"People always ask me about life after childhood stardom. What would I say to parents of children in the industry? My only advice, honestly, is to get these kids out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives." —Corey Feldman
A deeply personal and revealing Hollywood-survival story.
Lovable child star by age ten, international teen idol by fifteen, and to this day a perennial pop-culture staple, Corey Feldman has not only spent the entirety of his life in the spotlight, he's become just as famous for his off-screen exploits as for his roles in such classic films as Gremlins, The Goonies, and Stand by Me. He's been linked to a slew of Hollywood starlets (including Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Marcil, and adult entertainer Ginger Lynn), shared a highly publicized friendship with Michael Jackson, and with his frequent costar Corey Haim enjoyed immeasurable success as one half of the wildly popular duo "The Two Coreys," spawning seven films, a 1-900 number, and "Coreymania" in the process. What child of the eighties didn't have a Corey Feldman poster hanging in her bedroom, or a pile of Tiger Beats stashed in his closet?
Now, in this brave and moving memoir, Corey is revealing the truth about what his life was like behind the scenes: His is a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office.
While Corey has managed to overcome the traps that ensnared so many other entertainers of his generation—he's still acting, is a touring musician, and is a proud father to his son, Zen—many of those closest to him haven't been so lucky. In the span of one year, he mourned the passing of seven friends and family members, including Corey Haim and Michael Jackson. In the wake of those tragedies, he's spoken publicly about the dark side of fame, lobbied for legislation affording greater protections for children in the entertainment industry, and lifted the lid off of what he calls Hollywood's biggest secret.
Coreyography is his surprising account of survival and redemption.
Once you get past the ridiculous title* and intense cover photo, this is a good memoir. I read very few celebrity biographies, but Corey Feldman's appealed to me because I grew up watching his movies. I loved "The Goonies" and "Stand By Me," and even the campiness of "The Lost Boys."
What I didn't know back then was that Corey's personal life was hell. His parents were abusive and neglectful, and for much of his childhood he was the sole breadwinner of the family. He had started acting in commercials when he was 3, and he worked steadily until he was a teenager. Both of his parents did drugs and Corey's paychecks were frittered away. If he lost an acting job, his mother would beat him. Once she beat him so hard that he blacked out. She also tormented him by constantly telling him he was fat and ugly, and that he was klutz.
Corey was so miserable that he tried to kill himself. When he was 12, he swallowed a bottle of aspirin. Later he found one of his grandfather's guns and came close to pulling the trigger, but he couldn't go through with it.
The first time Corey slept over at a friend's house, he was shocked when the boy's parents tucked his friend in at bedtime and said they loved him. Corey realized what he was missing and that his family wasn't normal. He often cried himself to sleep and wished he could escape. Eventually he started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, which set him on a path to addiction and gave him a bad reputation.
As if that wasn't awful enough, Corey wrote about how he was frequently molested by older men, and said pedophilia is a serious problem in the entertainment business. His longtime friend and fellow actor, Corey Haim, was raped on a movie set when he was just 11. In a disturbing description, Feldman looked at a photo from his 15th birthday party and saw that there were five different child molesters in the picture, along with himself and Haim. He said they were surrounded by "monsters." Feldman said he later tried to bring charges against one of his abusers, but the statute of limitations had run out.
One of Corey's childhood idols was Michael Jackson, who became a good friend. Corey's home life was so screwed up that Michael's house was a safe haven for him. The memoir has several sweet stories of hanging out with Michael, going to Disneyland with him while wearing a disguise, and attending Michael's elaborate parties. Years later, when MJ was accused of molesting children, Corey spoke up in his defense. In 2001, Michael broke off their friendship when he heard a rumor that Corey was writing a book about him, which Corey denied.
Hollywood is so far removed from my world that I had never seriously considered the plight of child actors. It's just not fair to put kids under such pressure to earn a living and support a family. When parents ask Corey for advice on how to get their child into the movie industry, he tells them to "get these kids out of Hollywood and let them lead normal lives."
I'm glad I read this memoir, even though I'll never again be able to watch those beloved 80s movies the same way. Corey tells some good behind-the-scenes stories about making "Gremlins," "The Goonies," "Stand By Me," and "The Lost Boys," and fans will probably appreciate this book. But the details of his abuse and neglect are very disturbing and sensitive readers should be warned.
Corey closes the book on an upbeat note, saying he's been sober for years and he's happy to have a son, Zen, who is now 8, and is still focused on his movie and music career. He hopes that talking about his abuse may help prevent other children from the same fate.
*Note: The title "Coreyography" is so hokey that when I first heard it, I thought it was a joke. My husband says this book should have been called "The Lost Boy." I think he's right.
First of all, I was born in 1976. That makes all the difference in the world. I had posters of the two Coreys on my bedroom wall, Stand by Me was the first rated 'R' movie I watched (it was the first rated 'R' movie any of us watched), and, though it wasn't surprising, I was crushed when I heard that Corey Haim had passed away. Basically, a good chunk of my childhood movie memories involve a movie starring Corey Feldman. At the risk of sounding like an old timer, movies just aren't the same anymore. And, I think you'd have to be from my generation to thoroughly enjoy this book. I really hope, though, that younger readers will give the book a chance. I really enjoyed reading about his journey, but, again, I imagine that's because we grew up in the same generation.
To be honest, my biggest enjoyment of the book came from reading about the movies he was involved in. Though I believe that he did suffer abuse at the hands of his mother and some of the men in Hollywood, I was more interested in his film roles than the gossip about the world he grew up in. One thing that struck me as refreshing was the fact that, even though I'm sure he did witness and endure tragedies, he never really trash talked, bad mouthed, or spoke negatively about anyone he worked with or came into contact with. Even when he was speaking about his abusers, he spoke in a manner that didn't feel hateful or vengeful. It was just simple honesty.
