370 of 461 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
If I had only read the Amazon reviews of this book, I probably would not have bought it. Fortunately, I heard the author interviewed and realized he respected and cared about Michael Jackson as an artist and person. This book was not written to demonize Michael Jackson. Instead, this book tells the truth and clears up the ugly lies that the media created to sell magazines/newspapers.
I have been a Michael Jackson fan from the beginning when he was a little guy singing with the Jackson 5. When he died, I was as sad as if I had lost a family member. I loved this man and his music. But, like everyone else, I'd heard so many nasty things about him in the media and was searching for the truth of his life.
What I found in this book was a well-researched, truthful explanation of the sad and tragic life of Michael Jackson. He was a brilliant artist, but a tortured human being who desperately needed the media to leave him alone so he could attempt to have a personal life. I now understand why he did the things he did to try to have a normal life.
The book also talks about how he was nothing more than a money machine for the people who surrounded him, including his family. I'm sure he did feel alone in the world even though he was surrounded by people.
The really sad thing is that Michael Jackson never really knew how much he was loved by his fans and is loved to this day.
If you love Michael Jackson, read this book and find out about the loving father and gifted artist that the media was so quick to label "Wacko Jacko."
289 of 368 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
READ THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF! I saw the author interviewed and was interested, then went to Amazon to read reviews. I found them curiously alike and now that I read the book I know why. This book IS well written, detailed and well researched and although it shows MJs many flaws it was very sympathetic. Who it is brutal towards is the entire Jackson family and I suspect they are organizing negative reviews. I went into the book believing Michael Jackson was an incredibly talented, but crazy pedophile. I don't believe that anymore. I have enormous sympathy for the man and am a little ashamed that I had judged him so harshly in the past. I think real fans of Michael Jackson will find this a fair and honest book and I'm glad I read it. There is nothing tabloid about it. The Jackson family, however, must hate it because it exposes a very tragic tale of greed and ego. RIP Michael Jackson and I hope your children are able to escape the family you were not able to.
249 of 319 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
I think this book depicts Michael Jackson in a very sympathetic manner .While it retells many tabloid stories that have been debunked , the tabloid culture WAS part of Michael Jackson's life and had a lot to do with the view the general public had of this misunderstood, eccentric artist.After all, it was the slanderous innuendo of the Martin Bashir hit piece,that led to the lowest times of his life , ending up in a trial that, while cleared of all charges, would take his health, his reputation and ultimately his faith in his fellow man...Really a absolute disgrace , when the truth is exposed by Mr Sullivan's book.
Many people would rather the general public not realize this was a fabricated case..Essentially, a show trial with the worlds most well known celebrity,..involving a District Atty, who had an unusually close relationship with certain tabloid reporters, It was ,this, symbiotic relationship between the tabloid press and govt prosecutors, working hand in hand for their mutual benefit, that enabled this case to go forward....This made a fortune for the tabloids and even effected the way the mainstream media represented what was actually happening in the courtroom.Big Business making big money.
It is also very interesting how many people behind the scenes , were also involved in the 93 accusations ,and how they are all tied together, which Mr Sullivan also goes into .
This is truly an exoneration of Michael Jackson, of ALL allegations,including the infamous Chandler family accusations, and it is about time.
Everyone should be made aware of EXACTLY how and why that trial came to be, and Mr Sullivan lays it all out !
Small wonder Michael Jackson felt his life was viewed through a fun house mirror..The tabloid media meant for it to be...
While some people think that there has been a fan movement against this book , due to some of the authors personal opinions and tabloid stories..I think there is more to it..
I believe that it is his chapters on the people surrounding Michael Jackson in the last months of his life and after, that some people, would really like the fan base, to forget about, and not read about... .. The estate , the Jackson family,themselves, and their lawsuit regarding AEG, their complaints about the validity of the will,the Michael album that caused alot of uproar in the community ,are all covered, as well as the unusual circumstances of his death, and the Conrad Murray trial.
Small wonder Michael never knew , who he could trust , because nobody looks good..
Unfortunately,it would seem, there were very few with clean hands in Michael Jacksons life and even in his death..I commend the author for writing this book.
