Top positive review
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intriguing and touching, is it all true?
on 9 August 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.