Not My Father's Son

Not My Father's Son

A Memoir

Streaming Audiobook - 2014
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Dark, painful memories can be like a cage. Or, in the case of Alan Cumming, they can be packed away in a box, stuck in the attic to be forgotten. Until one day the box explodes and all the memories flood back in horrible detail. Alan Cumming grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage, someone who meted out violence with a frightening ease, who waged a silent war with himself that sometimes spilled over onto everyone around him. That man was Alex Cumming, Alan's father. When television producers approached Alan to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, he enthusiastically agreed. He hoped to solve a mystery that had long cast a shadow over his family. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared into the Far East after WWII. Alan's mother knew very little about him-he had been a courier, carrying information between battalions on his motorbike. The last time she saw her father, Alan's mother was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was informed that he had died by his own hand, an accidental shooting. But this was not the only mystery laid before Alan's feet. His father, whom Alan had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade, reconnected just before filming for Who Do You Think You Are? began. He had a secret he had to share, one that would shock his son to his very core and set into motion a journey that would change Alan's life forever. With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as the celebrated actor of film, television, and stage. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always incredibly brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story of embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.
Publisher: [United States] : Harper Collins Publishers : Made available through hoopla, 2014.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780062350770
0062350773
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (6hr., 28 min.)) : digital.
Additional Contributors: Cumming, Alan
hoopla digital

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m
MistySue
Jan 16, 2018

Great listen, love his reading voice. Very moving, tears and OMG the poor wee lad and the grandma and grandpa. It is helpful to shine the light on the destruction dysfunctional family life is to all involved and how cathartic it can be to reach out, be vulnerable and share your truth. Having faced the past to then proceed on in this life to use your experience, strength and hope to make a better world is the best outcome there could be. Well done!

AL_MARYA Nov 09, 2017

Interesting, intimate and intermittently amusing. I almost always recommend opting for the audiobook when they are author-narrated, and this deeply personal telling is no exception.

JCLMelodyMK Jul 17, 2017

Acclaimed actor Alan Cumming relives his life with an abusive father as well as the story of how he found the skeletons in his families closet when he appeared on a celebrity genealogy program . The author is the narrator, his reading voice is excellent .

AL_ALYSONC Jul 02, 2017

What an audio book! Two compelling stories beautifully written and you get to listen to Alan Cumming. Loved it.

s
septemberstar
Jan 13, 2017

One of the most interesting and literate memoirs I've 'read.' If you check these comments to determine whether a book is worth your time, the answer for this one is a definite yes.

AL_LESLEY Nov 22, 2016

A wonderfully put together and moving tale. Beautifully read by the author.

j
Janice21383
Aug 07, 2016

Reasonably well written (there is a good chance that this memoir was mostly written by the subject himself), and eloquent on Cumming's own feelings and history. Unfortunately the author does not go the extra mile and think deeply about the feelings and history of his parents, or other family members. The tone is uneven -- Cummings stops everything to give us his take on the Eurovision Song contest -- but there is drama in this story, and even suspense*. I recommend the audio version, which provides more subtle shades of meaning. Cumming's voice flows like butterscotch. *SPOILERS: I half expected that both the Cumming brothers would turn out not to be related to their father.

2
22950004980520
Oct 16, 2015

He is a very, very good writer. His descriptions are so vivid, you can almost see and feel exactly what he is describing. The only downside I found was that he spent too much time on his grandfather's history. Putting aside that bit of criticism, he is a compelling storyteller. I would highly recommend this audiobook.

lotuslori_8 Jun 22, 2015

Alan Cumming, who is also the reader, tells the compelling story about his childhood and his relationship with his father. It's not your usual fluff like so many other celebrity memoirs.

b
bibliokrisp
May 13, 2015

Alan Cumming's honesty and heart are evident in this memoir of his troubled childhood. I didn't know if I would be able to listen to him (audiobook) tell the story of his father's physical abuse, but it's not overly detailed or horrific, and Cumming is a confident storyteller.

I don't read many celebrity books, so I was a bit reluctant--however, Cumming isn't writing about the famous people he works with or is friends with. This is a raw, important story about a young man finding his way, as well as dealing with tough family history.

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AL_MARYA Nov 09, 2017

Sometimes people do you a favour when they drop out of your life.

... the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable.

lotuslori_8 Jun 24, 2015

Alan Cumming grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage

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