Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson
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Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  534 ratings  ·  110 reviews
In late December 2008, Ian Halperin told the world that Michael Jackson had only six months to live. His investigations into Jackson's failing health made headlines around the globe. Six months later, the King of Pop was dead.

Whatever the final autopsy results reveal, it was greed that killed Michael Jackson. Friends and associates paint a tragic picture of the last years...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 14th 2009 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Treyvion Chambers
I don't have a clue in the world why someone would write such a HORRIBLE book about such a gorgeous, kind, giving person. This portrays Michael Jackson as a petophile which is cleary not true.
Kimberly
This book was a VERY quick read (under 4 hours) and confirmed many of my thoughts and opinions regarding the unfortunate occurrences of MJ's life.

I don't want to spoil it for people that are interested / haven't read it yet. But, Halperin does his homework / under cover work. Considering that he went in to prove that MJ did the molestations - and uncovered a web of batshit bullshit and deceit where one man vowed to take down MJ over a "screenplay and money" (basically), the book is an interesti...more
Jessica Crawford
Admittedly I have always been an MJ fan. I feel this author was fair and not out to trash him. I found the book to be interesting and seemingly factual and authentic. It wasn't overly wordy. I think it sheds light on what made the start tick and why he was the way he was. Ultimately I feel he was very misunderstood and while I personally don't think he was a child molester, I do think he put himself into horribly inappropriate situations that lent themselves to negative publicity and scrutiny. I...more
RNOCEAN
In late December 2008, Ian Halperin told the world that Michael Jackson had only six months to live. His investigations into Jackson's failing health made headlines around the globe. Six months later, the King of Pop was dead.
Whatever the final autopsy results reveal, it was greed that killed Michael Jackson. Friends and associates paint a tragic picture of the last years and days of his life as Jackson made desperate attempts to prepare for the planned concert series at London's 02 Arena in Jul...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon Mitrovich
I was pretty sure he was framed before reading this but now I am 100% sure he was innocent. I cannot believe only two children came forward out of the millions he helped and people believed it. Yes, it was still 2 kids but when you hear about the background you know they were liars who were only doing what their awful parents told them what to do. How was it even taken seriously when the same parent tried to get money from Larry King, Jay Leno and Chris Tucker?? There was not one tiny but of evi...more
Rachel
A great book that intially was meant persecute Jackson and label him once and for all as a pedophile, but turned in light of the evidence. Perhaps the most unbiased view of Michael Jackson to date with admissions on strange or outright stupid behavior but also a look into who Michael Jackson was, shedding some light on why he did some of the things he did. Not nearly as editorial as I figured it would be, so much of the book is based on fact and confirmed reports that it is hard to just dismiss...more
Mary (BookHounds)
I am such a sucker for tabloid-like books. This one was a quick read and bring forth some interesting facts that present some of the stories published by the media might be sensational. Was Michael Jackson the victim of extortion or did he actually molest children?

There are a bit too many transcriptions of interviews and depositions taken by others and that really detracts from what the author writes. He does present cases for both sides. I think the ultimate message of the book is that Michael...more
Monica Willyard
I wasn't planning to read this book until a friend urged me to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised by the author's attempt to be fair and present Michael as neither a saint nor a total monster. I don't think we'll ever know the true story of Michael Jackson's life. This book did help me see him as a person, not just a music legend or sideshow attraction.

I learned something important from this book. I got a glimpse of how far a person will go when he doesn't like who he is at heart. It helps...more
Don
It was slim pickins from the available library audio books the day I picked this book. The subject is appealing in the way a highway accident is - you wouldn't want to see it, but if you are driving by, it is hard not too.