I've read angry reviews that seemed to suggest he was negatively "outing" Corey Haim as gay or putting Corey down now that he is dead. I disagree completely. The first thing I said to my husband was that you could tell he really and truly did love Corey. He didn't stand up to Corey's abusers or his drug use for the same reason he had problems battling his own demons ... He was a child, naive and scared. He had his own hurdles to conquer, but I think he helped Corey as much as he possibly could. He hated his drug addiction, and he was disturbed by the child abuse surrounding them, but I don't think that he was speaking about Corey in a hurtful manner. And, I don't think he was saying anything critical about homosexuality. I think he was implying that, in their preteen and early teen years, they were both too young to be involved in that type of relationship with an older adult, male or female / gay or straight.
He pretty much said what I thought he would say about Michael Jackson, though some of the details were, I'll admit, interesting. I thought the 9-11 story was really sad. I knew that Corey had always been vocal with his claims that Michael never abused him and the book stayed true to those claims. Again, the tone of his stories about Michael weren't attention-seeking or tabloid-y. They just felt more truthful to me than anything else.
Since I've been reading Corey's book, I've re-watched some of his movies. It's hard to pick a favorite because I love them all. My husband (he's 6 years older than me) and I got into an argument about whether or not The Lost Boys is scary. I said, "I was 11 when it came out at the theater and the first place I saw it was at a slumber party involving about six 12-year-old girls. To us, it was kinda creepy." I hated Kiefer Sutherland during my younger years because he played such a delicious villain in the Lost Boys and Stand by Me. Now, of course, I know that they were all just really good actors. I understand now the movie may seem dated and silly. But, to us, it wasn't, it was scary, campy, and fun. The Lost Boys is one of my favorite movies from the 1980's and I really enjoyed reading about his time filming the movie. I think us 80's kids have left behind a better legacy than Edward Cullen, at least.
If you're a fan of Corey's movies, I would suggest reading the book. He's a good example of a child actor who seems to have weathered the storms of success fairly well. He's overcome his drug abuse problems and I think he cares about young people and drug education. Good, entertaining read. I recommend it. I'm going to go watch The Goonies or The Gremlins, now...
It was SO good! I read it in 48 hours. I grew up with "The Coreys"- their movies, the teen idol fandom, etc. I was a child of the 80's so I really remember the Coreys Craze. The book was definitely nostalgic for me. It also was a very...humble...book. Feldman didn't come off as arrogant or unrepentant for his issues. He also was clear that even though all this stuff happened to him, really as a result of his parents poor choices, bad parenting, selfishness, etc, he was really about forgiveness and just trying to work, hone his craft, do something he loves, and make a great, supportive life and environment for his son. You can tell he's grown, matured, and it gave a new insight to a person who has often been made to seem like a joke over time. On TV and interviews, he can come off as odd, weird...I don't know what. But with the book, you really felt for him...where he came from, how awful it was to try to have a childhood in his environment, and how easy it was to take advantage of kids not that long ago. I'm shocked at how many of these child stars were basically the sole breadwinner for their families. Not because their parents couldn't work or needed help but because the parents were lazy, drugged up, selfish, disgusting excuses for parents and really, for human beings. How children were solely responsible for where the family was able to live, whether there was food, etc. These kids were made to think crazy dysfunction was normal. The lens into Feldman's life was really eye-opening.
He also talked about the sexual abuse he and Corey Haim endured. People might think he used Haim's story as a ploy to make the book more salacious or controversial. But I think it was written about very well. It explained a lot about Haim's personality in a general sense. You could also really tell how much Feldman loved and misses Haim. And how there is a certain guilt he feels over not doing enough to help him when there were things going on that shouldn't have but he just didn't have the emotional capacity to do so at the time. What he's written is more like a quiet reflection on his life, his times with Haim, his family life, having a child, talking about his vast body of work, and how he's come to be the man he is today.
I really enjoyed it. It was the perfect mix of dish and emotion. It started off with intensity, instantly pulling you in, and it never lets go or gets dull. I've read MANY celebrity memoirs and I have to say, this was one of the most compelling, leaving the reader with a real warmth about the actor.
It's very difficult to rate this book. I felt sick and angry reading about the horrific abuse of the author when he was a child and other child actors of the era.
The complete and utter failure of the adults who were supposed to protect them, from family, to their employers, judicial system to law enforcement.
It took me an inordinate amount of time to finish it because I just couldn't make it without taking long, sanity breaks.
I am still so very angry that despite the author so courageously giving a candid account, naming names, he remained a laughingstock. Not until many, many years later, when bona fide stars started the snowball that turned into an avalanche with their tales of sexual abuse, casting couch and blackballing, did people sit up and actually listen.
Well, I don't think he is a laughingstock. I am actually in awe of his strength for surviving what crushed and killed many others. I am of the generation who worshipped those 80s Tiger Beat teen and kid celebrities. They represented the unattainable, perfect, glam life. I can't even tell you how many times my cousins and I watched and re-watched License to Drive on VHS. It was on a loop pretty much throughout our tween years. If I catch the movie Lucas on TV nowadays, I still watch and I still cry. These were talented, magical children who made so many happy but who were living nightmares that even now I can hardly fathom.
I am glad I read his story and 100% believe in everything he related. What's more, I know that this type of exploitation and abuse still continues. I hope he achieves everything he seeks with his advocacy for child victim. More people need to speak out about this but don't.
If you've seen the media coverage of Corey Feldman in the last few years, reading this book will give you a new insight and appreciation for what he is enduring.
