Audie Award Nominee, Nonfiction, 2013
In the 1980s, Elton John saw friend after friend, loved one after loved one, perish needlessly from AIDS. In the midst of the plague, he befriended Ryan White, a young Indiana boy ostracized by his town and his school because of the HIV infection he had contracted from a blood transfusion. Ryan's inspiring life and devastating death led Elton to two realizations: His own life was a mess. And he had to do something to help stop the AIDS crisis.
Since then, Elton has dedicated himself to overcoming the plague and the stigma of AIDS. He has done this through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised and donated $275 million to date to fighting the disease worldwide.
Love Is the Cure is Elton's personal account of his life during the AIDS epidemic, including stories of his close friendships with Ryan White, Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, and others, and the story of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. With powerful conviction and emotional force, Elton conveys the personal toll AIDS has taken on his life - and his infinite determination to stop its spread.
Elton writes, "This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion. Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer - and help to change - by writing this book."
Sales of Love Is the Cure benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
©2012 Elton John (P)2012 Hachette Audio
"My friend Elton John has touched us all with his music and with the countless lives he has saved through his AIDS Foundation. Now he has given us a deeply personal story of struggle and perseverance in the fight against this terrible disease. Few people know more [than] Elton what it will take to end AIDS. His wonderful new book will convince you there's cause for hope - and inspire you to be part of the solution." (President Bill Clinton)
This is one of the best books I have heard in a long time. I knew that Elton John was involved in the AIDS fight, but I had no idea how much the foundation has achieved since its inception. Elton chronicles the history of not only the foundation but the fight against AIDS as well. It is a virtual primer on the fight and the efforts (for and against) to end this virus once and for all.
His account is clear, honest, perceptive, and cuts through the political nonsense that has surrounded the AIDS crisis.
If you want some plain and simple facts, get the book. He knows what he is talking about and has worked tirelessly to help end AIDS.
I liked how honest he was in the book. His honesty extends not only to others who did nothing to fight AIDS, but also to himself and how he did not act when he could have. After looking into his foundation some more, I think he has done a brilliant job making up for lost time.
The inevitable criticism is "Elton should have had Bernie write this as well."
HOWEVER, despite the quality of the writing being less than amazing (and often annoyingly redundant), the book itself is quite good.
The stories are very touching and I can think of no better voice to deliver them than Elton's. Both the writing and recording feel vulnerably honest and this goes a long way to generate sympathy in his listeners. And, at least in the narrative portions of the book, sympathy seems to be his goal. Though he's definitely not burying the lead here. The most touching story by far is Ryan White's (i.e., chapter one).
Once he's finished telling Ryan's story, the theme of the book leans a bit heavier on the social stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS and how those stigmas have led to government inaction.
Most of the emotion from this point on is just descriptions of emotion, such as "I was overjoyed" or "I was stunned" or (very plainly) "I was overcome with emotion."
The purpose of this part of the book isn't one of emotional augmentation though; it seems to be an effort to provoke social and political change. And I think he did so successfully. It felt like a very inspired and effective call for action. And that's how he ends his book.
Summary aside, the reading was very good. It's Elton John. No further comment is needed.
The writing was interesting though. If I were somehow made oblivious to the fact that he's a musician, I think I could have guessed. There are a lot of would-be closing lines that feel like they're supposed to function as a lyrical hook. But he doesn't leap into a chorus at that point. He just begins another sentence. And chapters are longer than verses, so it makes the writing a bit clunky here and there.
Criticism aside, the musician's memoir has become trendy to the point of cliche and, while some of them are interesting, Elton's is the only important one.