The author focuses on the final two decades of Jackson's life. He says that he began his research expecting to confirm that Jackson was a pedophial, but concluded that he was not. There were just too many young boys with reason to come forward, even when they became adults, if...more
Bill
As I've stated before, you always have to wonder how true books like these are. But if this book is even HALF true, it makes you realize how tragic Michael Jackson's life truly was. This book just really left me depressed every time I read it--I mean just way too many people were willing to take advantage of MJ and he brought so much of it upon himself--but this is definitely worth reading. Halperin does a really good job giving you a picture of the world inside Neverland, etc.
Jean
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie
Very interesting. I especially liked the chapter on his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley and how it was engineered by the Scientologists. The author never does come to a definite conclusion about whether Michael Jackson actually did molest children or if the parents were just trying to take advantage of his millions.
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Overall this was a fair book written about Michael and he drama in his life. Halperin did a good job in not passing judgement and honest in stating facts that were discrediting to allegations made previously againt Jackson. I did learn some new vivid details on Michael's private life & the cases filed against him from this book. Halperin discusses Diane Dimond alot in this book and to my surprise I do own her book Be Careful Who You Love I will be reading that soon as a follow up to this one...more
Dustin
This is a wonderful investigative report about the final years of Michael Jackson's life, including detailed information about his medical history, sexuality, and trials. The author, Ian Halperin, reveals that Michael wore a prosthetic nose and a wig, he was possibly schizophrenic, and he was indeed gay. There is evidence that Michael dressed in drag, which explains why he continuously changed his appearance, perhaps to look like a woman. He also had dealings with Scientology and the Nation of I...more
Adam
I recently had a chance to read a biography on Michael Jackson it was THRILLING! but yet a tragic story and life of the King of Pop. Most of the story takes place in Gary,Indiana which is where most of Michael's siblings were born in. Michael's family was very poor when Michael was just a young child,Michael's father worked at a steal factory where most father's worked to support their family. Gary is a poor town that doesn't have much. Since Michael's mother was a stay at home wife Michael's fa...more
Leanna
I like to think of myself as the biggest Michael Jackson fan in the entire world. He saved my life.
I went to the library and checked out this book because I am interested in reading about my role model.
This book is not what I expected at all. This book made me cry. I was reading it in tears. What kind of right does Ian Halperin have to insult Michael this way? This book absolutely broke my heart into millions of pieces. The things in this book are untrue! This author is not just stating facts;...more
Mr. Crusader
When this book was first published, I seem to recall at least one scathing mainstream book review which totally trashed the book. As a result, I held off on reading/listening to it, but finally decided to give it a chance. Glad I did, because it was not the sensationalized type of book that I had imagined.

Because of the early reviews, I was biased and prejudiced before even reading one page. Without giving away the "plot" or spoilers, the author had the same problem when he started his "investi...more
Helen Azar
Well, ok, it was fun to read this book, if only for the anticipation of perhaps there would be something new and exciting in it... There wasn't, unless you count the author's allegations that Michael Jackson came on to him at their first meeting and that he (MJ) had numerous male lovers coming in and out of Neverland... And that he had wild passionate sex with Lisa Marie... in fact, sex was the main part of that relationship... Hmmm... Ok, this is not impossible, but somehow I just don't see it....more
Yvonne
This book was published so quickly it is full of typographical errors. No one has sued Ian Halperin for any of his books, he seems to do his research well.

Bottom line is the author, before researching the book, thought Jackson was a paedophile, but upon completing the book, totally changed his mind. No evidence. And that's what the jury felt as well.