Thrown into the "business" of acting at age three, he and his sister quickly became the breadwinners for the entire family. Living with an abusive, mentally unbalanced mother and a father who only showed any interest in him when it would monetarily benefit him, I'm surprised that Feldman turned out as well as he has. He relates multiple instances of abuse from his mother, who most likely suffers from manic depression or bipolar disorder, that will bring tears to your eyes. The abuse he endures as a child actor should be a classic example of everything that is wrong with Hollywood. He states that the best thing that could happen for any child actor is to get out of the business and I can't help but feel he is right.
His volatile relationship with his best friend Corey Haim, his oddly endearing yet ultimately sad friendship with Michael Jackson, and his two failed marriages are also detailed at great length. I feel in my heart that all of these relationships were dysfunctional due to his lack of parental love. Still, one of his greatest achievements, and you can tell it is heartfelt, is the love he has for his son, Zen. I hope that he can share the love with him that he missed out on himself.
His friendship with Corey Haim will break your heart, especially as he relates their last conversation together. A really good read, especially for those who grew up watching "the two Coreys" like I did.
Corey Feldman's youth was so peppered with scandal, drugs, and bratty behavior, it's a wonder he never became mayor of Toronto.
I grew up a child of the 80s, and as such Corey Feldman was one of those faces that always seemed to pop up in the movies I enjoyed. Whether it be Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, or License to Drive, there he was emblazoned on the screen. But like 95% of the child actors out there, he grew up and was quietly brushed aside, so the next fresh face in Hollywood could claim the spotlight for a few years. Fair to say Macaulay Culkin picked up where Corey Feldman left off as the boy with a Gatling gun full of one-liners. But what happens when famous kids grow up? In Feldman's case, a whole helluva lot--especially when his personal life was even more turbulent than his professional life.
Now, I am loathe to read memoirs, especially celebrity memoirs. I've read a couple and found each to be thinly veiled exercises in stroking one's own ego. The over-inflated sense of self-worth becomes apparent just by listening to the celeb in TV and radio interviews as he/she promotes his/her book. Coreyography struck me as a little more grounded than the usual fare, judging by the back cover blurb and being spared listening to any interviews beforehand, so I decided to give it a go.
If Feldman has softened the lens on his life through this book, it's hard to tell because it gets dark, and quick, starting off with the death of Corey Haim, before going back to his early days in Hollywood as a young boy becoming the breadwinner for the family. I've long held the notion that child actors have a rough lot in life despite the fame and fortune, however fleeting, but if just half the things Feldman opens up about are true, then his is truly a cautionary tale for families with children on a similar career path. It's not all bleak and abysmal, mind you. Feldman is, after all, still breathing in and out, and raising a young son of his own these days. And the reminiscing of the actual nuts and bolts of acting as a craft for a kid thrust into some pretty big effing films are enlightening and even amusing, since I tend to enjoy those behind-the-scenes looks at how movies are made.
Some readers may go for the salacious aspects of the book, some may just want a nostalgia trip through the days of Coreymania, but don't expect a long-winded diatribe from Feldman on any aspect of his life. The book moves fast and covers a remarkable amount of time and tumult in well under three-hundred pages. The guy who wrote this book seems far more mature than the guy I saw on TV a few years ago parading around L.A. dressed like Michael Jackson with a couple of "Corey's Angels" at his side, much to the delight of paparazzi. Feldman may have gotten out of Hollywood alive, but not unscathed.
I've long been fascinated with the Coreys. Reading "Coreyography" made me think about why. Was it mean-spirited schadenfreude, cruel delight at watching this marginally talented kid crank out dopey direct-to-DVD movies and cringeworthy reality shows? Yes, in part. But I've always rooted for Corey Feldman too, and I think it's always because *he* seemed to believe that he had something important to offer, despite the awful music and playboy posturing that suggested otherwise.
Corey's had a tough go, that much is certain. We learn about his unfit parents, the men who molested him, the hangers-on who provided him with the drugs that messed up his career before his so-so talent could take him down. Here's all you need to know about Corey's adolescence: The most stable, normal adult in his life was Michael Jackson.
Here's the crucial question about many child performers: What happens when you've spent a childhood singing for your supper, then you grow up and nobody wants to hear it anymore? Corey sounds like he's still trying to figure out the answer.
I started this book yesterday and finished it today. I grew up with and loved some of the movies he was in and just love him. I have all of the Lost Boys movies, Stand By Me and The Goonies. I want to see about getting some of his music.
Reading this memoir was really sad. You hear so many things about child stars over the years and you don't know what is real or what isn't. I was horrified at the way his family treated him. I know this happens in a lot of families that you never hear about. I know he said his mother had mental issues and I'm glad he forgave her, but I sure wish someone could have really gotten him away from her more when he was young. No child should be beaten or called names all of the time. The only good thing I saw she did was teach him to love animals. He mentioned that as well.
It also goes to show you can't really trust anyone in the industry. You say one thing and they change everything you say around. I think the only one that always gave him a true interview or didn't change his words or anyone's words is Larry King.
I'm very glad he was able to make it through all of the crap these child stars deal with and become the person he is today!
A brave and shocking memoir by the actor who seemed to epitomize '80s cinema for people of my generation. Feldman will shock many with his tales of drug abuse and sexual molestation, but it's hard to put down when he shares on-set reminiscences of The Goonies, Stand By Me, Gremlins, The Lost Boys, and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, or memories of his close friendships with Michael Jackson and Corey Haim. Feldman writes like a man determined to put his past behind him, and I'm sure that writing it was a cathartic experience. It never feels like bravado, just matter-of-fact reporting by someone who was there.
Andrew Hicks Corey Feldman was a child actor whose most prominent mainstream output occurred in the mid-to-late '80s. You may remember him from such films as Gremlins, The Goonies, Stand By Me and Meatballs 4.
Philip Gibbons I never saw Meatballs 4, nor any other Meatballs movies.
Andrew Hicks Meatballs was like a PG Porky's, like what's the point?
