Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Michael Jackson Tapes

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

From the book jacket:

“In 2000-2001, Michael Jackson sat down with his close friend and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most intimate and revealing conversations of his life. It was Michael’s wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him.”

I’ve always enjoyed Michael Jackson’s music, even back when he was a member of the Jackson 5. So, I was very interested in reading this book.

Rabbi Boteach discusses a variety of subjects with Michael and he did a good job of bringing to light some questions and answers I’m sure most people would be interested in reading about. Even people who aren’t necessarily a fan would gain some insight into the life of this complex and intriguing personality.

I like the way the book is divided into chapters and categories. It made it easy to follow and if I wanted to go back and check on something I’d read earlier, that was a plus.

Now, I know many reviewers have had differing opinions of this book and I’ve read many of them. I can definitely see why some hate it and others just love it. Personally, I’m in between.

I enjoyed finding out more about what drove Michael to become the icon he did. His life growing up was anything but easy and he did feel an enormous amount of pressure to succeed and become a star.

Yet, that drive also caused him, in my opinion, to become quite self-centered. For example, if someone disagreed with him, he wasn’t at all open to hearing their view. They were wrong and that was that.

He also expected the spotlight to always be on him. Even at an event that was designed to honor someone else, he made sure people took notice that he was there.

However ….

There were several things I disliked about the book. One of the biggest was the redundancy. Rabbi Boteach tended to repeat parts of the conversation whenever he wanted to include something that fit into more than one category or topic. I’m not talking about him simply mentioning it again; he would actually repeat the entire part of the conversation. If I’ve already read it, I don’t need to read it again. I got the words the first time.

I also think there were several matters of interest that I wish had been included, such as Michael’s health issues. I would have rather heard about those than some of the other topics they discussed than the fact that his mother was a saint for the umpteenth time – I got it, already!

The book drug on in several places and I ended up doing some skipping ahead to places that were more appealing to me.

But, all in all, I’m glad I read the book and I’d recommend it to anyone else who has an interest in this legendary performer.


Suko said...

I loved the music of The Jackson 5 as a child.

All in all, it sounds like you enjoyed this book, LuAnn. Thanks for your review.

Margo Dill said...

I popped over here today, and there's a book about one of my favorite pop stars. You know, I used to have a Michael Jackson scrapbook! :)