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Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness Paperback – June 4, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books (June 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330420054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330420051
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Some of the rumors are true, some of the rumors are false, and a lot of the tales are just plain weird. There are speculations about sex, allegations of unchecked greed and suggestions of a highly dysfunctional family."

After hundreds of interviews, celebrity biography J. Randy Taraborrelli tackes the rujors andinnendo that hover over the extraordinarily popular and talented family from Gary, Indiana. He traces the real story behind Michael's extensive plastic surgery; his bizarre publicity stunts; the mini-Disneyland built for his private use; the exciting Motown days of chart-busting records and tours; the henomenal solo success that has brought Michael undreamed-of wealth and also great personal pain, and much more. It's the whole Jackson Family saga, and it's all in here.

From the Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is the author of ten books including the international bestsellers Madonna: An Intimate Biography, Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and Their Family, Call Her Miss Ross and Sinatra: The Man and the Myth. He has also written for The Times and the Daily Mail.

More About the Author

J. RANDY TARABORRELLI is the author of 18 biographies, 14 of which went on to become New York Times' best sellers, including: "Call Her Miss Ross," "Sinatra - Behind the Legend," "Madonna - An Intimate Biography," "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot," "Elizabeth,"(a biography of Elizabeth Taylor); "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" and "After Camelot - A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present."

Taraborrelli's best seller, "After Camelot," is presently in production as a miniseries for the ReelzChannel (2014). His previous book about the Kennedys - "Jackie, Ethel, Joan - Women of Camelot" was a highly-rated miniseries for NBC, starring Jill Hennesey as Jackie and Lauren Holly and Ethel. It is available for purchase here on Amazon.

J. Randy's latest book is "The Hiltons - The True Story Of An American Dynasty."

"Behind the celebrity, the success, the wealth and the glamour unique to the Hilton name is the story of everyday people, with redeeming strengths and inevitable flaws," says the author of the characters in "The Hiltons."

"Sometimes wonderful, sometimes insufferable, all are trying to map out their place within the complex geographies of their lives," he writes. "Their love for one another has sustained them just as much as their joyful pursuit of the American dream. After all, fame, riches and notoriety aside, there is no greater common denominator than family. It's what makes us who we are. It's what we see when we look in the mirror: our parents, our siblings, our children, all of those who came before us, who walk with us still, who shaped who we are today and, for better or worse, who show us what we might one day become."

"The Hiltons - The True Story of An American Dynasty" was published in April, 2014. His fourteenth book to make the New York Times' best seller list, it is available on Amazon.

J. Randy Taraborrelli has also worked as a CBS News analyst and is a popular guest on talk and entertainment programs.

The author holds a black belt in the martial art of American Tang Soo Do and a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

I read it so fast and it's a thick book.
C. Clough
If you want to know more about the life of Michael Jackson, this is a great book to read.
Vicki from Oz
I found this book very interesting, well researched and written by the author.
Ligin Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By C. Clough on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I read it so fast and it's a thick book. I recently read "Be Careful who you Love". And it was so obviously biased and tabloid cheap- it left a really bad taste in my mouth. People have labeled that one un-biased ok not true for sure.
This author has a lot more legitimate interviews and a lot more compassion. But he is also real about how Michael is eccentric he has played the victim role a lot rather than take hold of his life.
What I discovered and found most shocking really was Michael and Lisa Marie really had something sexual and honest for a minute. The truth as the author puts it really is stranger than fiction. They really did love each other.
I think Michael has been through a tedious three ring circus of a life. He has been through hell really. At the end of the day at least he has been able to maintain compassion, believe in God, Love his children his fans and despite everything his family. Personally I believe it to be his best attribute.
I thought the book was very fair. Read it if you are interested in the truth about Mr. Jackson.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Mok on April 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness is pretty sensationalistic. Then again, so is the star who's the focal point of this book. J. Randy Taraborelli's notorious biography of Michael Jackson is very well written, with plenty of sources and documentation to support its assertions as well as an authorative tone of investigative journalism which really leads me to believe that what it describes is true.
Some of the book's most interesting points are about Michael and the Jackson siblings' relationship to Joe and Katharine Jackson. Taraborelli's thesis about the domination of Katharine Jackson over the Jackson children is fascinating stuff, as is his probe into the relationship between the two superstars, Michael and Janet. His analysis of Michael Jackson's music is also detailed and convincing, and he has many small anecdotal touches which add immensely to the flavour and make this book a very fast read indeed. Examples include a fan of the Jackson 5 who was allegedly seduced by Jackie Jackson; a secretary who claimed she was beaten up by Katharine and Janet Jackson; and a Soul Train dancer who may have taught Jackson his signature "Moonwalk" move but says that Jackson's version is not really a "Moonwalk".
I only have one criticism of this book, which is directed at the final few paragraphs of this book where Taraborelli steps out of objective mode and tries to state his thesis about how Michael Jackson became who he is. I felt that he had made his points well and clear before this without having to moralize about it. Nevertheless, it's a small flaw in what is otherwise a highly engaging biographical work.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By lulu on July 28, 2004
Format: Turtleback
A riveting read in the typical conversational style of Taraborrelli. I zipped through it in about 1 week and couldn't put it down.

It details Jackson's early life to the present day and you definitely get an excellent interpretation of how the crazy success of his youth, coupled with difficult family relationships shaped the man and his actions today.

It is certainly testimony to the destructive nature of phenomenal wealth on a family, where greed seems to be the prime motivator even though they do love each other also. I suppose every family's dynamics are different and even difficult and the Jacksons have certainly lived theirs in the spotlight.

Taraborelli gives a very good insight into Jackson's character and you begin to understand some of the choices good and bad that he has made and is still making in his life. He is someone who has rarely experienced the word "NO" and this is obvious in his approach to situations - giving a very good impression of a belligerent teenager at times.

It's good to see photos as well, cause you can do a chronology of the changes made through plastic surgery and see finally the devastation of his face today. It is very sad, especially when you see photos of him in 1983-1984 when he was musically and physically insurmontable.

Unfortunately the way Jackson has chosen to live his life has overshadowed the incredibile musical legacy and sometimes I tend to forget what an important contributor he has been to our times.

Definitely a book for anyone who is interested in the ordinary and extraordinary - very well written - the style is only eclipsed by the subject matter - the Enigma that is Michael Jackson
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kyle on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Years ago I read the initial pressing of this book, published in 1991. Obviously, much has happened in the life of Michael Jackson since then, so I sought out this updated edition, published in 2003. Ultimately, I was a bit disappointed. My main complaint was the "tabloidization" of this version (British? This is an import, after all)--overuse of exclamation marks, excessively positive phrasing, almost taking some of the objectivity away that was so prevalent in the first edition. Also, notable chunks of the first book were removed, others greatly edited down, and in some cases updated with new information. Granted, the years added to this book probably required cutting down in some sense. Yet, the "tabloid" feel continued in much of the newer segment (1990-2003), spending entire chapters on Jackson's love/sex life and literally mentioning his entire musical career from 1995 to 2003 in about one page. Sure, in those years his personaly life probably was of more interest than his musical career to many people, but I would have found the story behind his declining career and musical evolution much more fascinating than the space it was given.
On a positive note, the book (like the first edition) does not go out of its way to either defend or criticize Jackson's personal life. It does provide a revealing, first-hand account from someone who has had an inside look at Jacksons life since the 1970's, and for that alone it is probably the best source for an honest book on Jackson's glories and faults.
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