Philip Gibbons What's the point, indeed? Like a PG-13 horror movie, except somehow worse.
Andrew Hicks It wasn't even supposed to be a Meatballs movie. It was a direct-to-video release that overnight, thanks to deal between producers and a studio, became a Meatballs movie. Corey Feldman never would've done that flick if he knew it was gonna be a Meatballs movie. Just one of the many horrors he endured. This book frequently goes dark.
Philip Gibbons Feldman sets the tone on page one: this is not going to be a comedic, light-hearted book. It's a dark, scary and brutally honest memoir about being a child star in Hollywood.
Andrew Hicks Shit, he sets the tone on the front cover, like "I dare you to smile at any cute stories about Goonies. You think Gremlins was fun? I got RAPED by a Gremlin!" Then the prologue starts off in 2010, with the tragic, sudden death of Corey Haim, Feldman's best friend and frequent costar. We learn a whole lot about Corey Haim in Corey Feldman's book. One of the first things we discover in the narrative is that Haim was raped by a Pretty Important Nameless Adult in Hollywood at age 11.
Philip Gibbons A lot of the shadier Haim anecdotes are uncomfortable because Haim isn't here to defend himself. I Guess Feldman's free to talk about Haim having loud sex in the next room with famed Hollywood child-talent manager Martin Weiss. Wait, Haim and Feldman were best friends, right?
Andrew Hicks You've gotta wonder how much of this dirt he would've dished - or if there would've been a book at all - had Haim still been alive. Feldman spares no details when it comes to his memories of Haim's sex life. But when describing his own virginity loss, Feldman gives us a sentence or two about how he made love to his girlfriend on a bed of roses, or whatever.
Philip Gibbons Now, Feldman was molested too, at age 15, and sexual abuse is never the victim's fault. But everything else that happened to him, he blames on someone else. His hotel room got trashed to the tune of $10,000, but that was because of the animals that unexpectedly dropped by. Aside from getting coked up before a shoot on The Lost Boys and being screamed at by director Joel Schumacher, Corey never really admits to doing anything outrageous. Everybody else is impulsive or a sex fiend or a control freak or all of the above. Feldman is just a hapless bystander who has to pick up their pieces. We don't really get speculation on their behavior or comparatives. They're just 'like that.'
Andrew Hicks I came away from that Lost Boys coke scene thinking Schumacher was an out-of-control diva. Feldman is still the tortured victim. We get ugly depictions of Feldman's parents and mom's boyfriends; he even goes off on other child actors from the time (Jeremy Licht, you little bully!). Granted, I don't envy Corey's childhood. I believe his depiction of a super-shitty home life was overall pretty accurate.
Philip Gibbons It was interesting how his mother forbade him from doing any activities where he might get injured and lose acting gigs, yet she regularly beat the living shit out of him.
Philip Gibbons Before Corey started getting work, his big sister Mindy was bringing home the bacon. When your kids are successful actors, REM sleep is your 9-5. With all the under-bus-throwing Feldman did to his mom throughout the book, I expected Sheila Feldman to be as dead as Haim.
Andrew Hicks Nope, she's alive, and she's denying that "most" of this is true. She says Corey told her the book would be highly unflattering and that she should just "go along with it."
Philip Gibbons Would you say that Corey Feldman is a bit of a unreliable narrator?
Andrew Hicks He definitely didn't tell the whole story. Possibly as a coping mechanism over the years, he's repressed or simply rewritten the story and convinced himself of its veracity. Every memoir so far that I've read that was written by medium talent (Steve Guttenberg, Jason Priestley, Pat O'Brien) takes painstaking measures to paint the self in a flattering light and in most cases ignore the ugly stuff outright. For these guys, I suspect, the mere acknowledgment in print that they have massive egos, is enough of a confessional accomplishment.
Philip Gibbons I guess it's easier to write an addiction memoir if you depict yourself as not as big an asshole as everybody else. Regardless of his filtering, there are still seams where I feel his ego poking out. Still, the impression I picked up by the final chapter was that Feldman is more mature now, more introspective, and probably a generally nice guy.
Andrew Hicks I don't dislike Feldman after reading his book, but I'm super-easy to please when it comes to celebrity memoirs. Just tell me some random stories I don't already know about movies and people I do already know. Tell me about some short-lived sitcom you were on that I've never heard of, about how you got to bone Drew Barrymore, and I'm reading it all to the end. It was surreal, though. It almost seemed like it was told by three or four different narrators.
Andrew Hicks And there was more Michael Jackson than I was expecting, especially when you consider that their friendship involved hero worship on Feldman's end, a few long phone conversations and just a couple times of hanging out in person.
Philip Gibbons The part where Michael called him and they talked on the phone for hours was interesting. There seems to be a running theme of permissive parents when it comes to MJ and his underage pals in these stories. They seemed to let their kids run off with MJ for sleepovers, trips to Disneyland and late night phone chats, no questions asked. It's either a byproduct of Hollywood fuckedupness, broken homes, living vicariously through children, or all of the above.
Andrew Hicks There's a weird dichotomy too between the pedophile-cautionary intro and the reverential hero worship of Michael Jackson. In any fiction book, after that foreshadowing, the Jackson character would turn out to be a pederast. But all Feldman wanted was more of Jackson's time.
So I read this book in between others and used it as filler when I was waiting on something. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, or it was a bad book. In fact, it was the opposite. I enjoyed getting more behind-the-scenes on one of my favorite 80s child stars. Because I was familiar with his career, it was easy enough for me to pick this one up off and on.
Okay, the title is cheesy, but really it's a fun read. If you loved his movies then I think you'll enjoy this book. Corey talks about his life, strange relationships, drug abuse, friendships with other famous actors, and so on. I found it fascinating.
I'm glad to have read this and gave it 4-stars for my enjoyment and love of the subject matter.
