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The Truth is Bad Enough: What Became of the Happy Hustler? Paperback – May 17, 2012
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Richard Labonte, Book Marks
"As an author, Kearns stays on his path and writes what he feels. I like Michael Kearns for who he appears to be, based on this memoir. My perception of him is that he is an enigmatic, quirky, free spirit--all traits that I admire in people."
Joseph Yurt, blogcritics
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Kearns tells his tale with fierce honesty and integrity. I was a little titillated by the names of the Hollywood celebs he has known. Kearns however, never `drops' their names gratuitously. These are the people he has either worked with or had a personal relationship with. It is all in context. `Just the facts ma'am' is all he gives us, well, maybe just a little jab in the ribs added here and there, why not? He does call Hollywood to account for it's ongoing homophobia but only factually, never with much vicious intent, just some long needed expression of justified impatience. It's a dirty job but thank God someone, Mr. Kearns in this case, is doing it.
I am always impressed by anyone with the courage to just `tell all' about their life. And all that Mr. Kearns tells us in this book is not necessarily pretty. To tell it all so generously, not-to-mention with humor, must have taken tremendous courage.
This book is a mix of easy reading and some extremely gritty realities. These gritty realities include his `maniacal' family life; early acting career, coming out and his struggles with the plague and the consequent heartbreaking losses of many loved ones.
But it's in the last part of the book, when we get to know his adopted daughter Katherine (Tia) that Mr. Kearns shines, nay beams. This is also the part when I stopped holding my breath and came up for air. Mr.Kearns calls being a father his `greatest role'.Read more ›
The Happy Hustler myth is one of the great Hollywood legends in that it does not matter if it is true as long as they spell your name correctly (in this case, they spelled the name Grant Tracy Saxon correctly). Michael Kearns is a Hollywood legend on his own and he also represents a generation of Hollywood stalwarts who were prematurely silenced. Gratefully, Kearns fills in a lot of the void left from the cursed plague and when this survivor speaks, sometimes he roars. Sometimes he purrs like a kitten but he never whines; he owns his truth.
Yes, he gives the reader enough of the expected bon mot backstage details and tidbits of less than polite gossip and he politely confirms (or denies) some of the rumors (Rock Hudson, anyone?). He also gives us what we need most from this story -an inward journey of a front stage guy. This is not a shallow Hollywood anecdote it will pierce the core of many preconceptions, it's about showbiz people that lacks pretense. Reading this book feels like a very real story of real experiences with real people, some of them nice and some not so nice, and some of them famous, all of them flawed. It's the story of a good kid from a screwed up environment in a small town who makes a go of it in the big city and he lives to tell us about it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really engaging and interesting ride through American gay history, through the lens of someone who's seen it all and survived. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Patrick Lehman
A story well written. Not a classic & I had to get through 1/2 of the book before I realized the strength & love this man possesses. Such a good soul. Read morePublished 20 months ago by D. Lee
Very interesting book. There is a great transition in Michael's life that is redeeming. Fascinating!Published 21 months ago by Laurie P. Shaffer
Having been a fan of Michael Kearns since about 1970, I was surprised and thrilled to "stumble" on his latest book, which is a must-read for any fan, fanatical or not, of... Read morePublished on August 22, 2014 by Kirk Frederick
I loved reading this book as it seemed like a conversation with a very real person who didn't compromise himself just to get by. Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by PAUL M
This was an amusing read, full of fun details and an interesting cast of charaters. The story was interesting in its twist and turns and always keeps your attention.Published on July 11, 2013 by Lew57
not quite what I had expected. To be fair, I think my expectations are sky high considering all the celebrity memoirs I've read.Published on March 29, 2013 by B
a nice read. Interesting and moving in a way that caught me off guard. Not great literature but worth the troublePublished on January 2, 2013 by Duke Tennis