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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
After Freddie's death in 1991 I sought out and read a lot of books about Queen. After reading Jacky Gunn's As It Began all the others seemed pretty run-of-the-mill, rehashing old facts and stories about Queen and their leader. It was only when this book came out a year or two later that I really read something of his life that I hadn't heard before. This is a well written...
Published on 20 Sept. 2006 by Bug DeLug

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written but repetitive and superficial
The relationship between Hutton and Mercury was unusual and potentially interesting. This seems an honest enough account, but although well written, it's a book without much substance. And perhaps that's the way it should be. I wasn't expecting confidences to be broken or secrets revealed and most of us are familiar with Freddie's reputation for excess. There's a lot...
Published 10 months ago by Bookie


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read, 20 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Hardcover)
After Freddie's death in 1991 I sought out and read a lot of books about Queen. After reading Jacky Gunn's As It Began all the others seemed pretty run-of-the-mill, rehashing old facts and stories about Queen and their leader. It was only when this book came out a year or two later that I really read something of his life that I hadn't heard before. This is a well written account of Jim Hutton's time with Freddie Mercury- the love, the arguments, the pain and the happiness. I was eleven when Freddie died and although I grieved for him I never wept- until I read this book. It is a very touching and honest read and when the inevitable comes it hits you for six- reading about the pain that he went through in his final years. As for the passages about Mary Austin and her behaviour I'm a little unsure as to what to think. This book doesn't exactly paint her in the best light but she and Freddie were close for many years and she supported him financially and in other ways when he was trying to get the band off the ground. I'm sure Freddie loved her and she loved him too- it was only his sexuality that got in the way of them really being together. Maybe Jim Hutton felt a certain amount of resentment about their close relationship. Also included in this book are some wonderful photos of Freddie- including the last picture that he ever posed for. I can assure you that even the most hard-hearted of Queen fans will be in tears at this end of this book. It's not exactly feel-good but it is very nice to know that even though he suffered he was surrounded by a close unit of well caring and dedicated friends who were there with him to the end. I remember seeing Jim Hutton giving interviews to promote the book on its release and the thing that was always mentioned was that Freddie died in his arms. This has been discounted by more than a few people and Jim Hutton certainly doesn't make a big thing of it in the book. Alas, read and enjoy and if you don't already know about the sad goings-on that happened behind closed doors at the end you will be thoroughly taken aback as to how truly tortorous his demise really was.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most touching books I ever read, 23 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Hardcover)
When I started reading this book I was pretty sceptical. As a long time Freddie fan I was very surprised and touched by the warm memories of Jim Hutton. One thing is certain to me: he deeply loved Freddie. The last part of the book was very sad and depressing, not only Freddie's death, but also the cold behaviour of Mary. I guess Freddie would turn around in his grave if he knew this. Wish I could contact Jim personally, but if he reads this, I want to thank him from the heart for everything he did for Freddie. Hope Jim is still alive and doing well. Does anybody know???? Anyway, wish you the best, Jim. May the spirits of the Universe be with you.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing and touching, is it all true?, 9 Aug. 2004
By 
Valeria Del Prete "doublethumb" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As soon as I started reading this book I could not stop. As most reviewers pointed out, it really captures the attention of the reader and triggers the curiosity and eagerness to go on. As the title states this book is focused on the personal relationship between Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton, who was his gardener, barber and lover since 1985 up to Freddie's death in November 1991.
Therefore this is NOT a biography of the flamboyant singer of QUEEN, and all the information about Freddie is filtered through the subjective view of Jim Hutton. As a matter of fact, Jim's own life and feelings are given a major role. Yet the narrative style is remarkably raw : the author does not dwell on lyricism and romantic fits; at the same time he does not mince words about Freddie's sexual appetite and habit to try and manipulate people (incuding jim hutton), as well as about the singer's insecurities and need of reassurance and love.
Freddie's fits of generosity and his infectious playfulness are also sketched in a clever way, and the tormented alternation of attraction, jealousy, break-ups and reconciliations completes the picture of the entangled relationship and of the complex personalities of the two lovers. The bare style and the realism of some descriptions remains what makes the book most appealing, in my opinion, even though one might wonder whether the truth has been coloured for "scoop" purposes. It is reasonable to believe that most of the anecdotes and details can be trusted, and the book has some pages of remarkable intensity.
At the end of the day this remains the only book relating explicitly about Freddie's intimate life with one of his long-term lovers, and showing the hidden sides of the singer's personality.
Whether or not such revelations are something that Freddie would approve is a question nobody will be able to answer.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Genuine Read!!!, 7 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
I've been fortunate enough to have met and got to know Jim Hutton, I had my doubts about some of the things that where disclosed to me about the lifestyle and personal goings on of Freddy. But having read the book and getting to know Jim very well, I've no doubts about anything in the book been true. An absolute GREAT and HONEST read From a Genuine man!! Well Worth the read for the true fan!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent insight into the greatest performer's life, 8 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
After reading this book, it has made me approach Freddie's work in a totally different way. Before reaing this I wasn't aware of how much of an act Freddie used to put on - now I see how much "The Great Pretender" was relevant. What surprised me the most is how ordinary Freddie seemed away from the public eye - this book is a essential read for any Freddie/Queen fan. I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A honest book, 30 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Hardcover)
15 years after the first edition of this book I eventually got my hands on it.
And it was a pleasure to read - it told me about another, very private sight, of Freddie Mercury and his lover/husband Jim Hutton.
I saw the videos of Mary, and Peter Freestone/Freddie's friends, made by the "Torpedo Twins" at youtube (The Untold Story) but interviews with Jim Hutton are very rare and mostly also very short.

