Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009

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So much has how been said and written about the life and career of Michael Jackson that it has become almost impossible to disentangle the man from the myth. This book is the fruit of over 30 years of research and hundreds of exclusive interviews with a remarkable level of access to the very closest circles of the Jackson family - including Michael himself. Cutting through tabloid rumours, J. Randy Taraborrelli traces the real story behind Michael Jackson, from his drilling as a child star through the blooming of...
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Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story, 1958-2009

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Overview

So much has how been said and written about the life and career of Michael Jackson that it has become almost impossible to disentangle the man from the myth. This book is the fruit of over 30 years of research and hundreds of exclusive interviews with a remarkable level of access to the very closest circles of the Jackson family - including Michael himself. Cutting through tabloid rumours, J. Randy Taraborrelli traces the real story behind Michael Jackson, from his drilling as a child star through the blooming of his talent to his ever-changing personal appearance and bizarre publicity stunts. This major biography includes the behind-the-scenes story to many of the landmarks in Jackson's life: his legal and commercial battles, his marriages to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe, his passions and addictions, his children. Objective and revealing, it carries the hallmarks of all of Taraborrelli's best-sellers: impeccable research, brilliant storytelling and definitive documentation.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When ambulances were summonsed to the house of Michael Jackson in June 2009, the whole world seemed to have received the call. In fact, the news of his death spread more quickly around the globe than news of JFK's assassination and other major events. The King of Pop's dormant recording career hadn't stifled our interest in him; indeed, his bizarre persona riveted our attention. This new paperback edition of J. Randy Taraborrelli's large scale, newly updated biography covers the full shaky arc of Jackson's brief stay on our planet. Michael Jackson contains 784 pages, including new chapters and photo inserts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446564748
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/5/2009
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 784
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.50 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Randy Taraborrelli is a respected journalist, a recognizable entertainment personality, and in-demand guest on many television programs including Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN Headline News. He is the bestselling author of thirteen books.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 145 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(89)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(19)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 146 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Very well written and researched

    I have always been a fan of Michael Jackson, since his death I found myself annoyed and confused about the information the media was reporting. I was determined to find a book that was truthful and not bashing MJ. After reading Taraborrelli's website I found he has known MJ for years. After getting his book, I could not put it down. It is over 700 pages thick. It shows the human side of MJ, while he was a very complexed person, he was also a human being with feelings. We all have our flaws, and noone is immune to the trials and tribulations of life. No matter what your status is in life. None of us would like to be poked at and made fun of or talked about negatively all the time. That is what the media did to him. Noone ever spends the time to actually talk about all the charities he supported or donated money to. Or how before every concert he would visit the childrens hospital. Or how he would at every concert arrange for underpriviledged children to see the concert and come backstage. Society itself is focused on the negative and not the good in a person, and that is so sad. I can truly say I understand MJ as a human being more than an entertainer. I recommend this book if you are looking for the truth. If you are looking for trash, gossip and all the things the tabloids report, then this book is not for you. The authors even backs up his information in the back of the book with his Source Note, which is by the way 13 pages long. Taraborrelli clears up alot of the rumors that is out there. I was very impressed and please with this book.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Disappointing

    I must say that I was very disappointed in this book. I spent weeks contemplating on whether or not I shold buy it because I didnt want to waste my time reading a 700+ page tabloid about my favorite entertainer. Had it been MJ who wrote the book I wouldnt have thought twice about buying it. But because I had read some positive things about it I decided to go out on a limb. I am shocked that some readers considered this book an unbiased view of MJ. This is one of THE most biased interpretatons of MJ that I've ever read. Contrary to what other reviewers have stated, Taraborelli does not allow the reader to formulate their own opinion on MJ. He puts forward such a negative image of him. Not to mention there were more typos in this book than a 3rd graders rough draft of an essay. Taraborelli portarys MJ just as negatively as Martin Bashir did in that filthy 2003 interview and I am so upset that I wasted my money on this filth. I keep reading and reading hoping that I will get less upset but I don't. I would have so much rather spent that money on a charity or MJ album( if I didnt own all of them already). Please dont make the same mistake I did by purchasing this horrible book.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    my view..

