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on 29 April 2016
Ooh questions, questions, questions! This is my second reading.... whilst it reads well first time, non-put-downable, scepticism creeps in on the second read. Gerry Agar seems like a terrier with a bone about Michael's drug taking. From reading up on the subject it would seem that Michael was attempting to clean up his act, despite the press intrusion. Occasional cocaine dalliances but it was mostly Prozac that he was taking to cure his depression. That 1996 drug raid is a little suspicious. Was the heroin packet added? All that - Michael asked me to check the contents of the Mr Kipper parcel - PLEASE!!! Was the whole thing a set up? I think the press intrusion and pressure is well documented. Agar seemed surprised that Michael no longer liked Anita after her refusal to support Paula at the custody trial... well, all along she had encouraged Paula to leave Bob, for reasons documented and when it came to backing Paula up (as the only person who could) she refused. From all that has been said about Michael, it would seem that he would see this as unfair and not being truthful. He would have been upset by this. So it was not surprising that he went off Anita! There's something that doesn't quite add up about that drug raid. But, who am I, Miss Marple? There's still something intrinsically puzzling about Michael's demise... Did he still love Paula, or was he trying to escape ... perhaps a bit of both. Perhaps it was one mixed up jumble. But it seemed he was desperate to see Paula. And desperate to see Tiger. What was it that Bob had revealed to him in that phone call? Or Paula? This book gives a good insight into some of the goings on of the Paula/Michael/Bob triangle. I don't think the full implication of Michael's head injury in 1991, it's debilitating influence and it's capacity to ignite a rage episode is described in enough medical jargon and detail. Michael had obviously gone through a lot to cure it, but perhaps that final phone call caused an insurmountable, indefatigable storm that Michael couldn't calm.
This book, for me, raises the question: Were Michael and Paula really soul mates? Perhaps in a temporary Cathy/Heathcliff manner, so intense it would have/had burned itself out or perhaps they would have sorted their differences and lived happily ever after. Perhaps, Michael needed someone funny, yes, but someone who loved him enough to rally with his family, and friends to offer him support as well.
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on 29 September 2015
I am not a massive fan of any of these celebrities; however I did think it sad she took her life after he did, so intregued to read this. So far I am finding it a good read, the dynamics in the relationship were strange , Michael sounds like a complex character who was incapable of being faithful, whilst Paula comes across as very childlike
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on 25 August 2017
It made interesting reading but a sad state of affairs.
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on 19 December 2014
I am really impressed with this book. It is shedding light from a close friend's perspective, on a very tragic time. Well written and interesting as well as easy to read.
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on 22 November 2015
A real insight into the life of a very complicated lady, and the two men who loved her.
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on 20 May 2014
This was well written but just a rehash of the old story . Made me wonder if it had been published faster because of the death of daughter peaches geldof a few weeks ago
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on 1 May 2004
I found this book to be very well written and a book that I couldn't put down easily. Being a long term Bob Geldof fan I was expecting the book to be more against him than it was, and yes in the start it was. The book does show you though how you can be influenced by what you are told and that you do not always know the whole story. I found it to be very well written and not just a re hash of the tabloid story, there is new information contained within its pages that will in some cases surprise but mostly clarify the whole story. Everything that Gerry and the other friends around her did they did (in relation to the drugs) to try and help them seek help because as they found the drugs were in the reach of the children and it was their safety that was paramount to them. I also think that it was not wrong to include the press in all of this as in the past Paula had herself use the press to get what she wanted in her life, namely Michael. She had used the press when it suited her and in turn they would be interested when something happened in her life. It also made it clear to me why I had found it difficult to read Paula's autobiograhy (I gave up after a couple of chapters)as she left a large amount of information out of it. A modern day tragedy but a story that had to be told. There are still a few unanswered questions but they will never be answered fully. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the lives of any of the subjects.
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on 29 May 2014
Was prompted to read this after the recent death of Peaches Geldof. The years in which the writer was close to the family are described in detail and the sadly inexorable slide towards death becomes understandable. The writing style is a bit clunky but overall a useful account of this family story.
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on 6 November 2012
This biography was written by Gerry Agar, one of Yates friends and part-time PR. Agar has first hand knowledge of people and events, although she cannot be described as permanent member of an "inner circle". Her tale unfolds from a casual meeting with Yates collecting kids from school and rekindling an old acquaintance.

Paula is described as "very intelligent", but unstable and unreliable. Considering how she dumped people when they were of no further use to her, this description seems pretty accurate. Yates had a borderline personality, kept under control during the marriage with domineering (but dependable) Geldof. However, after 20 years together Yates was having enough of "Saint" Bob.

I could sympathise with her about that, as I guess it must be difficult to live with somebody who reached semi-god status. Unfortunately, her reaction to marital trouble was very predictable. Yates started an affair, which grew into an obsession. Hutchence had some psychological flaws of his own and the result was two people getting the worst out of each other.

From sordid clandestinity the affair developed into tabloid fodder, also thanks to Yates. She pushed the story into the open, possibly trying to infuse some "reality" into an episode that was better left short and secret.

Chapter after chapter we follow a storm of court battles, fights for money and child custody, substance-abuse escalation, delusion and paranoia, etc... Yates wanted too much and everything to suit her needs. Nobody could contradict her or she threatened suicide. Hutchence, sarcastically described as her "part-time" boyfriend, went down first, crushed by the pressure coupled with his fragile personality.

At the time of his death Yates was not working, her lavish lifestyle being financed by the men in her life and by her deals with tabloids. Whatever shred of sympathy I might have felt for Yates dissolved after reading of the huge amounts she received for interviews and photos of herself and her children. There is much complaint about gutter press, but it sounds like "celebrities" are more than happy to exploit it when in need...

I am not an INXS nor a Geldof fan. I did not read any tabloids throughout the years of the Bob/Paula/Michael triangle, so I thought I was quite open-minded and unprejudiced. I did not want to "pick a side". However, I found the tale gloomy and I finished the book with relief. Nevertheless, it left a bad aftertaste.

I never found Yates particularly likable and after reading this book I found her even less so. Unfortunately, I did not find "Saint" Bob or "elegantly wasted" Michael much more agreeable. All the parties seemed worried only with getting what they wanted and under no circumstances Geldof could be mistaken for a victim. Eventually he prevailed, in the most bizarre twist of events. But the physical and chronological distance did not dilute the lust, greed, selfishness and delusion that permeate the story.
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on 5 November 2014
A compelling account of a situation that rapidly spiralled out of control, ending inevitably in tragedy. A mix of sex, drugs, self-deception, lies, arguments about money, infidelity, celebrity, and excess. And plenty of love, not just the love that Bob and Michael had for Paula, but that all had three for the children caught up in this mess. As with Diana, Paula tried to manipulate the press, who had their own agenda and made a desperate situation even worse.
This is a well-written and convincing account, based on first hand experience -- except towards the very end, when Gerry Agar had to walk away (having, alongside the Nanny, tried her very best to help) from the impending predictable outcome. There's a lot to consider here about human nature and, in Paula's case, the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on adult behaviour.
I read it in a day. Highly recommended!
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