100 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
It seems that while Sullivan and his friends in the media have succeeded in convincing many that there is some organized "hate campaign" against this book by Jackson fans, it is disturbing that what we are seeing now is a reverse strategy campaign that is just as damaging-and just as unconducive to free speech. Now, all of a sudden, we have a barrage of 5 star reviews, incidentally from many who likewise haven't bothered to read the book. Not all of the negative reviews have been from protective fans and "groupies." Many have been from intelligent, knowledgable readers, whether Jackson fans or scholars, who have studied his life for years-enough to know inaccuracies when they see them, and how to pinpoint what is an obvious and biased narrative on the part of the author.
Many very intelligent reviews, which patiently and laboriously broke down this book's inaccuracies, have now been buried beneath an avalanche of reviews that all sound suspiciously like the same person wrote them.
Look, this is probably not the worst book about Michael Jackson out there but, c'mon. A 5-star book it is not. It does contain many inaccuracies, of which true Jackson aficiandos are able to pinpoint right off the bat. There are certainly far better books-and no, I do not necessarily mean "fan" books or books that are all positive. If anyone wants to know what Michael Jackson the man was like, Frank Cascio's "My Friend Michael" is a far more accurate and honest book. I mean, really, who should be a more reliable source-the people who actually knew Michael Jackson, or a cut and paste journalist who is just stitching together every narrative and every story and every piece about Michael Jackson he has ever read, and throwing it all against a wall to see what sticks?
If the book is changing some people's minds about Michael Jackson, good. But that still doesn't excuse the blatant inaccuracies that have been pointed out, nor does it excuse the media for blatantly ignoring those inaccuracies and accusing those who have thoughtfully pointed them out as having some sort of agenda to destroy this book. Free speech is just that. And anyone-Michael Jackson fans or not-are certainly entitled to express it. In fact, given that Michael Jackson is, after all, the subject of this book, they are especially entitled to express it.
It is a sure sign of a polarizing book when every single rating is either a one or five star review. A pretty good indication that most are acting on nothing but kneejerk reaction, regardless of which side of the fence they are on. If anything, the book probably deserves two to three stars for effort and for some of its more decent aspects, but to award a book with this many flaws and inaccuracies with a five-star rating, as some are doing (I suspect out of spite and nothing more) is just wrong.
The problem that most people who are truly knowledgable about Michael's life have with this book is that it is perpetuating the tabloid caricature myth of him that most of us have come to realize was false-or at any rate, greatly exaggerated. And before anyone starts, yes, I am aware of some of the book's positive qualities. But it begs the question: Should we be content with a half baked product, especially when it seems this particular author has all of the strings, the clout and the "pull" with the media that, unfortunately, many who have written much more well informed books on Michael simply do not have? People who do not know one-tenth of the information that Jackson's greatest fans know about him will praise a book like this, while dismissing those who have actually spent years researching his life as "crazed" or "deranged" fans. While there are no doubt some extreme and overly protective fans, there are also many intelligent, articulate fans who know the facts because they have spent years researching them, and whether some factions like it or not, their opinions do matter. After all, it should be pretty easy to tell a kneejerk review (whether one star or five star)from the thoughtful, intelligent response of someone who has actually read the book-and has found genuine problems with it.
If you have read the book and loved it, fine. I have never been, nor will ever be, an advocate for censorship. I believe that everyone has the right to read a book and to make up their own minds. But to attempt to silence those who have found genuine fault with this book is equally wrong-and disturbing.
The book is definitely not the end all and be all of MJ books, as some are trying to claim. At best, it may have a place on the shelf of discerning readers who may be willing to overlook its flaws for the few kernels of truth it contains. But it is what it is. To try to build it up to anything more is just hot air and hyperbole.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
This book is hard to read, as it jumps from one topic to another, sometimes going off on weird tangents, and then coming back to the point that was 10 pages ago. Also, its way too long.
I didn't like that the author seemed to throw every piece of information he got into it, no matter if it contradicted other tales, or LOGIC itself.
Example, he claims that Michael Jackson was out of touch with popular culture, and was shocked to learn that a basketball star was the lead actor in a movie called Space Jam. Some kid had to explain to him who Michael Jordan was.
How could that be possible? Michael Jackson recorded the video Jam with Jordan in 1992, and Space Jam was made in 1996!!
So that story just doesn't stand up to logic, Michael wouldn't be surprised that Jordan was huge, as he hired him for the video Jam. Michael would know who he was, HAVING WORKED WITH HIM.
So if you read this, understand that it is hard to follow, and anything you read might as well be taken as fiction, as like I have just pointed out, this book isn't that intelligent.
