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Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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"[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.
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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. During my own stay in Leon, Spain, (also in Northwestern Spain, close to the French border) where part of "El Camino" passes through, we saw many of the hundreds of pilgrims that traverse the way, every single day that we were visiting. It was a great feeling and satisfaction to see all the people that have committed to making the long journey to Santiago de Compostela, and immediately felt connected to them. This is a very poignant story that takes the reader through the triumphs and failures we all experience in our lives as parents, sons and daughters and I looked at Mr. Sheen and Mr. Estevez with a great deal of pride and respect for telling us what their lives had been like, growing up and learning from one another. Although I am not a young person anymore, it was a first and a discovery to me recently that I had actually learned from my children, just as much as they had learned from me. It gave me a new perspective of how they really feel and how they really see me, beyond being their mother; how they saw me as a person, a human being, someone who came from a different culture and spoke a different language - and in this book, it is clear to see that Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez went through some of the same "awakening".
I recommend this book because I found it very inspirational, poinant, candid and easy to read and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonists and the ways in which each coped with the peaks and valleys in their lives. A most enjoyable read.