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Profile for Valeria Del Prete > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Valeria Del Prete "doublethumb" (London, UK)

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Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Knew Him Best
Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir by the Man Who Knew Him Best
by Peter Freestone
Edition: Paperback

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if you don't like this, maybe you don't like freddie either, 14 Aug. 2004
I just cannot understand how some reviewers could give such negative comments to this book. Some of them even state that the book is a boring list of events, people and places.
This is a biography, not a science fiction book, and Freddie Mercury was a rock-star: of course his life was frantic and crammed with events, people and places!
Peter Freestone does what any good biographer should do: he takes us into freddie's everyday life, whether he was on tour, in the recording studio or at home, and reports about it in any tiny detail. In case you get lost in the so called "list of people" appearing in the book, there is a "cast list" at the beginning, which I found a very original, funny and useful idea, adding some theatrical colour to the book, and in line with freddie's own ironical self-portrait as "the great pretender".
The author does not attempt to describe how freddie WAS (these empty boring sentences like "he was like this and like that"!), but he lets us "breathe" his complex and multi-faceted personality just telling what he would DO, each moment in the day, like in a diary. This gives the reader the vivid impression to be there and live close to freddie while his own life is in the making. Nothing is left unsaid, and everything emerges naturally from his own behaviour: his love for cats, his taste in art, clothing, food..his generosity as well as his tantrums and whims.
Nevertheless, the last chapters lose the narrative style of a diary to acquire a sound artistic value far beyond the average depth of thought you may find in a biography; they are true jewels.
The authors focuses on the complex emotional balance artists (and freddie in particular) keep with art, love, sex, and life itself, which then obviously influences their relationship and choices of friends and lovers.
Freestone's psychological insight reaches remarkable depths, showing that, like freddie, also his friends must have owned an uncommon sensitivity for people's feelings; I will never forget those lines.. "Those first wonderful feelings most of us get from falling in love, Freddie would get from a song that he'd written". This also reveals the love that the author himself must have felt for freddie, which allowed him to know him so well.
I am a passionate Queen fan and I have read other biographies of freddie, watched a number of dvds, videos, whatever might give me some information about the band and in particular about Freddie. This is the best book I ever read, and I would recommend it to any fan of Freddie.
My dream was to meet Freddie when he was alive, but now I would be very happy if I could meet Peter Freestone and have a couple of words with him!

Mercury and Me
Mercury and Me
by Jim Hutton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing and touching, is it all true?, 9 Aug. 2004
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done, christina!, 24 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Stripped (Audio CD)
this is certainly one of the best albums I ever bought. Usually it happens that two or three songs are pleasant and the rest is all the songs are pleasant, and many of them are really great! christina exploits the natural strength of her voice without caring much about the's just feelings shouted out in full power. Miss Aguilera is certainly one of the best young talents come out in the last ten years or so.
the songs per se are not the best songs ever written-the lyrics too..but christina's voice is able to give shivers down the spine anyway. Personally I think "I'm Ok" is really the best song. Paradoxically it is a song where the voice is quite bare, no virtuosisms, no lyricisms. but this is exactly the key. it's totally spontaneous. the voice is almost broken by the pain. all the feelings come out raw and clear, on the delicate melody of the guitar.
other beautiful songs: fighter, keep on singing my song, soar, infatuation..and many others!

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