Review to come. Because of the much sensitive subject matter and new viewpoints I've developed from reading this book, I need to reflect before blurting out a review. Also, I need to get the rollercoaster of emotions that slammed into my face to subside.
I think this may be a record for shortest length of time in finishing a "purse book". It just goes to show that I spend way too much time waiting in doctors' waiting rooms. Get it together, doctors!
So, here's Corey Feldman's autobiography. It will probably surprise exactly no one that his parents were not the best, that he made some poor choices and that he has a few interesting stories to tell. I was a bit surprised that he was so open about sexual abuse between adult males and adolescent male stars (both he and Corey Haim had a number of horrific experiences), although now I do seem to remember hearing a bit about this at the time of Haim's death.
Anyway, if you are a huge fan of Corey (either Corey) or the movie "The Goonies" (which I never saw) this might be a painless way to waste some time.
I first have to say I totally hate that book cover. I don't know how many times I had to turn the book upside down cause I could feel Corey's probing eyes on me. It's not a cover that pulls you in. That being said...
I was surprised at how well this memoir flowed. I was ready to discard it early on because it started off as what seemed self-serving. But as the story progressed I couldn't help feeling bad for what happened to this man and to a certain extent continues to happen to him for exposing the dirty side of a perverted Hollywood movie industry. Corey drops names left and right and gives lots of details, which at times were a bit cringe-inducing, but made the reader feel he was being truthful about his experience. I did find one incident that he goes into graphic detail about regarding Corey Haim as a bit TMI. I didn't think it was his place to expose Haim out that way. It felt intrusive and very kiss-and-tell and something that I wouldn't want my friend to go around revealing to others. It does give the reader an insight into Corey Haim's psyche and it's sad to see how Hollywood destroyed this kid, but I wish Feldman hadn't shared that with the public.
All the Hollywood clichés are here--sad to have to call them clichés because that just goes to show that this is more the norm than the exception--the money/power/fame hungry parents who put all their fantasy on to their kids at the cost of damaging them for life, the industry pedophilia, drugs, sex at an early age, excesses in life. Corey does balance the bad by mentioning the fun side of making some of the coolest 80's movies and meeting celebrities he was in awe of (Michael Jackson).
I believe Corey is someone who will rise above his experiences and the kind of person who will break the cycle of abuse, especially now that he is a father himself.
I'm an eighties child, and to this day I hold Goonies, Stand by Me, and Lost boys as some of my favorite movies of all time. Feldman's story was interesting, sad, and yet seemed to ring familiar with what happens to children in Hollywood. His parents used him as their meal ticket, and treated him like shit. He was just wanting love from anyone his whole childhood, and led him to trust those he should not.
Reading about the rise and demise of Corey Haim was very sad.
Learning about Feldman's friendship was Michael Jackson was more interesting than I'd thought it would be. I believe him when he says that nothing inappropriate happened between them. The time he spent with Jackson was very innocent and good compared to the rest of his teen life. Jackson cut him out of his life out of the blue, and I think Feldman never got over that.
This is a good read if you are interested in true Hollywood stories. It is definitely not a feel good book. I don't think Feldman is using Haim's problems to sell his book--I think he is being honest and truly loved Corey Haim and tried to help him.
I grew up watching Corey Feldman movies, Goonies has always been my movie. I went into this read with a grain of salt but an open mind. He has gotten increasingly eccentric since childhood. I skimmed the reviews here and they're glowing....if not a bit overly so. This is an entertaining and somewhat enlightening read. Much of it feels embellished if not fully reimagined, maybe not made up, I'm not trying to say this is a book of lies. I'm sure this is his life, I don't doubt him. But being as drugged up as he was...I'm fairly sure he had to fill in some blanks. This is well written and flows easily, I don't feel drastically different about him after reading this, I followed him when I was younger so I remember much of this. Don't go in thinking you'll get tons of behind the scenes or new information, he skims over and stays close to staying squarely centered on himself. Which isn't a bad thing, it's his life's story, not an expose on Hollywood movie magic. All in all I liked this book and recommend to anyone that really liked his movies.
I do not know where to start with this book to be honest. As biographies go he packs a hell of a punch into just short of 300 pages. First off I have to point out I have been trying to get my hands on a hard copy of this book since day one. So when one landed in my PO Box kindly sent from a friend I dropped everything and embarked on this roller coaster of emotions.
Like so many who will pick up this book I was a very young girl in the 80's when the names Feldman, Phoenix and Haim where gracing the covers of most magazines and out of the "Two Coreys" I always liked Feldman more. So it was no surprise that I really wanted to read this book.
Feldman takes you back to day one really his first memory so to speak of his first acting job at age 3. He then progresses to current day. From the start he does not shy away from a abusive mother to being groomed and substance abuse all before his 15th birthday. A lot of people have wondered how much of this book is embellished but for me all I was thinking was, "how restrained is he having to be not to end up being sued"? When it came to trying to talk about the molestation and not give away names and positions.
Feldman also is a huge Michael Jackson fan like so many, and he was lucky to actually meet his idol with the help of Steven Spielberg while working on the film "The Goonies" This part of the book I loved, in the way he was just some super excited kid wanting to meet his idol. He then goes on to tell the story of how they became friends and how the friendship eventually ended.
He also tells us about Corey Haim and why he ended up with such a sad end to his life. This I found really hard reading and he does not sugar coat his struggles or there friendship good and bad. I really do hope Haim is at peace now and Feldman (I'm sure) would of got the green light from his mother to print his story and struggles along with his own.
It is well documented about all these young actors in the 80's and the drug abuse, but to he honest I was pretty shocked at the extent and how much and how easy it was for these kids to get hold of. Then again the fact that most of there responsible adults surrounding them where actually abusing them in someway is terrifying to even imagine.
