Having corresponded with inmates for more than 30 years now, I thought I had heard it all, but Damien gives an entirely new meaning to the prison industrial complex and the corruption and ethical problems that exist in the entire justice system (be it attorneys, judges, correctional officers, etc.).
Damien (and his two friends) certainly may have fallen victim to the most egregious wrongful conviction to date in the United States. Yet, Damien never gives up and stays strong during some very horrible circumstances.
Damien's poetic, gritty, and honest portrayal of prison life and the unjust murder case against him (and his two friends) should enlighten every man, woman or child who reads (listens to) this compelling book!
This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series.
Very violent, to be sure, but interesting characters and somewhat suspenseful.
Only read it because I wanted to learn about Jack Reacher before watching the Tom Cruise movie based another Reacher novel, "One Shot" (Book 9 in the series). Other than "One Shot," I don't plan on reading other books in this series because I have so many books on my wishlist as it stands.
This may very well be the best autobiography ever written by a celebrity, and believe you me I have read/listened to many in my 53 years!
Corey is brutally honest in his book about himself, other celebrities, the Hollywood industry, children in the acting profession, drug abuse, child abuse and molestation, as well as other topics.
Although Corey's descriptions of drug and child abuse brought tears to my eyes, there are other parts of the book that made me laugh; however be warned that this book is not for the timid or squeamish because Corey holds nothing back.
I can only imagine how therapeutic this book was for Corey to write and I highly recommend it not just to his fans, but more importantly to those who have suffered from drug or child abuse.
Definitely get the audio version that is narrated by the author as Corey does a flawless job with the narration and his emotions come through very well in his voice!
Although this book is filled with numerous and obvious factual errors that I totally missed when I first read it in the 1980s, this book otherwise appears to give an inside honest look into the life of Liberace (which isn't always flattering).
Prior to listening to this audio book (narrated by the author) I had no idea what to expect, and a prejudicial voice told me, "Don't get your hopes up, it probably won't be very good." So it wasn't until like a year after purchasing the book that I actually listened to it, even though I am a huge fan of Justin Bieber.
Pattie Mallete, who more often than not is simply referred to as "Justin Bieber's mom," pours her heart and soul into this book about her incredible journey in life and is brave andcourageousfor doing so. She literally reveals her deepest and darkest secrets, which also include some not very flattering events about Justin's father, Jeremy.
While listening to the book, like a little kid I kept thinking to myself, "Talk about Justin already, I want to hear about Justin, this book is so dark." However, the first portion of the book where she discusses her struggles and upbringing is really the crux of the book and people who aresurvivorsof sexual abuse (and perhaps those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction) will find solace in her words.
The book also spends a fair amount of time discussing her faith in God, something not really up my alley since I am agnostic; however, she doesn'tproselytizeor shove faith or religion down the reader's throat. She simply shares from her heart, which makes this book so incredible for people from all walks of life, beliebers and non-beliebers alike. She makes it clear that she didn't force faith/religion on Justin either, but simply gave him the tools he needed to make his own decision.
I was shocked at her candid descriptions of her struggles as a survivor of sexual abuse, growing up with hardly any money, and amazed that she just refused to give up on life. As a result, she seems to be the better for it and she and Jeremy have produced a child prodigy that does more good for the world than most folks realize because, sadly, peeing in a mop bucket is more newsworthy than befriending young children with cancer; go figure!
Since the book's focus is really about her surviving terrible and sometimes horrific things, it was an added treat for her to include tidbits about her son, many which were already known; however, these gems coming from Justin's mom are definitely more meaningful than hearing or reading about them third-hand, since she was there when they happened!
Also, by her writing about her son, it confirms many events that others have accurately described in their books (such asCathleen Falsani in her book"Belieber!: Fame, Faith, and the Heart of Justin Bieber").
Also, the reader may discover many things about Justin that I don't believe have been published before by a family member; however, I say that having not finished reading his second memoir ("Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started").
Perhaps my favourite of three books on Scientology abuse that I have listened to back-to-back over the past few months.
The author does a good job of documenting the history of Scientology, its eccentric (and I am being kind) founder L. Ron Hubbard, its celebrity connections in Hollywood, and the repeated physical and mental abuse by the church on its own members!
The author does such an excellent job sharing her personal experience with Scientology that I had chills up and down my spine while reading portions of the book.
Her accounts of the abuse by the so-called church are no secret and many accounts of abuse are also discussed in the books "Going Clear" (by Lawrence Wright" and "Inside Scientology" (by Janet Reitman).
This is one of the most twisted stories Coben has written to date and I loved every minute of it (even though most of it was predictable).
Anyone who has difficulty comprehending family trees would benefit from writing down the characters and relationship the first time they are mentioned in the book; it may help keep of track of "who's who."
This is the first of three major books regarding Scientology that I have purchased to listen to this year and I believe I got off to a great start with Janet Reitman's excellent book on the subject.
As a longtime crusader for the rights of all, I often found myself publicly defending (vocally and in written blog articles) Scientology and Tom Cruise for their outspoken opinions regarding the drugging of our children with prescription drugs, the drugging of america, psychiatry, and other issues that I have had strong opinions about for years.
Some of the concepts of Scientology I agree with; however, they go way beyond reasonableness and as a result many people apparently have been injured or lost their families, friends, or even their lives as a result of the extremeness of the church.
Reitman clearly has done her homework and clearly demonstrates that Scientology goes way too far on many social issues and appears to be a very extreme organization that hides behind the label of "religion." By claiming to be a religion and having tax-exempt status from the IRS, they have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the general public and government officials all too often.
They use their "religion" label to hide behind billions of dollars in profits without paying taxes; they hide their human rights abuses of their members; and there are clearly people who died in the name of Scientology (such as Lisa McPherson) who I am convinced would be alive today if it weren't for the extreme policies and procedures of this so-called religion.
I will try to hold final judgment on Scientology until after reading "Going Clear," by journalist Lawrence Wright, as well as "Beyond Belief," by Jenna Miscavige Hill, but I think perhaps Reitman may have already convinced me about what I currently think about Scientology, and it isn't pretty. Scientology may very well be responsible for some of the most serious cover ups of all time!
The narrator, Stephen Hoye, was phenomenal in helping tell Reitman's story about a book that should have been published more than a decade ago!
Very clinical book, but still interesting to the layperson, especially for folks such as myself who enjoy crime-related books and TV programming. Gives a realistic insight into sociopaths.
The book is a little disjointed at times and could have been organized better, but perhaps that is just the way it appeared to me due to the difficult subject matter.
This was a mesmerizing and fun book to listen to, even though I knew the basis of the story since I had watched the movie (starring Robin Williams) which is based on this novel. If you are an Audible listener, be sure to also listen to the New Yorker article regarding this book and the original Audible interview with Armistead Maupin regarding this novel, both of which should still be available for listening to via Audible.
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