Elton John gives us a candid look at his life full of cocaine and booze from 1974 until 1990. In that time period, he meets Ryan White and befriends him and his mother through Ryan’s harassment in Kokomo, Indiana where he contracts AIDS through a blood transfusion, and is treated badly by the town due to fear about, and misunderstanding of, AIDS in the 1980’s. When Ryan died, Elton John decides to get help for himself, but still needs the intervention of his lover who has gone to get help himself. Elton goes through rehab, kicks his habits, and finds he is fortunate not to have contracted the HIV virus. From 1990 to the present, he has worked to combat the spread of AIDS. He believes that if everyone who was HIV positive was offered the drugs that exist today, they could live AIDS-free for 20-30 years, and also cites a study that through the use of such drugs, the HIV virus is much less likely to be transferred to a partner. So he argues that by making medication available to anyone in the world who is HIV positive, and combining it with better support for people world-wide who are already sick, we could stop AIDS in its tracks even without finding a cure for the disease. It is an interesting book and it is clear that Elton John passionately believes his theory of love being the ultimate cure. Here is a book that couldn’t be narrated better by anyone but Elton John himself.
A great look "back" on the fight of AIDS and a synopsis of the current day and future. Felt this book was very educationtional and also reminded you of a past so many have chosen to put behind us. Elton was very entertaining as the reader and kept your attention the whole time; even when stating facts and figures. I have recommended this book to many people and feel I am a better person for having read it.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
Very compassionate and informative look at Aids from Elton John.
From the emergence of this epidemic in the 80's when these poor souls were cast out and
ostracised, to how things stand today.
A lot of work still remains to be done to combat this decease.
Attitudes are still a problem to overcome especially in the lesser developed countries.
Elton John continues to support this cause through his Aids Foundation.
I'm a huge Elton fan since the seventies. The story of his redemption in meeting Ryan White is amazing. But, too much time was spent ripping Ronald Reagan for not getting the import of this new disease. Were we the only country on earth that was supposed to find the cure? I just don't appreciate a person from another country badmouthing our medical system and our government. England is not third world. The world is responsible for finding a cure not just the United States.
Elton John tells the story of what drove him to become a leader in the "end Aids forever" movement and what more he thinks needs to be done. His passionate narration amplifies the message.
I was disappointed how he believes he and the gay community is the only one doing anything. I admire his work and devotion for the cure of AIDS but this was more of an informercial than an what his life has been since Ryan White.He hits on his life for a short period before putting emphasis on the Elton John AIDS Foundation (got tired of hearing the EJAF) and his quick criticism for everyone's short comings.
I would have enjoyed it a little more if it was more about him personally. Several things have happened in his life but was overwhelmed with organizations and what they were doing.
None in particular.
Elton John once said we have to build bridges instead of tearing them down. He left me the impression that if I were straight, Catholic, Republican, or American, then I was to blame for the outbreak of Global AIDS. While we help prevent the spread from needle programs and the use of contraceptives, it seems that teaching abstinence and personal responsibility gets lost in the mix (which abstinence is the BEST way to prevent it including addictions and other STDs). As I long for the end of AIDS, we need to stop the blame game and (as Elton said) start taking our part.
I just participated in the AIDS Walk this fall in Philadelphia, but prior to doing so, I listened to this audiobook. I wanted to have a greater understanding of the AIDS epidemic and the best way to overcome it. Elton John's book did just that. It provided a clear overview of the current worldwide AIDS crisis, how we're addressing it and what we're failing to do.
Having Elton John narrate the book was a treat because it felt as though I was having a cup of coffee with him. However, since he's not a professional narrator, there were moments when his pacing was off and he'd awkwardly deliver a word. It wasn't a deal breaker, but it was noticeable.
This audiobook also provided me with a rare glimpse into Elton John's personal life and the demons he had to battle over the years. These tidbits humanized the music legend and provided a greater context for the AIDS work he does today.
If you're thinking about buying this book, I think you should go for it. It's a fascinating listen from start to finish about a disease that doesn't get the attention it deserves.
I like that it is read by Elton John.
Elton John is repetitive at times, but he has a very important message and tells the story so as to make sure we fully understand the message. I was a big Elton John fan in my teens, and had no idea how his life evolved.
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