"Memory is so subjective. We all remember in a visceral, emotional way, and so even if we agree on the facts–what was said, what happened where and when–what we take away and store from a moment, what we feel about it, can vary radically." ~ pg. 23
Memoirs are my fave genre. Very scarce on my 2014 reading list. So when I came across this particular memoir, I downloaded the eBook with the quickness. Squealing, "Alan has a memoir! Yasssss!" For those unfamiliar with Alan Cumming, he is a 49-year-old Scottish actor that currently plays Eli Gold on the CBS television show The Good Wife. He starred in a one-man staging of Macbeth on Broadway. He hosts Masterpiece Mystery on PBS. He is the master of eyebrow acting and also directs, produces, writes and sings. Watch the video clip below of Alan Cumming describing his metamorphosis into character Eli Gold.
"Finally, the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable." ~ pg. 227
Alex Cumming was a complicated man. He often frightened his family, doling out violence, taking out his own personal anger on others. His son, Alan Cumming, would often bear the brunt of it. The father and son had not seen or spoken to each other in over ten years when producers of genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? approached Alan to appear on the show. His father, Alex, had a shocking secret and his maternal grandfather's mysterious death could be explored.
"It was all very Lord of the Flies, and I was Piggy." ~ pg. 44
In the beginning of the memoir, I had to keep reminding myself to separate Alan Cumming from Eli Gold. This is not the fictional background story of a campaign manager/chief of staff. This is the real-life story of a Scottish man recalling dark memories. Once I mentally separated the two, I was all in.
"Life can be so fucking bleak, I thought." ~ pg. 202
Not My Father's Son is recommended for memoir lovers, nonfiction readers, aspiring actors, abuse victims and Alan Cumming fans. It is a sometimes humorous, sometimes dark, witty, incredibly brave true story.
Title: Not My Father's Son
Author: Alan Cumming
Published: October 2014