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Not my father's son : a family memoir / Alan Cumming.

By: Cumming, Alan, 1965- [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Edinburgh : Canongate, 2015Description: 294 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9781782115465; 9781782115441 (hbk.); 1782115447 (hbk.).Subject(s): Actors -- Scotland -- Biography | Actors -- Family relationships -- Scotland -- Biography | Cumming, Alan, 1965- | Cumming, Alan, 1965- -- FamilyDDC classification: 792.028092 Summary: Alan Cumming grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage, someone who meted out violence with a frightening ease, who waged a silent war with himself that sometimes spilled over onto everyone around him. That man was Alan's father, Alex Cumming. Alex was the dark, enigmatic heart of Cumming family life. But he was not the only mystery. Alan's maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared to the Far East after the Second World War. The last time Alan's mother saw her father she was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was informed that he had died in an accidental shooting. Curious to explore this second mystery, Alan committed to filming an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Then out of the blue, his father, who Alan and his brother had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade, called. He had a secret he had to share, one that would shock his son to his very core and set in motion a journey that would change Alan's life forever. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story about embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Non Fiction Stratford
Non Fiction
Non Fiction 920 CUM (Browse shelf) Checked out 01/10/2019 A00748276
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'One of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read' STEPHEN FRYTHE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA 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

Alan Cumming grew up in the grip of a man who held his family hostage, someone who meted out violence with a frightening ease, who waged a silent war with himself that sometimes spilled over onto everyone around him. That man was Alan's father, Alex Cumming. Alex was the dark, enigmatic heart of Cumming family life. But he was not the only mystery. Alan's maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, had disappeared to the Far East after the Second World War. The last time Alan's mother saw her father she was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was informed that he had died in an accidental shooting. Curious to explore this second mystery, Alan committed to filming an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? Then out of the blue, his father, who Alan and his brother had not seen or spoken to for more than a decade, called. He had a secret he had to share, one that would shock his son to his very core and set in motion a journey that would change Alan's life forever. At times suspenseful, at times deeply moving, but always brave and honest, Not My Father's Son is a powerful story about embracing the best aspects of the past and triumphantly pushing the darkness aside.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Describing growing up the youngest of two in rural Scotland under an abusive father, multiaward-winning actor Cumming (The Good Wife; Cabaret) blends powerfully disturbing childhood trauma with his contemporary search for ancestral clarity as he recounts an enigmatic maternal grandfather named Tommy Darling, a well-respected Scottish servicemen whose disappearance, and demise, had always been a family mystery. Lifelong curiosity leads Cumming on an illuminating path from Scotland to Malaysia as a participant on the renowned television series Who Do You Think You Are? The episodic nature of the text provides the perfect framework for Cumming's discoveries about his grandfather, which include prestigious awards and stunning acts of valor. Drama continues to unfold when his father reveals an explosive secret that turns the entire family on its head. Cumming's dry wit transitions effortlessly to the page, eliciting laughter one moment and gut-wrenching discomfort the next-anecdotes praising the Eurovision Song Contest sit easily alongside dark recollections of being subjected to his father's inexplicable rages. VERDICT While the "then and now" structure, which features frequent chronological shifts, might seem choppy, the memoir sculpts an insightful, relentless examination of Cumming's hardships, alongside keen observations about the continuing effect of abuse on his life. A moving read that fans of the man and of memoirs won't want to put down. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/14.]-Ashleigh Williams, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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