Before You Judge Me
The Triumph & Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days
by Travis Smiley & David Ritz
read by Leo Coltrane
5 CD's approx. 5.5 Hours
Visit the authorsclick below
Like my Mom's generation remembering where they were when the announcement came that Elvis was dead or my Grandmother when Walter Cronkite interrupted the afternoon soap operas to announce JFK had been assassinated...Michael Jackson fans will surely remember the moment they first heard - "The King of Pop, Michael Jackson has died!"
MJ fans will love David Ritz and Travis Smiley's book Before You Judge Me. The authors are unapologetically Pro MJ. There's really nothing new in the book. No sensational revelations. It's a kinder, gentler telling of the last days of Jackson's life with flashbacks to his childhood. There are countless references to 'how Michael felt or what Michael thought' - seeing as neither author was with Michael Jackson in his last days all of it is pure speculation and sorely misplaced conjecture.
Travis said in an interview that he wanted the reader to "...see Michael through a different prism...to see his humanity." Before You Judege Me failed to meet that goal. It is a retelling of old information told through a super-fan's prism.
I loved Michael Jackson's music. I agree he was a creative genius and an incredible performer. This book was hailed as an inside, private, behind the hype book about Michael's last days that would enlighten us to MJ's humanity. That it is not. But that doesn't mean this book doesn't have an audience. If you are a MJ devotee from way back or part of the younger crowd that could barely maintain at the mere sight of MJ - or even a collector of everything MJ, this book definitely has a place in your collection. If you're none of the aforementioned and find your TBR stack empty, pick up a copy at the library.
**One quick note: Having read the hard copy, then a few weeks later listened to the audio, I suggest the audio version. Leo Coltrane's narration add a little much needed personality. His voice tones and variations give the audio more depth than I was able to pull from the hard copy.