Thursday, March 19, 2015

not my father's son

not my father's son
alan cumming
harper audio
published 2014

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.

I have always been a fan of Alan Cumming, but not in a 'he's my favorite actor' sort of way.  When I finished my last audiobook I knew I needed something else to listen to while I crocheted and this book was available from the library.  I tend to enjoy audiobooks more when they're memoirs and read by the author and it's even better read in Cumming's gorgeous Scottish brogue.

Cumming is honest both about his father's behavior toward his two children and wife and about his own coming to terms with accepting his past and moving on.  His memories of his father's abuse are broken up with his quest to learn about his maternal grandfather.  His grandfather had died in mysterious circumstances far away from home while Cumming's mother was still a child and when Cumming is approached by the BBC show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' he realized he could maybe solve the mystery for his mother and himself.

The stories he tells are gripping and wrenching.  His love for his mother, brother and husband are palpable and at times it's that love shining through that keeps the book from being merely brooding and depressing.

I loved this book.  I could have listened to him tell stories all day long (and I did).  I wanted to just have it on a loop and fall asleep to his voice!

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