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Forgiving Troy: A True Story of Murder, Mental Illness and Recovery Paperback – May 13, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Matricide! Suicide! Paranoid schizophrenia! Sound like elements of a juicy soap opera?  These horrors are part of his true family story. And the actor is going public.."
--Gil Kaan--National Enquirer

". . . The soap sensation who played Phillip Chancellor III on The Young and the Restless has written a terrific, gut-punching memoir that chronicles his triumph over an unspeakable family tragedy . . . Chilling, hopeful, spiritual—you'll never read anything like it."  —Michael Logan, TV Guide


"A true-life tale of love and loss, terror and triumph, that will take your breath away—and play on every single emotion you own."  —Bill Harris, E! Entertainment TV

About the Author

Thom Bierdz is an actor on C.B.S.'s number one rated soap opera The Young and the Restless. After his unspeakable family tragedy, Thom spent the next 5 years painting as therapy. Now hailed as a talented artist, Thom still paints and has raised over $100,000 for charities. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thom Bierdz (May 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615394850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615394852
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #857,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been an avid reader my entire life. I have read every type of book out there while subconsciously noting my favorites. But then came this book. This real life book of honest family tragedy and recovery took me on an emotional journey with the writer. The bravery and play by play steps of conjuring up courage and forgiveness along a life of tragedy and disappointments is nothing short of amazing. There are so many things written in this book that anyone can take away to use as positive lessons in their own lives. The author wrote with such honest and raw emotions that you want to hug him and thank him for sharing and letting you see inside of what many others would hide and cover up as too private to share. We all have dysfunction in our families and struggle to forgive such minor things at times amongst those we love. BUT THIS.....this book had me doing some major self inventory and lead me on a path to better understanding of what true forgiveness is. It also reminded me that being vulnerable and honest is liberating. Thom Bierdz is a very courageous and honest man with a big heart. You cannot put this book down once you open it so make sure you have a couple days to devote. It's one of those books that when you're finished you want more because you enjoy being in that world of honesty and love. Without question I definitely recommended this book to everyone. There are lessons for all walks of life.
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Format: Paperback
Thom Bierdz walks where few have dared to walk: he has paraded his almost incredible life of a dysfunctional family, airing what most writers would shutter, with an openness of delivery that makes the reader immediately relate to this extraordinary man. Known as a successful actor, artist, and entertainer, Bierdz first shows us that he is unafraid to relate his position as a gay man in the industry that forbids such honesty, and then relates the life of that man who has endured more than most of us could even imagine. The main theme of his memoir is the fact that his schizophrenic brother Troy bludgeoned their mother to death with a baseball bat and was imprisoned - forsaken by his sibling Greg who eventually committed suicide and his sister, Hope, leaving only Thom to tread the path to confrontation and forgiveness of his youngest brother's crime. Through many discussions in prison and in the aftermath of those discussions Thom Bierdz found the inner strength to recover from the life of terror he had witnessed.

This is an intricate examination of familial mental illness and examining Bierdz' writing closely reveals many clues as to how behavior patterns in his entire family (including himself) provide evidence of a widespread illness, though of varying degrees of disturbance. Even Bierdz' own paintings, included throughout the book, show passages from expressionistic art to gentle representational, nearly spiritual art. But the overriding factor in appreciating this book is the utter honesty Thom Bierdz uses in sharing his memoir. He has taken more chances than most, especially given his background as a public celebrity, in sharing a life that would destroy most people's psyches. This is a testament to the resilience of the human nature to survive, heal and share with others so that they may avoid some of the pitfalls by early recognition of signs and symptoms of dysfunction. It is a worthwhile book, deserving of our respect and empathy. Grady Harp, August 10
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Forgiving Troy" was shocking, brutal in the details, and very enlightening. I had first heard about this book from Thom Bierdz at Facebook. I became interested in this story, because I always wanted to know more of the 'backstory' as to why Thom left Y&R when he was such a popular regular on that show in the mid '80's. What I discovered was a story about a man coming to terms with his own identity, his own place in this world, a family torn-apart by a brutal murder (matricide) committed by his younger brother and finding a way to work through all of that. The words, chosen to detail this story, grab you and bring you in, and do not let you go until you read the final sentence, the last word. You cannot put this book down, because it allows you to see first-hand the destruction that an event like this can have on a family, but you also see how, as the title so aptly describes, forgiveness is the key. I started this book on a Tuesday, read it all day and into the evening hours, and then on Wednesday AM was finished. I just sat in my chair, rethinking about what I had just read, and the tears that came to my face, just reminded me, that all any of us ever want is to be forgiven for choices we have made in our lives, and to be loved. This book details a man's journey in that process. My hope is that any reader who finds this book, finds a bit of themselves, through the eyes of Thom's own journey! It really is true, "We Are The Same It Seems, Behind the Eyes..."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Powerful book that I could not put down once I started reading it. A well-written, heart-felt and personal account of what this family went through; I was really drawn in and felt like I was in the "inner circle" reading about the author's deepest thoughts.

I thought about this book for weeks after I finished reading it. I would recommend it to anyone whether you are familiar with the actor or not.
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Format: Paperback
This book had me at page one. There are so many types of genres going on here - celebrity memoir and true crime being only two, - that you would almost think it could be a subplot for a soap opera. Well, Thom Bierdz would know about that. He was one of the more popular actors on The Young & the Restless during its glory years and is fondly remembered by many people who loved him in it. Reading here about what went on behind the scenes may shock some. In fact, the subplot he found himself in within his own life overtook anything the writers could dream up and cast him into a family drama that would take years to resolve. The path to that resolution gave me a sense of respect and compassion for Thom Bierdz. He is a positive person forced to deal with negativity that would put some of us on sedatives.

Thom Bierdz illuminates the childhood fears and phobias so many of us have, and shows us by his own extreme example how to rise above them. You get a sense of Thom as a person. He doesn't hide his faults or try to turn what is essentially a tragic story into a puff piece for his acting career. He is bare-knuckle honest here and I appreciated his candor, his vulnerability, his compassion and his expressiveness.

Five stars. Great Read.
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