'One of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read' STEPHEN FRY
WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED BEST FIRST BIOGRAPHY PRIZE
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ATTITUDE MAGAZINE'S BOOK OF THE YEAR
A beloved star of stage and screen, Alan Cumming's life and career have been shaped by a complex and dark family past - full of troubled memories, kept buried away. But then an unexpected phone call from his long-estranged father brought the pain of the past hurtling back into the present, and unravelled everything he thought he knew about himself. Not My Father's Son is the story of his journey of discovery, both a memoir of his childhood in Scotland, and an investigation into his family history which would change him forever.
'Equal parts memoir, whodunnit and manual for living . . . beautifully written, honest . . . I was completely sucked in' NEIL GAIMAN
Scottish actor Cumming struggles to reconcile with his troubled past in this moving, if oddly structured, memoir. Alternating between three time periods "Then," "Now," and a span of several months in 2010 Cumming recounts his life on a rural Scottish estate under the brutal reign of his abusive father, Alex. Equally violent toward Cumming's older brother, Tom, Alex was a defining force in Cumming's life, with the emotional and physical scars of his beatings affecting Cumming long after he left home for drama school at age 17. In a parallel narrative, Cumming recounts his experiences as a participant on Britain's Who Do You Think You Are?, a television program on which celebrities explore their pasts, often going so far as to get genetic tests. Even as issues closer to home involving Cumming's ties, or lack thereof, to his father arise (as the book's title might suggest), Cumming is determined to delve into his family history: and find out what happened to his maternal grandfather, Lieutenant Tommy Darling, who served his country in WWII and ended up suspiciously dead several years later in Malaysia, where he was a member of the police force. While the particulars Cumming learns about Darling are striking and memorable, this really is a case where the journey is more important than the destination.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not my father's son
Very enjoyable read which I couldn't put down. Actually read it in one session. A very nicely paced mixture of then and now with the then linking nicely with the now.
Cummings has conveyed the confusion and despair of the abused child and the ramifications for the adult without wallowing in the mire. The mixture of poignancy, humour and pragmatism demonstrate a level of emotional intelligence that was hard earned.
I hope the author as continued to support the and promote awareness of PTSD for service personnel.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Not My Fathers Son
Thankyou Alan for this wonderful Book.
I have learnt so much.
It's a must read.
I couldn't put this book down. His raw open honest expression detailing a troubled childhood is incredibly moving.