver screen and father/son duo Sheen and Estevez reminisce on their careers, lives, and relationship in this engaging dual memoir. In alternating chapters, each actor describes the difficulties and triumphs of making it in showbiz, as well as the struggles intrinsic to any father/son relationship. The stories hinge on the making of The Way, a new movie directed by Estevez, and featuring Sheen as a father bearing his son's ashes across Spain's 500-mile Camino de Santiago. Sheen remembers his Spanish roots and his resilient immigrant father; Estevez recalls in a vivid picaresque his childhood years spent abroad as his father made movies. In addition to reflections on each man's philosophies, intimacies, and misunderstandings, exciting events abound, as when Sheen eschews a stunt-double and leaps into a frigid river while shooting The Way. While Sheen struggled with a dark, demanding script during filming for Apocalypse Now in the Philippines, Estevez--then a teenager--remembers the night a local tribe "sacrificed a water buffalo by hacking off its head in four brutal blows…It was horrifying and fascinating at the same time, primitive yet reverent, painful to watch but impossible to turn my eyes away from." From fist fighting in a Philippine cabana to spiritual awakenings in India, readers will revel in the exploits of this dynamic and charming duo." -- Publishers Weekly

"An engaging dual memoir by Sheen and Estevez that explores their lives and their intense relationship. Punctuated with humor and unusual frankness, the emotional highs and lows they share will resonate with fathers and sons.

Sheen and Estevez write as much about family and spiritual matters ... as they do about their work. "Along the Way" offers the promise that our differences don't have to divide us if we keep love, respect and forgiveness in our hearts. That would be a comfort on any journey." --Associated Press

About the Author

Martin Sheen was born (and still is) Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez. Sheen is perhaps best known for his unforgettable performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Wall Street, and as President Josiah Bartlet on television’s The West Wing. A longtime activist for social justice and human rights, he resides in Malibu, California, with Janet, his wife of fifty years.

Emilio Estevez is known for his roles in The Outsiders, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, and The Mighty Ducks and as writer and director of The War at Home, Bobby, and The Way, films with substantive social subjects. He is coproprietor of Casa Dumetz vineyards in Malibu, with partner Sonja Magdevski, where they live.

Hope Edelman is the author of five prior nonfiction books, including the international bestseller Motherless Daughters. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Topanga Canyon, California.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451643688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451643688
  • ASIN: 1451643683
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a book about travel -- both literal and metaphorical. Literally, the Sheen father and son make their way from city to city, continent to continent, in the course of acting work: first the father's, then both father and son. Metaphorically, the two lives find themselves traveling alongside one another in shifting roles. From a simple father-son relationship, to acting alongside one another, to the eventual reversal of roles when the son directs the father in a religious film, this is a story of intimacy as it metamorphoses.

This is also the record of a spiritual journey. From youthful anger, alienation and rebellion, to a more mature rediscovery of a religious faith, this is a story where despair has its place but does not triumph. Reminiscent in some ways of the travel-oriented I Walked to the Moon and Almost Everybody Waved: The Curiously Inspiring Adventures of a Free Spirit Who Changed Lives by Ed Carlson, this is a narrative of the discovery of spiritual light.

Highly recommended for those interested in the biography of cinema, general audiences seeking an account of family relationships, and also for those seeking to learn more about the spirituality of artists and risk-takers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic! Enjoyable! are only two of the words that come to mind in describing this amazing journey of father and son. I loved this book from cover to cover. Most of us tend to idolize and idealize actors and other artists and rarely get to share a very personal and intimate account of their lives. In this very candid recount of their personal lives, both Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez give us a glimpse of how human they are and show us how they're not so different from the rest of us. Many aspects of their story resonated with me, as I thought about my own journey to find my personal roots in Spain. And while my sisters and I did not write a memoir of our experience, we could have written about our own trip to Spain in late 2010 to the ancestral home of my grandparents, not too far away from where Mr. Sheen's and Mr. Estevez' ancestors came from. Our experiences were very similar to the ones they had once they got there, meeting family that was foreign to them in every sense of the word, but that somehow one realizes how close they seem when realization hits they are your own blood, even though their lives have not paralleled yours. Blood has a very funny way of connecting you to people that you haven't met or perhaps seen in decades, as was our case and we too enjoyed the hospitality, warmth and love of people that received us in their homes with open arms and a great deal of love, just because we were blood relatives.
I also saw the film, The Way, written and directed by Emilio Estevez and acted by Martin Sheen, and loved it as well, so it was easy to relate to it as it mentions it in this memoir.
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Format: Hardcover
Once I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. It takes you on a father and son journey full of adventures, and spiritual & emotional truths we can all learn from. Martin has always inspired me with his belief in social justice, but now I have such respect for him as a family man, who, as imperfect as we all are, instinctively raises a family while growing up himself during a time of great change in our country. And Emilio is so much more than just an actor. He is a complicated and admirable human being who loves his family and has just made a work of art called "The Way", which they cover behind the scenes in this book, along with other movies made by both actors. But ultimately, the book is the unvarnished story of a father and son's relationship through the most important stages of life. A GREAT Father's Day gift.
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Format: Hardcover
Along the Way covers the lives of Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez through their lives. The book is well written and chapters jump back and forth between each other. I was most surprised by the openness of Martin talking about his upbringing, battle with alcohol, raising children and his faith. However, I thought Emilio's chapters were interesting especially when they contrasted similar events with his father, showing both sides of the issues. The two men share many similarities and differences but the father-son bond that builds throughout the book is a heartwarming story though sometimes messy. Being a similar age to Emilio and having grown up with his movies (and not so much Martin's), I learned a great deal about Martin's career and life. It really is his story that carries the book but I finished reading with a greater respect for both.

I think myself and others were expecting more about the making of the "The Way", even though I knew it only contained a few short chapters on that, before ordering the book. It seemed like a missed opportunity not to go into that a little more.

SUMMARY: I quite enjoyed reading this well written story about two men, their relationships and lives. The book also covers snippets of movies, politics, history and travel and kept me turning pages. Although my review is a 4 read it as more of a 4.25 (85%).
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