88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Philomena: The true story of a mother and the son she had to give away (film tie-in edition) (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 11-20 of 25 posts in this discussion
Posted on 3 Mar 2014 21:57:44 GMT
Most are agreed that the book is a very good read but that the title of the book is misleading. This may well have been the publishers' ploy after the film went into production (I'm guessing, I don't know). The small print in the front of the book where it mentions about the copyright etc. informs us that it was first published under the title "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee".
For those who have said the will not see the film, I would recommend it. Yes, you now know what happens, but the film does focus on Philomena and the help Martin Sixsmith gives her - acted brilliantly by Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.
Going back to the book title, I think whoever decided on the change has been clever but very naughty. They need their wrists slapped hard by .... Trade Descriptions Act people?
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Mar 2014 11:30:25 GMT
Well i was a bit disappointed that Philomena almost "disappeared" from the book but my interpretation of that is Martin Sixsmith intends to write another book about Philomena and the man who was the Father of Anthony (Michael). Time will tell!
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 12:02:35 GMT
I agree with the general tenor of the principal review and this comment - but it wasn't a disappointing read except to the extent that it wasn't what I expected.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 12:03:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Mar 2014 12:07:53 GMT
DO go and see the film - it's not at all like this book, and is brilliant. I'm sure you'll love it. However, the final chapter of the book shows that the film contains an immense amount of dramatic licence.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 12:05:07 GMT
The back cover's actually about the film, not the book, but you have to read the words very carefully to realise that.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 12:34:07 GMT
I agree with you Josquine, I was just annoyed that the back of the book says it was about Philomena's search for her son, and that wasn't so, in fact I was really puzzled.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2014 14:25:59 GMT
N. J. Dearing says:
Josquine. Read the back again. It clearly say's marttin sixsmith,s book delves into a woman's grief with restraint and dignity. This BOOK is not about Philomena and therefore misleading!
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2014 20:07:54 GMT
The original title of this book was "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee". This old title is clearly more representative of the content. I still think it's a fascinating and heart-rending tale, but I completely agree that the new title is misleading (although it is appropriate for the film which is about the search)
Posted on 17 Mar 2014 21:00:43 GMT
P. K. Rowbotham says:
I agree completely with these views. I was given the book and was very much looking forward to reading about 'a mother's search for her son'. What a let-down! I have never been so disappointed in a book. After reading it I certainly do not want to see the film.
The only lesson I have gained from Michael's story is that the antithesis of Polonius' advice to Laertes (Hamlet) is as true as the original. 'This above all, to thine own self be false and it shall follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be true to any man.
Posted on 23 Mar 2014 12:16:21 GMT
I agree with these comments. Having realised halfway through that it wasn't about Philomena at all, but a history lesson in US politics and AIDS, I skimmed to the end in a double quick time. Not what I was expecting at all. But I will still look forward to the film.