Joe Vogel · @JoeVogel1

25th Jan 2013 from Twitlonger

I didn't review Sullivan's book for Amazon, but here's what I wrote in email to someone who asked me about it:

I read all 700-something pages of the Sullivan book. It had some interesting parts and actually covered the 2005 trial quite well (thanks in large part to Mesereau). But overall, it's not a very good book and offers little new insight on MJ. As far as bios go, I think Taraborrelli's is actually much better. I don't know why Sullivan didn't just stick to the final four years (instead he tries to make it a comprehensive life story by flashing back to earlier moments in MJ's career that have been covered before and better). He didn't scrutinize his sources at all. Some are good, some are terrible. In terms of his personal interviews, he relied heavily on unreliable figures. I also got the sense that Sullivan really dislikes and distrusts black people. You'll have to tell me what you think when you read it. But he is very harsh on MJ's family and civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. He basically dismisses MJ's entire creative output after Thriller with a few sentences. It doesn't appear that he conducted one interview with MJ's creative collaborators. As you note, the nose stuff is ridiculous. The book does give some sense of the foul dust swirling around MJ in those final years and how abandoned he felt. But overall, it doesn't really penetrate much beyond superficialities and amateur pathologizing.

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