If like me you grew up in the 80's and this time period then I would say this is a good book to read. I will also warn you it is not the most comfortable of reads. He is quiet frank and to the point when dealing with the tough issues.
This is a good book until you figure out in the middle that Feldman is presenting himself as a victim of the Hollywood system and those around him, instead of admitting to his own bad choices and mistreatment of others. The guy is a mess--he does detail some of the years of childhood drug and alcohol abuse, naming names of some of the Hollywood childhood stars who partied with him. However, he doesn't portray any of this in a negative way unless he loses a role due to his bad choices. He seems to think it's totally normal to be so heavily addicted to just about every drug out there. He event has the gall to say that people shouldn't tell children that drug use is scary or bad, because he thinks it's actually "fun." Yet if you read this guy's life story it's enough to convince you that every drug he took (from marijuana to heroin to cocaine to meth to LSD to prescription drugs) do nothing but destroy a life.
Some of the blame goes to his parents, who really get portrayed as monsters here. But he also emancipates himself from them at around age 15, so from then on he has to accept responsibility for his bad choices.
The worst part of the book is the large amount of homosexual abuse that goes on in Hollywood. It's an important issue to deal with--but here Feldman spends years in a sexual relationship with a person who works for him and tries to make it sound like the guy was an abuser. It makes no sense if this is such a monster that Feldman keeps the guy in his employment, travels with him, and even lets the guy room with him! The 17-year-old star can't claim abuse when he is choosing to continue to employ or house the man who sneaks into his room at night to play with him.
Feldman plays the victim but in truth he needs to accept the blame for most of the things that went wrong from his mid-teens on. He also has a false image of himself. He was nowhere near as famous or influential or popular as he thinks he was. Sure he rubbed shoulders with Spielberg and Michael Jackson, but Feldman takes credit for some of the greatest moments in pop culture--such as Jackson wearing the glove during "Billie Jean."
This is revisionist history from a drug addict who can't possibly remember exactly what happened during most of these events. The book is called a "memoir" to make sure we know that this is just his clouded recollection of events, and not an actual fact-based autobiography. It's worth reading, but by the end you won't feel sorry for the guy at all because he still hasn't grown up.
First, I have to say, if Corey wrote this biography without a ghost writer, he picked the wrong profession...he could be a college English professor. It's a really well-written book: the timeline is straightforward and easy to follow, the descriptions are on-point, and the language is believable (unlike some other celebrity biographies I've read). At least until about the 65% point....then the tense changes. It's very odd and a bit off-putting.
The book starts off with a bang, Corey Haim's death, and completely draws you into Feldman's world.
I truly enjoyed the behind-the-scene looks at so many of the big 80s movies (i.e. Friday the 13th IV, Gremlins, The Goonies, Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, etc.), and found Corey's anecdotes to be funny and charming. I also learned something new, as I had no idea he was the voice of puppy Copper in The Fox and the Hound!
The media has long portrayed Corey as a big-mouth, media whore, who will do anything to stay in the limelight. In this book, you find that's not necessarily the case.
I know his mother denied that most of the scenes describing her antics are false, but I found them believable and not at all hard to picture. Parts of the book are devoted to the Hollywood pedophilia ring, which is just awful to read about, and there are large portions about his rampant drug use and subsequent arrests. Corey's life, to this point, definitely hasn't been butterflies and rainbows.
I would recommend this to any 80s child who enjoys pop culture.
This was a very raw, emotional and extremely good autobiography that Corey Feldman wrote and narrated about his life. He started acting as a 3 year old in commercials and never stopped. Unfortunately, his parents were very abusive towards him and if and when he did not have an acting job they would beat him very badly. He was actually their bread winner. Once I got started listening to his life story, it was hard to put down, but I eagerly picked it up again each time I got the chance. I was impressed with his honesty and openness about his life and this was a very good book to read. I had no idea what Hollywood puts child stars through while they are young and then while they are growing up they meet even more challenges that make it much more harder. It was so interesting to read about all his interactions and friendships with so many stars. Bottom line is that I really enjoyed this book!
This is as honest as a writer can get. Corey bares his soul and shares stories with a life filled with ups and downs, with many more downs than ups. If you are a fan of hollywood or books about filmmaking and acting this should become required reading. I don't see how I can ever refer to one of my favorite movies as Mearballs 4 again, it will always be Happy Campers to me. Lots of "ah ha" moments and shocking revelations kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I don't see how you can give anything less than 5 stars to this because it is unlike anything I have read.
Sometimes certain people appear on and off all the way through your childhood and teenage years, but you don't realize it until later. I recently rewatched Gremlins (1984), one of my favorite films as a kid, and Corey Feldman was in it. When I was fifteen, we watched Stand by Me (1986) in school and I remember being impressed by the scene where Feldman is screaming about his father, but his name didn't register then. At some point I started getting interested in vampires and watched The Lost Boys (1987). It was ok, but I liked the actors more than I did the film. When I heard about the legendary The Goonies (1985) that many remember fondly, I watched that as well. Again, Feldman was in it, but I don't remember if he was good, I just remember the film was underwhelming.
The next time I "met" Feldman again was many years later, when I stumbled into a Vice article about his birthday party where women were dressed in their underwear and, according to the author, the mood was grim and the guests were few. At the time, it felt depressing to see yet another former child star going downhill, and somehow I unfairly juxtaposed Feldman with Charlie Sheen. There was, however, a patronizing tone in the article that made me uncomfortable. Like it was a pat on the head of someone who didn't ask for pity. At the end, there was a note saying Feldman wasn't too happy about the article, because it wasn't what was promised to him.
