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Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009 (Hardcover)

Product Description
So much has how been said and written about the life and career of Michael Jackson that it has become almost impossible to disentangle the man from the myth. This book is the fruit of over 30 years of research and hundreds of exclusive interviews with a remarkable level of access to the very closest circles of the Jackson family - including Michael himself. Cutting through tabloid rumours, J. Randy Taraborrelli traces the real story behind Michael Jackson, from his drilling as a child star through the blooming of his talent to his ever-changing personal appearance and bizarre publicity stunts. This major biography includes the behind-the-scenes story to many of the landmarks in Jackson's life: his legal and commercial battles, his marriages to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe, his passions and addictions, his children. Objective and revealing, it carries the hallmarks of all of Taraborrelli's best-sellers: impeccable research, brilliant storytelling and definitive documentation.

About the AuthorJ. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs. He is the bestselling author of eight books. Taraborrelli is a reporter for the Times (London), Paris Match, and The Daily Mail (UK) and a contributor to Redbook,McCall's, and Good Housekeeping.

Read with caution, July 25, 2009
By Ivy Gordon (Boston, MA)

Ok, so in the sad world of Jackson biographies, this is undoubtably the best. Taraborelli's style is conversational and enjoyable and I agree with the reviewers before me- it is difficult to put down.
However, there are a number of things that rattle the credibility of this publication.

1. Taraborelli contributes to the Daily Mail, a smutty British tabloid.
2. Taraborelli allows the Daily Mail to refer to him as Jackson's "friend" and even "lifelong confidante." This is incredibly far from the truth. Taraborelli makes no such assertions himself, but allowing himself to be referred to as such is just as bad. This type of self-aggrandizing disregard for the truth undermines his otherwise seemingly-semi-credible work. (Also of note, the Daily Mail also calls Stacy Brown a family friend. Brown is another Jackson biographer who revealed that crucial portions of his biography were made up for sensational purposes when under oath in Jackson's 2005 trial)
3. There are some things that Taraborelli reports as fact that could only have reached him through a biased, drawn-out grapevine. For example, Jackson's sex life with Lisa Marie. Also, the portions written about the nature of Jackson's relationship with Jordie Chandler, particularly the pieces where Jackson is alone with only the family in their home when Jackson is like, obsessively staring at Jordie. Who the HELL told Taraborelli that? One of Chandler's parents? Good ol' Uncle Ray? Knowing that Taraborelli took liberties with the fact here and in other places where he will put incredible detail into scenes of which he couldn't possibly be aware makes you wonder where else he did this(and, also, if he knew all this- why did he not know that it was Jackson's insurance who paid the Chandlers the $20 million and not Jackson himself?) Does it make for enjoyable prose? Yes. But it's basically FAN FICTION.
4. Taraborelli associates with some pretty shady anti-Jackson characters. He considers Diane Dimond a close friend. Frankly, I don't understand how someone could see past her tasteless witch-hunting to become a friend. He also gave interviews to this guy whos in this name escapes me, but he made a documentary called "Michael Jackson: What Really Happened" This documentary is so poorly made, it seems like a middle-schoolers powerpoint. And basically everything in it is ridiculous and incorrect.
5. Taraborelli's participation in the 2005 trial was less than admirable. He seemed to favor the prosecution's chances when, upon review of the transcripts and evidence, they never had a case. He also got all of this credit for being so "close" to Jackson, but then he went along with all of the reporters who entertained themselves by relentlessly mocking their cash cow. I spent one week on the press there, and I was blown over by how unprofessional the environment was.
6. Taraborelli admitted in an interview that he hadn't been keeping up with Jackson's story for the past few years. This means that the final portion of this book was scrambled together in a month.
7. The reason, Taraborelli admitted, that he had been ignoring Jackson was because he was mad at him. .....seriously? ...are you joking? FEELINGS SHOULD NOT MATTER IN BIOGRAPHY WRITING!!! Taraborelli, you are not Jackson's FRIEND. You aren't allowed to be mad at him! This is unprofessional and immature.

I'm not a fan of Jackson's music, but I have been very intrigued by his story and relationship with the media since I witnessed the circus in 2005. All of this said, I do think this book is worth a read. Taraborelli writes well and definitely appears to come much closer to fact than any other biographers. His sources listed are extensive, yet vague in some very crucial areas. Unfortunately, the truth will never be known when it comes to Michael Jackson. Some lie for fame and money. Celebrities will lie for their image. Taraborelli does seem to care for Jackson and is capable of discussing his life without his comments dripping with mockery like other "journalists." Sadly, I imagine this is as good as it's going to get.

The most comprehensive and accurate book on Michael Jackson...period., July 23, 2009
By Frank Bruno (Los Angeles)

Being a fan of Michael Jackson from the time I was a small child, I have read most of what has been written about him. In my opinion this book is by far the most accurate account of a man that has so much mystery surrounding him.

Well written and obviously tirelessly researched, J. Randy Taraborrelli has uncovered much of the mystique in an honest and accurate way. I'm not sure of any other biographer out there who actually knew Michael Jackson and his family. This is a true insiders perspective.

Taraborrelli's writing style is from a humanistic standpoint. Who was Michael Jackson the man? If you are looking for paparazzi style writing with flinging accusations just to sell a book, this is not it. Don't get me wrong, this book is full of juicy tidbits and things the public was not aware of, however they are truthful. So you know you are getting the REAL story. And the real story is riveting. I could not put this book down for 4 days!

I highly recommend this biography to anybody who wants the real story of Michael Jackson, not a 500 page tabloid.