When meeting Jackson, Halperin who is a gay man, felt Michael's strong sexuality and believed Jackson was hitting on him. Lots of evidence that MJ h...more
Anthony Taylor
Not the character assignation I expected but rather more sympathetic to the strange final years of Michael Jackson. The book is more a collection of potentially good subject matter that needed further work as it clearly suffered by the rushed publication date. Not only some of the chapters not fully flushed out it was clear more work could have been completed on the sources as there are too many unnamed quotes etc. Grammatical errors are frequent and regardless of the requirement to get this boo...more
Irene
What might have been a worthless little spitball of gossip is actually a pretty involving read. Interestingly, Halperin admits that his agenda in writing the book was to prove Jackson's guilt, yet try as he might, he was unable to find a shred of hard evidence of that guilt. Indeed, he found many reasons to believe in Jackson's innocence and was in the end convinced that Jackson was a victim of blackmail and greed. As an MJ fan, I appreciated this book and the research that clearly went into it,...more
Andy
Prior to reading the book, I did not think there would be anything that would make me think MJ was innocent. I'm not entirely sure he's innocent, but it seems like both of the molestation charges (93 and 05) were extortion attempts. The book is well written, but very poorly put together. There is very little transition from one part of the book to the next. Additionally, each chapter jumps around with stories and information from various points in Jackson's life. I think they rushed it to print...more
Anita
An interesting book that focuses mainly on the Michael Jackson court cases and the time he spent with young boys at Neverland. Towards the end the author paints a picture of a frail, sickly, near-to-death Michael Jackson, but I find this hard to reconcile having seen the DVD "This is It" which shows him looking pretty good and moving well at his final concert rehearsals. I find Michael Jackson's life story interesting (who doesn't?) but having grown up listening to his music in the 70's and 80's...more
Sara Boghdan
Michael Jackson's music is featured prominently in the soundtrack of my life. He was such a troubled man. It's all very tragic, really.
Tiffany
Ok so I was not a big fan of this book because it was more about the gossip more than anything. I gave it a few stars for standing up for Michael about the fact that he was an innocent man who was being attacked by people who were "motivated primarily by financial considerations." It's sad what kind of world we live in. We obviously didn't understand the world Michael lived in, but we have to remember that his "normal" is completely different than our "normal".

So with that, if you want to read a...more
Kori
[2.5 stars:] There are some juicy stories in this book, but there are no credible sources listed to back them up. Sometimes I got the feeling the author was just making sh*t up! Still, for entertainment value and the smidgen of possibility that some of this might be true, serious MJ fans may want to take a look. I especially enjoyed the bit about his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley being cooked up by the Church of Scientology to convert Michael from his homosexual ways and make him their poster b...more
Craig Allen
My review: I'll give this one 2.5 stars. As a huge MJ fan, I found most of the book interesting, especially since I didn't follow any of his molestation accusation trials back in the day. However, it was hard to take a lot of this book as "fact" since most... of his direct quotes were from unnamed "sources" from Jackson's "camp." But still, there were transcripts of interviews with the alleged victims and lots of stuff I never knew about MJ including stuff that is just speculation. I think a fan...more
David Dedin
It's funny, really. I hated Michael Jackson in the 80s because he was so overplayed. By the time I started really paying attention to him, his heyday had passed and he had become a 1990s recluse. Like so many people, I couldn't bring myself to buy his music because of all the abuse allegations...and I honestly never sat down to watch Thriller until after MJ's death, and the caravel that followed. Having said all that, this book is a fascinating glimpse into MJ's final years. It's sad, a little p...more
Najiriha Moore
I am A HUGE fan of Michael Jackson (king of pop)
All he wanted to do was heal the world and make it a better place.
What's the problem with that? The world needs it anyway!!!
This book was just to humiliate Michael.
And yes I read the whole thing, he wanted privacy and so what if he was gay or not LEAVE THE MAN ALONE!!! ALL HE WANTED WAS PEOPLE YO ENJOY HIS WORK AND ACCEPT HIM AS WHO HE IS.
People have feelings you know and don't judge a book by its cover.
Telling lies about people will send you stra...more
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Ian Halperin is a Canadian investigative journalist and writer whose 2009 book, Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, which was a number one best seller on the New York Times list on July 24, 2009. He is the author or coauthor of nine books, including Celine Dion: Behind the Fairytale, Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Story and Hollywood Undercover. He coauthored Who Killed Kurt Cobain? and...more
More about Ian Halperin...
Who Killed Kurt Cobain?: The Mysterious Death of an Icon Brangelina: The Untold Story Of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Fire And Rain: The James Taylor Story The Governator: From Muscle Beach to His Quest for the White House, the Improbable Rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger Hollywood Undercover: Revealing the Sordid Secrets of Tinseltown

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