Fast forward to year 2016, when I found out Feldman had written a positively received memoir three years previously. I've avoided modern celebrity memoirs, because there are very few contemporary celebrities who interest me in terms of taking the time to read a whole book about their lives (and then there's the branch of narcissistic rants of people who have proven time and time again they're out of touch from reality, so those I'm definitely not going to read, ever). However, something drew me towards Feldman's book, although I sensed he wouldn't let me off easy.
Turns out, I was right. Feldman starts with a punch in the stomach by recounting the moment he heard about Corey Haim's death. For some reason that hit me really strongly, and a part of that was how well Feldman described the game of vultures: an endless stream of phone calls from journalists and people who think that just because they're celebrities, they have a right to claim a special relationship with the deceased. Helicopters hunting a good shot of Haim's apartment building, one of Haim's neighbors trying to get a funeral gig for his singer girlfriend, Warren Boyd (whose job was to keep Haim clean, but disappeared whenever Haim ran out of money) trying to stuff A-list celebrities into the funeral despite their nonexistent relationship with Haim, the pressure to come up with a media-friendly statement, photographers stalking unsuspecting people in bushes, trespassing reporters etc. It's a sickening jungle out there, and reading about this stuff always makes me slightly anxious and out of breath.
As it can be guessed from that first chapter, this isn't only Feldman's story. Haim and Feldman were both molested several times at a young age by men who worked in the industry, so Feldman feels like Haim deserves to heard as well, and is adamant that parents who have kids in the industry should be warned. The documentary An Open Secret (2014) addresses the problem. It's a shame it bombed (probably because it's more difficult to get people see documentaries than escapist flicks in theaters), but although I haven't seen it yet, the importance of the topic makes it an urgent watch for everyone. Movies are a big part of our society and it should be made aware what happens behind closed doors, especially when it concerns kids and teenagers. The film has apparently already suffered edits after a lawsuit, and seems to be extremely elusive and difficult to see anywhere in the Internet. Time will tell whether Hollywood will subtly push the film under the radar and eventually into oblivion. In any case, the problem of child actors being taken advantage either financially by their parents or emotionally by industry employees (some of them high up in the pecking order) has to be dealt with. It should've never existed and it shouldn't exist now.
As the case of Martin Weiss shows, there's still work to do what comes to the actual sentences when things finally progress to that point. Like Feldman says, "the bright lights of Hollywood are blinding, and the sanctity of childhood is easily trumped by the deafening drumbeat of fame". Power hungry casting agents are prepared to do anything to acquire fame for their clients, and the film industry is the perfect place to surround yourself with kids who desperately want to be famous. Kids, who don't necessarily have proper support systems to guide them through the very surreal world of Hollywood.
In a lot of ways, Feldman didn't have a great start in childhood. He and his siblings lived with a mentally unstable mother, who forbid them to have friends over, sometimes left the kids to starve because they weren't allowed to eat before she woke up in the late afternoon, and who did her best not to seem like a pushy and intense stage mother to outsiders (sometimes succeeding, sometimes not). We're talking about a home where Feldman had only seen from the television how parents tucked in their kids and kissed them goodnight, and where a mother physically attacked her child. Granted, she was sick, but it must have been a nice change to get to the movie sets.
Feldman talks about his experiences over the years candidly. The suicide attempts and the drug problem aren't glossed over, and blame isn't directed at anyone else. There's no bitterness, just honest discussion about the past that has molded Feldman, and about all the mistakes he has done along the way (doing an anti-drug awareness program while having a drug problem, throwing a huge party at the Four Seasons - when the studio execs told the bill was open and he should relax - and completely trashing the room etc.). He doesn't claim to be perfect, and that's what's appealing about the memoir. Feldman willingly admits he has difficulties saying no and a need to see good in people, even in the most untrustworthy ones. Sadly, he also believes he contributed to Haim's death by being one of the first who introduced him to cocaine.
Despite all the great stories about filming processes and the friendship with Michael Jackson, there's an inherent tone of sadness throughout the memoir that I couldn't shake off for a while after finishing it. It's not the kind of patronizing sadness that many feel about once famous celebrities (some would use the word washed up, but I try to avoid it, it sounds so demeaning), but the kind of wistful sadness that comes with the knowledge that a person has had a troubled past, but has still come through as a winner. Feldman has been sober for years, and I honestly wish him and his son nothing but the best.
When a celebrity fucks up his life, it often happens under the watchful eye of millions of people (some of them who have no problem tearing a celebrity to shreds, because "hey, he chose the profession, he has no right to complain when we poke at his personal life despite him trying to keep it private"), but it doesn't mean the public knows the person and everything that's happened. Preying on vulnerable people has never been attractive and never will be. In the end, Feldman's memoir ends with a positive note, because he's still here. There's no need to feel sorry for him and treat him like a pathetic invalid whose life's over or somehow insignificant.
Lol, I remember reading this while I was on the plane going to India with my family. It's not that I was any particular fan of Corey Feldman (I like some of the movies he was in) but I wanted to see what the Hollywood scene was like in the 80s, and from his perspective. It was as wild as you could imagine, and then some. I was shocked to hear about all the sexual abuse against children (and he, himself)! I mean, I know there were some corrupt and sick-headed individuals in Hollywood, where people make so much money that they can let their inner demons run rampant without fearing consequences-- but I didn't know that shit was so common! At least, as told by Corey... needless to say, I've been oblivious. All I do know, is that I won't be able to see certain movies in the same way as I once had.
Holy 80's flashback. I grew up in the midst of the "Two Corey's" fame. I remember thinking they all seemed so cool,like they were having so much fun. In reality, the 80's child star thing was just a mass of underage drinking, pedophilia, irresponsible parenting and drug pusher vultures. Corey Feldman tells his story plainly, no excuses and it's a very disturbing one. He tells Corey Haim's too. The fact that Feldman could overcome his experiences, deal with them and build an honest, healthy life contrasts so heartbreakingly with Haim's sad story you're left with thoughts of what could have been.