Dear Jim,
I love you for writing this book and sharing your sight of your life with Freddie.
And I love you for your honesty - I don't think you or Tim Wapshott messed up anything.
I'm very sorry for you and Peter and Joe - the way it went wasn't that what Freddie wanted for you, that's clear as a Koi pond....
I hope you're fine and found some peace at heart.
And a (bad) translation from Tagore (famous indian poet):"Beautiful days - don't cry that they are gone - but smile that they have been...."
That's my most helpful thought at every single bad time.
You had have the love of your life - you've been loved too. ;-)
Best wishes and lots of love
Sabine
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I ever read...really., 29 Jun. 2007
By 
Linda (Long Island, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
What a book. It's the kind of book that you feel like you are there with them and you live it. Jim Hutton was extremely generous sharing this wonderful story with us. I do wonder if Freddie would have approved I think not. But the love Jim had for Freddie is lovingly poured into this book. Mary's cold and rude behavior at the end to me is unforgiveable. What a shame. Her true self came through and I felt Freddie would have never forgiven her for it. Jilted lovers, YUK. Anyways a great read and worth every cent and then some...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read for a Queen fan!, 24 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
I've always wondered what kind of person Freddie Mercury really was. He didn't give very many interviews and most of those few are just spoken through the role of a rock star and not as a private person. Hutton's book is definitely closest look you can ever have on Freddie. It's only minus side is that it might be a bit too close look! Sometimes Hutton tells more than most people would probably like to know, but at the same time, his book is very open, honest and straightforward story of a true love story. Hutton is not a good writer as such, especially the first chapters feel very clumsy. However, this only adds the experience of sharing something beautiful and extraordinary, as if you were reading Hutton's personal diary. It would have been interesting to read more about Freddies opinions on things, comments on the world, views of other people rather than learning what kind of arguments happened between Hutton and Mercury around which concert or event. Yet, it is intriguing to remember certain concerts and Freddie's performance once you learn what actually happened backstage. Hutton's book is a wonderful tribute to Freddie, not as a rockstar but as a real person and a lover. I'm deeply grateful that Hutton wrote it, I hope the writing process helped him to relieve the pain of losing Freddie.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling read, 1 Oct. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
I found this book a wonderful read. The minute I started reading, I couldn't put it down. It goes into detail about the daily life of Freddie Mercury, and his relationships with the people around him, including his lover Jim Hutton and ex-girlfriend Mary Austin. A must-have for any Freddie Mercury fan - you won't be disappointed, and it certainly gave me some insight and knowledge into the world of that flamboyant star, in which I was yearning for. It was a great book and I'll probably read it again, even though it is a sad story, and guaranteed to give you a lump in the throat - if you are a sensitive Queen fan or love Freddie as much as I do!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Love of Freddie's Life, 7 April 2015
By 
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This review is from: Mercury and Me (Paperback)
The Love of Freddie's Life

This is a very endearing and well written book. It is in a matter-of-fact style, somewhat down-to-earth, as Jim Hutton seemed to have been.
There is a prevailing sense of honesty from beginning to end and one easily understands why Freddie fell for Jim and vice-versa: they loved each other for who they really were. A real life tale of "opposites attract": the flamboyant grand artist and the independent pragmatist with a fierce sense of ethic.
This close-up of the life of Freddie and Jim shows the extraordinary (celebrity) ups and (morbid) downs, and more often than not, just the ordinary moments that the true intimacy of a long term relationship entails.
Only the heartless won't feel for Jim as he recalls his last days with Freddie - I for one ended with teary eyes.
And somewhat angry: shortly after his death Freddie's ex-girlfriend, Mary, evicted Jim, Phoebe and Joe (his closest friends) from the Garden Lodge against Freddie's expressed will, according to which they could stay in "their" house for as long as they wanted. She clearly never got over the fact that Freddie never loved her as much as he loved Jim.
One can only wonder now, but it is not too much a stretch of the imagination, to think that Freddie probably left the Garden Lodge to Mary because he thought Jim would also die from Aids in the near future, and just wanted to make sure that she would get the house after Jim's death.
Amazingly, although hurt, Jim refused to hold it against her.
I'm not as magnanimous, and as far as I am concerned, Mary can burn in hell when her time comes. Hopefully Freddie will push her down with a disapproving glance, if you believe that in sort of thing.
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Mercury and Me
Mercury and Me by Tim Wapshott (Hardcover - 3 Nov. 1994)
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