Jackson, the King of Pop: The Big Picture--The Music! The Man!
The Legend! The Interviews: An Anthology
by Jel D. Lewis Jones
Paperback: 321 pages
Reviewed by Kam WIlliams
In the wake of Michael Jackson's untimely passing, I'm sure his legions of devoted fans are looking for a way to keep his spirit alive. They would do well to consider picking up a copy of Michael Jackson: The King of Pop, a comprehensive anthology comprised of interviews, song lyrics, dozens of color and b&w photographs, and more.
The literary equivalent of a bound fanzine, the book offers an uncritical peek at Jackson both from his own, self-serving perspective and that of the admittedly-adoring author. Despite her gushing, syrupy sweet tone, the tome is still fairly fascinating primarily because Michael comes off as a very sympathetic figure who clearly became bizarre because he never had a normal childhood. It's sort of like how a dog or a cat is worthless as a pet if it's weaned from its mother at too young an age.
Consider Jackson's response when asked by a reporter from USA Today in 2001 whether he's ’resentful that stardom stole his childhood. ’Yeah, it's not anger, it's pain,’ he admitted. ’People see me at an amusement park or with other kids having fun, and they don't stop and think, ’He never had that chance when he was little.’ I never had the chance to do the fun things kids do: sleepovers, parties, trick-or-treat. There was no Christmas, no holiday celebrating. So now you try to compensate for some of that loss.’
In another article, Michael takes on the paparazzi, saying ’The tabloid press are bastards, and you've got to have rhinoceros skin to deal with that ignorant mentality’ They simply make it up’ I'm nothing like the way the tabloids have painted me out to be, nothing’ They’re the ones who are crazy.’
He even sounds very convincing when he explains that his
trademark crotch-grabbing dancing ’isn't sexual at all.’