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Customer Review

115 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading!, 8 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Philomena (Paperback)
If you think you are going to read Philomena's story - You are wrong. This is Michael Hess ( Antony) story. It centres on his journey through life feeling rejected and alone. He embarks on a career in Law which takes him to the Whitehouse, rubbing shoulders with the President, and partying in Gay Bars, progressing to a life that includes a sordid and depraved side, often pushing aside those that come to love him and selling out fellow friends and associates that are homesexual to further his career, and save himself from public humiliation.You have every sympathy for his situation, and his lost identity, but he did have a good family, a mum who loved him, and a sister that shared his past and present life.His attempts to find his real Mum were rather half hearted in my opinion, and he didn't really appreciate the love and education that his adoptive family provided.
It is an emotive subject, and I really wanted to read Philomena's story and how it affected her. Unfortunately this book does not cover her story at all. Maybe I will have to watch the film, but I do feel the title of the book is misleading.
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Showing 1-10 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jan 2014 14:17:32 GMT
martha says:
A great read but agree this is Michael's story and Philomena disappears after the first section until the last pages. The book was originally a different title but renamed as a movie tie-in - which it isn't.

Posted on 28 Jan 2014 17:58:45 GMT
Sewell says:
I also agree, I went to see the film so was expecting the book to be much better, but I was very disappointed. This book is not & should not be called Philomena as its about Michaels story it only scratches the surface of Philomena, a very disappointed read....

Posted on 28 Jan 2014 19:49:41 GMT
CCM says:
Apart from a couple of paragraphs at the start and one at the end it is not about Philomena but Michaels excesses - will not be viewing the film

Posted on 1 Feb 2014 16:13:58 GMT
Stage Queen says:
I totally agree - was going to write this same type of thing myself but you have said exactly what I was going to. kept anticipating all the way through this book that it would track back to Ireland and how Philomena was coping with the loss of her son -then the 2nd group of photos halfway through the book that showed Micheal with the caption 'after he developed aids' let me stunned - been no mention of it by then in the book at all - these final photos (and Philomena by his grave) should be at the END of this book !

Posted on 7 Feb 2014 13:46:23 GMT
jilly says:
I totally agree with this comment, in fact I kept reading the back cover in puzzlement. So glad I read this review.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2014 13:51:29 GMT
jilly says:
Yes, when I read the caption about Aids, it spoilt the rest of the book really. Such a misleading book title. Would be lovely to read Philomena's story now

Posted on 15 Feb 2014 07:07:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Feb 2014 07:08:45 GMT
RosieB says:
I fully agree with N.J. Dearing this has very little to do with Philomena. She is only written about at the very beginning and very little at the end. This should have been called Michael's Story! A great disappointment.

Posted on 15 Feb 2014 21:35:31 GMT
E. Corduff says:
I agree completely with N.J. Dearings review. The book is about Mike not Philomena. Considering he was a lawyer his attempt to find his Mother was pathetic, he spent more time wallowing in selfpity and depravity which I found pretty shocking. I have wondered what the Hess family think about Mikes opinion of them in the book which is written by Martin Sixsmith who did not know them. Mike's partner has said he would only give a scoreof three out of ten to the book as Mike was not the dark brooding person described but he would give 10 out of 10 to the film. I have not seen the film I am not sure I want to as I have heard Philomena never went to America with Martin so that is not true. But a sad story for mother and son and for thousands of others. at lest the book and film has brought publicity and hopefully changes to help mothers and children unite.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2014 10:57:18 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 18 Feb 2014 10:57:37 GMT]

Posted on 28 Feb 2014 22:01:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Feb 2014 22:04:43 GMT
I agree totally. An interesting story indeed, but the attempts to find his mother were halfhearted as described by the book. I did read a reluctant interveiw recently given by the long term partner who indicted that much of the story as told by the book was not true. So who knows what to believe about Michael Hess's life?
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