I applaud the honesty in telling this story and his crusade to bring awareness to the problem of Hollywood and it's exploitation of minors.
I had such a crush on Corey Feldman when I was younger. I loved him in The Goonies and The Lost Boys. After that I kind of stopped keeping track of him. I’m still 80’s obsessed, though, so when I saw that he had released an autobiography I had to buy it. This book was such a wild adventure. There are some amazing stories he tells about what happened behind the scenes during all of his big films and his friendship with Michael Jackson. There are also a slew of very sad and depressing stories chronicling his abusive parents, his drug addictions, and sexual abuse by Hollywood pedophiles. Scrambled in throughout it all is also the story of his lifelong friendship with Corey Haim, and how their drug problems ended in two very different ways. I really enjoyed this book and wish him the best. He’s lived one insane and tragic life full of people who took advantage of him and allowed him to make terrible decisions. Now that he’s managed to clean himself up he remains optimistic about the future.
An autobiography of the turbulent life of Corey Feldman who starred in films such as The Goonies, Gremlins, Stand By Me, and The Lost Boys. Feldman also details his friendship with Corey Haim who sadly died aged just 38.
With some autobiographies you get a lot of anecdotes and 'this happened then', but the reader doesn't feel like they are getting to know the person behind the fame, but this was a very personal account of Corey Feldman's life. I can only imagine that it was extremely difficult and painful yet perhaps cathartic to write it. Since the book was published, Feldman has gone on to speak out about the continuing paedophilia problem in Hollywood and even named the star who allegedly sexually assaulted Haim all those years ago. It's not an easy read but it's a good exposé of the dark side of Tinseltown.
I generally don't read memoirs from celebrities because I generally don't care, but I made an exception in this case. I did always like Corey Feldman, though, and he is in one of my favorite movies (Stand by Me), as well as several others I really like. Also, being a child of the 80s, I remember the two Coreys craze. Though I wasn't caught up in it too much myself, I must confess I found Haim to be quite hot. Feldman didn't exactly melt my Ben & Jerry's, but he wasn't ugly either. But, if fame was all there was to Corey, I probably wouldn't have given this book a second glance, let alone rushed out to buy it. And his drug and alcohol problem wouldn't have sweetened the pot any, regardless of me being able to relate to it. After all, finding a drug addict in Hollywood is kind of like finding a dog in a kennel. And even the fact that Corey got clean and sober about the same age I did, and that his recovery has been mostly successful wouldn't have necessitated a purchase, though I would definitely have skimmed through the book in the bookstore. (Finding a recovering alcoholic in Hollywood is more like finding a dog in an aviary).
All of that is fine and good, but the deal cincher here was that he discussed pedophilia. Having had my own adventures with a child molester when I was three or four years old, and having dealt with the repercussions of that for the next 30+ years (repercussions which still rear their ugly heads from time to time in spite of all the work I've done with it), I'm always interested in hearing other people's experiences with the same thing, and seeing where I can or can't relate. It turns out that Feldman and I had different experiences with that, and somewhat different reactions. However, he also discusses Haim's abuse, and I could relate a bit more with what he said about his experiences. I totally understand how Haim could become a complete freak show before he died even if my own path was nowhere near that destructive. It's not because I'm any stronger or better than he; things were just different. There are too many confounding variables to make a fair comparison, but I do understand. "But for the grace of God, there go I," maybe? I don't know. That's one for the theologians, agnostics, and atheists to pound out. All that really matters is that I didn't go there, but I could see myself going there easily, and I can see the sexual abuse being the source of the problem.
I've read what some people have to say about this book, and about Feldman himself, and some of the interviews he's done since publishing this. The verbiage varies, but the gist is that many feel Corey was pretty shitty to say what he says about Haim when Haim is no longer around to defend himself. I don't think anyone who makes that statement has actually read this book. I didn't see anything in here that puts Haim, Feldman's Mother, or Michael Jackson down with the intention of doing it just to be doing it. The experiences are Corey's, but he presents them as objectively as possible. In fact, I'd argue that he defends Haim and Jackson while still presenting the facts. The train wrecks that constitute their lives were, after all, quite public, and he doesn't throw out anything about them that wasn't really already known. As for his mother, he still reckons she did the best she could. I don't recall him making that same statement about his dad, but I might have missed it. In either case, I didn't see him as judging them harshly. He merely presented the facts as he saw them, and I'm quite impressed with his humility.
Anne Lamott has a quote I really like that applies here: "You own everything that happend to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." Corey Feldman led a pretty rough childhood and adolescence, but there's good news: he makes it out okay. Not all child stars do. In fact, I think it's kind of rare. Corey still has his share of woes. Life does still happen, after all, whether one is clean and sober or fucked-up, but he meets it as best he can and goes on. I like reading about things like that.
Apparently Corey could name a big wig in Hollywood as quite the pedo, but he won't identify him by name. He's caught a lot of flak for that, but I'm sure he has his reasons. Maybe he feels his family would be threatened? I don't know.
This book definitely wasn't boring, though it does cover some things I didn't care all that much about. I wouldn't call it exciting either. I don't know what I would call it. I did enjoy reading it, but mostly for certain parts that didn't involve what one would consider typical Hollywood glitz and glamor. I enjoyed a lot of the anecdotes, and learning how directors work with child actors to get the desired results on set. And while this book didn't have any stories as entertaining as Larry Hagman's, it certainly hits some much darker issues I appreciated looking into. As for a recommendation, I would suggest this to anyone who likes reading up on Hollywood stars, and looking into the issues mentioned above. And it's way too late, and I'm falling asleep, so I'm going to quit now. I can't wait to reread these last two or three paragraphs tomorrow. I bet they suck like a Hoover.