I'd recommend "Michael Jackson The Seven Secrets of His Success", as I also have just read that, and believe me, that is a much better read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2013
While this book pretty much cleared MJ in the Chandler case and totally cleared him in the Arvizio case, plus did say he had vitiligo, it is hated by the fans. The reason is that it still contains the basic tabloid narrative. The book ignores his music, in keeping with the American media and so called pop/rock music critics. It perpetuates the myth of his prosthetic nose and having 2 holes where his nose should have been, and also the myth of his supposed asexuality. In other words, its the same old Wacko Jacko stuff. There is some good research on the trial, and the last few years after, including Bahrain, Ireland, Tohme Tohme, AEG, and Conrad Murray, but it continues the Wacko Jacko narrative. For an understanding of the music, read The Man in the Music, by Joe Vogel, and for an understanding of the man, read My Friend Michael, by Frank Cascio. Cascio's book is very honest, pulls no punches, admits the drug problems, but is written with love. Vogel's book illustrates the genius of Michael Jackson, and why he was dismissed by idiotic rock critics like Randall Sullivan.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Kept jumping around subjects and constantly repeating. Wanted to know more about him growing up and how he was in school.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2015
Personally, this was a five-star book, but it is really for a narrow group of readers, folks like me that know the outline of MJ's life, have an an open mind about him and a special interest in his last decade and business life.
I think Sullivan did a commendable job of blending objectivity with a sense of narrative. It certainly needed to be lawsuit-proof, what with all the high-powered figures that make an appearance in the book, including meaningful and unexpected cameos from David Geffen, Johnnie Cochran, Tim Burton and Stan Lee. If you don't like biographies that repeatedly jump in time, are already very familiar with the subject and have strong opinions, find any in-depth discussion of Michael's business life to be an emphasis on minutia, or can't devote the time to give this 600 page beast the attention it deserves, you should pass. Personally, I loved it, and thought it was a fascinating character study as well as probably the most tragic of the hundreds of musician bios which I have read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Interesting read. This author goes beyond MJ's passing and discusses more current events regarding the Jacksons, including Janet, Randy & Rebbie's "Kidnapping" of Katherine Jackson and other scandals. It seems there is still controversy surrounding MJ, even after his passing.
on July 18, 2015
Ive read the preview. If you are a worshipping fan dont waste your money. If you understand that there was a man behind the incredible genius and media character,a man that had to face a lot of pain in his lifetime,a man that had access to amounts of money and adulation that would make anybody go crazy,a man who could not trust anybody and having a less than perfect family...in other words if you want to get to know the real MJ this is the book. You will see the kindness,the selfprotective behavior,the shopping plastic surgery and drug addictions.The reality he never experienced and the crazy surreal world lifestyle he built.The sharks he was surounded by.But you will get to understand thos addictions in the context of his life.You will see the mature man, father in his last years,the fallen star that regreted a lot of decisions made earlier that wanted desperely to rebuild his health,his face,his life,his career and keep bringing joy to the world.The visionary.
Michael Jackson wanted to buy every copyright for marvel and superheroes,long before it all explode.He saw it coming,he could not make thmove because of his legal troubles but Michal Jackson was going to lead this new milenium entertianment industry.He was going to move into media production.He was very smart and creative,surounded by people moved by love hate and envy. A very complex mix and definately too much to handle for a man with lot of childhood traumas.
To the fans hating on the book...you need to have more compassion for MJ,he tried his best given the circumstancs he had to face and always tried to give his best to the fans to the world. But he was human h mad mistakes,he tried hard for th world to see him as a human being and be loved. So have compassion dont look at him like a divine creature.He was human he made mistakes just like vrybody and he deservs love and compassion.
Im glad the book touches on the toxic relationship that was Liz Taylor,fans adore her just like Mj adored her but it was one of the baddest influences on Michael. She introduced him to Klein wich led prescriptions drugs,agressive skin treatments,Debbie rowe instead of a real supportive woman...and alsoMichal just held on to his childhood pain instad of lettin it go,Going over it over and over again talking to Liz and asing the pain with drugs nad alcohol. Im glad somebody paints Liz th way it was.Michael was not mature enough in the early 80s coming from a rligious and overprotectiv motown label.All those clbs advised him doctors,surgons,painkillrs...and we know the rest of the storie