Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words by Michael Ausiello
ONE OF KIRKUS REVIEWS’ BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
In this “heartbreaking but often surprisingly hilarious memoir” (People) reminiscent of Love Is a Mixtape and Bettyville, a respected TV columnist remembers his late husband, and the lessons, love, and laughter that they shared throughout their fourteen years together. As J.J. Abrams raves, “A more honest, funny, and insightful book on the subject of loss can be found nowhere.”
For the past decade, TV fans have counted upon Michael Ausiello’s insider knowledge to get the scoop on their favorite shows and stars. From his time at Soaps in Depth and Entertainment Tonight to his influential stints at TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly to his current role as co-founder of the wildly popular website TVLine.com, Michael has established himself as the go-to expert when it comes to our most popular form of entertainment.
What many of his fans don’t know, however, is that while his professional life was in full swing, Michael had to endure the greatest of personal tragedies: his longtime boyfriend, Kit Cowan, was diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive form of neuroendocrine cancer. Over the course of eleven months, Kit and Michael did their best to combat the deadly disease, but Kit succumbed to his illness in February 2015.
In this heartbreaking and darkly hilarious memoir, Michael tells the story of his harrowing and challenging last year with Kit while revisiting the thirteen years that preceded it, and how the undeniably powerful bond between him and Kit carried them through all manner of difficulties—always with laughter front and center in their relationship. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies is “a story about love and loss, joy and heartbreak. And in the midst of personal turmoil, we learn that bravery comes in many forms” (The Washington Post).
Michael Ausiello is the founder and editor-in-chief of TVLine.com, a television entertainment website owned by Penske Media that launched in 2010. Ausiello began his publishing career in 1997 at Soaps In Depth magazine before moving on to TVGuide.com in 2000, where he debuted his signature, spoiler-tinged “Ask Ausiello” column and established himself as a major player in the world of TV journalism. In 2008, he jumped to Entertainment Weekly, where he penned a column in the magazine as well as an award-winning blog on EW.com (both titled “The Ausiello Files”). He currently splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles.
Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words 4.8 out of 5based on
8 months ago
For anyone who has last a loved one but especially if you are someone marginalized by society you must read this book. You will laugh, cry (and I mean real tears) but mostly not be able to put down this loving memoir of a beautiful couple. Do yourself a favor and start reading!
More than 1 year ago
Heartbreaking & beautiful.
More than 1 year ago
i've been reading michael ausiello's work for years. i've followed him from tvguide, to entertainment weekly, to his start up television focused website tvline. it's not just because he is good at getting scoops on my favorite shows, although that is part of it, but also because so often his views on shows meshed with mine. sure, maybe it set up some implicit bias, but when you are reading takes on the entertainment you are consuming you want to find someone who has a similar world view. beyond that, however, is also the fact that he is snarky and funny and good at telling stories. and i kind of love someone who isn't afraid to give away the ending.
i am one of those rare birds who doesn't care about spoilers. nine times out of ten i read the end of books before i'm a quarter of the way through. i still read the whole book, but i like to take surprises out of the equation, for me reading or consuming television isn't about the ending, but about how we get there. in spoiler alert: the hero dies, michael ausiello takes us on a journey from the moment he first met his partner-in-life/future husband, kit cowan to the moment kit succumbs to a rare form of neuroendocrine cancer.
this story was heartbreaking and sad and funny and honest and brutal and just a love letter to kit. there is grief and loss and anger and so much love that your heart feels full and shattered all at the same time. the way michael can put himself, his insecurities, the imperfections that abounded in his relationship, and the immensity of his love for kit out into the world is kind of wonderful. this is a story worth sharing, a love worth witnessing even when it wasn't easy or beautiful or kind. the reality of living with and loving someone who isn't perfect, but is still the only person for you somehow makes the loss more wrenching, absolutely gutting.
this is not just another memoir about cancer. michael is unflinching in his descriptions about the ravages of kit's disease, and certainly it's a big part of the story here. but when i think back on what i read, i'm not thinking about the horrors cancer and the therapies meant to cure it put the body through. i'm thinking about love. in every remembrance, every word he writes about kit, even when he's detailing kit's flaws, you can feel the love michael felt for him. and that's what i took away from this. it doesn't matter that the story ends with kit dying, because he loved michael and michael loved him, and love is all you need.
(n.b.—i'm a total romantic at heart, so there is that. but i think most people would agree with me.)
**spoiler alert: the hero dies will publish on september 12, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/simon & schuster publishing (atria books) in exchange for my honest review.
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