    soo i didnt bother finishing this book cause it got annoying, this author claims he was Michaels friend but theres no pics of them together except one when hes reporting and no personal storys of them hanging out or anything just when he would interview him.This book is more about a"he said she said" kind of deal and i felt like i was just reading articles out of a newspaper or magazines,just reports. There were a few good insights, but there was also other storys that didnt sound like MJ's character and the author just tries to paint him in a view of being a sad person which I doubt completely was him from what I've read in other books that MJ personally wrote and interviews from people who knew him he was a normal person w/every feeling besides just being sad..idk it just felt like he was painting a picture for the reader to look at MJ through his view..

    But my personal opinion was this guy was not his friend at all just a reporter that MJ encountered through out his life thats about it and I just felt like i was reading reports.. Lame...Its not the worst book i ever read or anything but it just wasnt my fav.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    Way TOO Biased

    I don't know where to start...the content, context, misspelled words, (over 30 words) Hello, spell check??? The way this was written made me feel immediately annoyed and angry at the sarcastic and hurtful remarks about Michael. For being a childhood friend of his, it certainly didn't sound like it. If anyone has had a chance to look at Randy and Michael's picture, take a close look. Do they look happy? Talk about forced smiles. I mean, who does he think he's kidding? He says LM and MJ were true loves. Well, I really hope that's true, but maybe not until she (hopefully) writes a book herself. Who are we going to believe anymore? A writer that is purely NOT a friend of Michael's, clearly ignorant regarding the child molestation charges. If he was such a close friend, as he comes across when he's on the interviews after Michael's death, he says they grew up together. Well, that doesn't necessarily make them friends, does it? Just to make it fair he should have done more research about the FALSE charges. Has he ever heard of extortion? Now there's a concept...someone making false allegations about an icon. Maybe he should pick up a copy of several other books that have the actual facts inside and outside the courtroom, how the media was 99% against Michael and never reported the entire "truthful" facts. Yeh, Randy sounds exactly like that! I will NEVER buy another book written by him.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    An Unbiased look into the World of Michael Jackson

    After reading this book, I felt wholly satisfied. Taraborrelli did an outstanding job in allowing me to feel and take part in the anguish, joy, pain and hype of such a sensitive and yet dramatic human being. I have always admire the King of Pop. As you read you will come to know that Michael Jackson world was one of its kind and the Author kept it real (unbiased) throughout the reading. This is a must read for all fans. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you Randy... We love and miss you Michael Jackson

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    DISAPPOINTED!

    I only bought this book because he helped Michael write Moonwalk. It has nothing but tabloid rumors and false stories about Michael. I am shocked that some readers considered this book an unbiased view of MJ. Anybody who is a real fan of Micheal knows about these false stories. In back of the book, he has all of his sources listed which are tabloid stories. You can tell this guy never knew Michael by the way he talks about him. I am never buying another book about MJ again because this is the second book that I have read that is nothing but false stories. If you want to read a book that is true read his Moonwalk book. Everything else is just tabloid junk. Including his brothers and sisters who are trying to get money out of MJ's name. I Highly DON'T recommend this book. This guy is just trying to make money off of Michael's name. Don't give Randy your money. I am burning my book right now.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Better then Moonwalk

    This book provides a lot of insight into the world of Michael Jackson. Much more so then Michael's autobiography Moonwalk. Randy Taraborrelli does an excellent job following Michael's life. He is very thorough. I felt like I really knew and understood Michael after reading this book. Even if you're not a Michael Jackson fan, it's a good read. Michael is a very talented and ingenious individual. I'm a fan and absolutely loved this book. I liked it a lot better than Moonwalk.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Greatest Entertainer Ever,

    A fan of the late great Michael Jackson, I opened this book wide-eyed with interest. A massive read, it was also hard to put down. However, I'm somewhat torn. While informative, I question the credibility and its accuracy of some of what was written. As an author Taraborrelli's narrative is well written, flows easily, and it's apparent that he had an "inside" look. Some of the book appears to be based in truth, while other parts are questionable and opinionated. That said, I don't think we'll ever get an accurate account of Michael's life. As a biography, over all I enjoyed it and recommend to others as long as you read with an open mind and aren't looking for concrete truths.

    Reviewed by: Jada

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    An Excellent Read

    Riveting and compelling, Taraborrelli's biography of the King of Pop shows the human side of Michael Jackson. The author presents an in-depth look into the makings of a musical superstar and the demons that Jackson grappled with from the time he stepped into the limelight throughout his stellar, yet shockingly lonely life. Taraborrelli paints a vivid picture of the child star who struggled with the trappings of fame and the genius icon who lived in a very different world. The book provides details about the labyrinthian world of the music industry, the sibling rivalry among the brothers, and Jackson's complicated relationships with his parents, friends, and associates. Even with all the information, Taraborrelli does not draw conclusions for the reader about Jackson. For those who want to gain a better understanding of the man behind those many-colored masks, they must read this rendition of Michael Jackson's interesting life.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not Worth the Money

    This is basically a reprint of his original book with a few pages added on after Michael's death entitled 'the final years'. It seems that the last section of the book was just thrown together, even the pages are not the same quality as the rest of the book. I think there were some old copies of Taraborrelli's book that were not sold and this last section was just attached onto it. But, the main objection to this story is that he prints gossip and tabloid stories as if they are in fact true. Several times he also gives his opinion of an incident which has no factual backup. I would not have bought this book if I had known this before hand. In the prologue of the book, he asks what can you do if you had an inordinate amount of money? He asks a rhetorical question, "if you don't like the color of your skin? Fade it away". Now, if he was really a close friend as he claims, he would have known that Michael had the disease vitiligo. I am sure he found out that Michael had vitiligo when the rest of the world found out during the Oprah interview in 1993. Don't waste your money, there is nothing in this book you have not already heard, be it fact or fiction. If you want to read a book of poems and reflections by Michael Jackson, I strongly suggest you order 'Dancing the Dream' which you can get online from amazon.co.uk for less than $30. It is the second printing of his original book published in 1992. Also, Michael's book, 'Moonwalk' can be ordered from amazon.com for about $16. Both or excellent books!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    it is ok

    I didnt like it at all

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    Disappointed in the end

    I've followed Taraborrelli's coverage of Michael Jackson for years, and to be honest this book fizzled at the end. Somewhere Taraborrelli lost his enthusiasm for covering the events of Michael Jacksons life. The last chapters of the book seemed thrown together and "lack-luster" compared to his earlier writings. The tonality was almost bitter and disconnected in relaying key events. In my opinion if Taraborrelli wasn't going to attack the last few years of Michael's life with such fervor as the earlier years, he shouldn't have released the compilation edition. The subject matter (Michael Jackson) is still of interest to me, but I was disappointed with Taraborelli's attempt to "finish" this saga. Perhaps his energy was more focused on other celebrities. I would recommend this book for the early works, but chapters of events after 2001, don't even bother with. A child could write a better chronology.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

    This is not journalism worthy of your money.
    It becomes obvious within the first few pages of this book when the author uses single quotation marks on virtually every page that the author is speculating about Michael's life at best. Author is downright hostile at times and petty and perhaps frustrated by the lack of personal contact with Michael that he claims to have had. This book is mainly fiction and it's written in a tabloid style. It's a sad attempt to capture the world's most beloved man on paper. Michael himself told a much more interesting life story in his own truthful book Moon Walk. I can highly recommend Moon Walk, but not The Music The Madness, The Whole Story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2009

    Not enough details

    I enjoyed reading this book because it was my first in depth reading about Michael Jackson. Was hoping to find more details about the various segments that were addressed and covered. Would like to know more about what made Michael tick and inspired his song writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    A Great Read

    I loved this book. There are countless books on Michael Jackson, but this one is the most accurate because Mr. Taraborrelli cultivated his imformation from countless inverviews with family, friends, and Michael himself. If you want to know the real Michael Jackson, read this book. It was both funny and touching. You really get to know Michael's personality. There where times I couldn't put this book down. It's a long book, over 700 pages, but it is so engrossing I was sad when I got to the end. I wanted to read more. Get this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    clearing up one fact

    I thouroughly enjoyed this book and believe Mr. Taraborrelli did his best to be accurate..however, I would like to clear up the issue of "The Last Supper" painting he refers to at the end. It is actually called, "M.J.'s Heroes" by Nate Giorgio. It is Michael's heroes throughout history. To me it looks like they are sitting at a conferance table, perhaps at the White House during Lincoln's time. It is not blasphemous at all. I would suggest going to the artist's website and view the painting yourself.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    I expected more...

    I couldn't put it down. It was very revealing, for me, when talking about the early years of MJ's personal life/career, however I was always expecting to know more in the "Final Years" section of the book. I felt like I was reading the newspaper headlines, not much was thrilling as it as on the beginning of the book. One of my friend said that "what else do you want to know about MJ's life? everything is on the news!" I know, but I expected more revealing details from someone who claims to be "Michael Jackson's life-long friend and confidant".

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    Highly Recommended Reading

    MJ fan or not this is an excellent book. It is very well written and absorbing from page 1. The author confirms many of my thoughts about MJ as I watched from a long distance over the decades of his life. He was sometimes his own worst enemy but he didn't deserve the treatment he received at the hands of the press. I hurt for him when he died and after reading this book I hurt even more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVE THIS BOOK

    This has to be one of the best books I have read on Michael Jackson. I couldn't put it down. I have to agree with one of the other comments about you come away with you own conclusions, the writter doesn't try to push his views on how he feels things were. He allows you to make up your own mind on certian issues. I just loved reading it, and I would say it is a must have for any true Michael Jackson fan.
    Thank You J. Randy Taraborrelli for giving us a real look into the life of The King of Pop!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This author does for writing what Michael did for music and dance

    and I mean this. This is not of those trashy books made to juat make money. This guy did his research and knew what he was talking about. He didn't just say "and I got this from one of my sources" He named his sources, The last pages and pages are list of his detailed sources. I really loved this book because he was honest, but did not try and persuade you to think one way or the other. He told what he knew and left it to the readers to make their own opinions. I wish I could thank him personally for writing this book. I have always loved Michael Jackson and love him (if thats even possible) more after reading this book. This book left me knowing that everything I held in my heart for Michael was true. How sad to be so famous that you cannot even enjoy life. Not for me, no, I'd rather be just who I am, a stay at home, homeschooling mother. I think thats the only joy he had was his children. Thank you Mr. Taraborrelli for letting the world know that Michael was soft and tender yet business minded yet, mentally stalled at ten etc.etc. Thank you for letting us form our own opinions and thank you for not writing a book for your benefit. Your gift of writing and reporting has been shown in this book.
    I want to wrap this up by saying a met an european woman yesterday, and as we were talking about MJ she stated how sick minded we Americans could be. We had been talking about the human body and naturality and so on. When I told her that you couldn't even take pictures of your own children naked on a bed at 6 mo. old because if you used regular film their would be a knock on the door and you could possibly be arrested for child porn."Thats crazily insane she said" she also said a few other choice words that I won't repeat. Europeans are a lot more open then we are here and thats why I think Michael would still perform for them when he wouldn't do a tour here. "we" as he stated MJ in his own words have perverted minds. I am not trying to get into any arguement with anybody, I'm stating my own opinion. and as for sleeping with other children, Guess what america, I have slept with at least 10 children who were not mine. Guess I am perverted. Thank you again for this good read and I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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