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This purchase was a whim for me, based mainly on having heard quite a bit in the news lately about the 'Hollywood pedophile rings' that Feldman brought out into the open in the days after Corey Haim's death. For people my age (I'm 38), this book had a lot of nostalgic appeal that I had not really expected to feel. I never got into the whole Two Coreys craze, but I saw almost all of the movies discussed in this book. This includes the movies that Corey Feldman was actually in, and also the ones he mentions auditioning for or really wanting a role in. It was actually really interesting to hear the behind-the-scenes stories for Stand By Me, The Goonies, etc.
As a narrator, Corey Feldman was very interesting to listen to. He does amazing voice impressions of Michael Jackson, Corey Haim, Steven Spielberg, and others. Really, it was quite uncanny, particularly considering how distinctive Feldman's voice is.
The two things that are controversial in the book are his description of his upbringing with his mother and father (both depicted as pretty much monsters) and his discussion of sexual abuse of young boys by adult male pederasts. I don't have much comment on his parents because I have no reason to disbelieve anything he says. If that was really his experience growing up, it's a miracle he survived his drug addiction at all.
I have read a fair amount of criticism about Feldman's decision to 1) describe the Hollywood pedophiles he encountered without naming them and 2) to describe Corey Haim's abuse after his death. Many seem to feel that he should have named names if he was going to go so far as to give such details (making it his responsibility to unmask the unpunished abusers still working in Hollywood). Others felt it was either inappropriate or even exploitative to expose Corey Haim's sexual abuse when Haim himself never wanted it to be known. I guess neither of these things really bothered me. Feldman's assessment that he could be sued for libel or otherwise crushed by Hollywood bigwigs since the statute of limitations has long since run on the offenses is almost certainly correct.
In my opinion, providing a detailed description of the grooming of these two boys by exploitative pedophiles is a public service designed more to help children in Hollywood (or elsewhere) recognize what it is if it starts to happen. It also really shines a light on how drug and alcohol use is related.
Really the only criticism I have for the book is that in places, particularly as relates to guilty knowledge of Haim's abuse by Feldman, Feldman downplays what he did, said, or thought at the time to make his conduct seem more harmless than it might have been. Not only does it seem self-serving, but it isn't really necessary. One incident in particular comes to mind.
Feldman describes an incident with Haim where Haim (a teenager) is sort of coming on to him, wanting to mess around sexually because there are no girls present, and Feldman suggests that Haim instead do so with "Marty," a gay adult male in the room. According to Feldman, Haim and Marty go in the other room where it is obvious that sex of some sort is happening. Feldman sort of downplays his role in this by saying that he had not been serious, just wanted Haim to leave him alone, etc.
We also hear about Feldman being roommates/friends with "Tony," another adult male who had an ongoing sexual relationship with Corey Haim when Haim was very young. Haim, years later, confronted Feldman about this and clearly felt betrayed by Feldman remaining friends with his abuser despite knowing about the abuse and its impact on him.
Feldman is not as brutally honest about the complexities of the situation as he is regarding his drug addiction and other aspects of his story, and it shows. It is clear that he feels guilty and complicit in Haim's abuse, as well as his own abuse, but he can't quite admit that and exorcise those demons. Don't get me wrong, I certainly do not think that Feldman is responsible for what happened to him OR what happened to Haim. I blame the culture they were in and, of course, the pedophiles and abusers themselves. However, Feldman's conflicted feelings are so clearly THERE that it is a bit distracting that he can't quite recognize them and still feels the need to somewhat downplay his knowledge of Haim's abuse, as if knowing about it gave him the responsibility to act even though he was also only a kid at the time.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
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I don't like a guided review, so here are my thoughts...I always thought he was a talented actor. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two Coreys, I never gave one thought to what life was doing to those boys and I feel guilty that this happens over and over again in 'Hollywood'--but really throughout the world. Corey does a fine job of telling his story and highlighting Corey Haim's...his voice rings true in the telling. He also comes across as a survivor, a hero in his own lifestory--as he should. He stole a piece of my heart along the way. The mother in me wants to comfort the child he was, the lost boy he became, and the wounded man he is...but the woman in me knows this is unnecessary, he's all grown up. Scars and all, this man has found his way and does not need my comfort. I admire his fighting spirit and I wish him all the best, it takes real courage to strip away your defenses and expose yourself to the light.
I found the book to be well written, no cloying self pity clouding the storyline, just a glaringly honest accounting of his life to date. I do recommend the book.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
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If you have any interest in film or the 80s "scene" this will blow you away. Apart from the frankly shocking upbringing this guy endured you will be listening intently throughout.
He describes in good detail the making of the best films he was in, this covers casting, payment, and lots more to do with the filmmaking process. I personally learned a lot about what really goes on behind the scenes. Kills the magic but so intresting.
Do not hesitate, this is a splendid addition to an audio library.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I was surprised to find myself unable to switch this off.
The fact Corey reads it himself allows for more emotion, his plethora of voices enhance the experience too.
Mostly I found his story to be far more interesting & different than expected, assuming everything he says is true then hearing about his childhood, the way he expresses himself just seemed to grab at my emotions and make me want to somehow go back in time and help him. I really was addicted & quite sad when it eventually finished. If you grew up with the two Corey's then this is a must.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful