Monday, July 21, 2008

"A vomitorium of cringy confessions"

While there's been a lot written about Christopher Ciccone's book - "I'm Madonna's Brother, Me" - the piece in yesterday's Sunday Times was different as Giles Hattersley has actually read the thing. Which, we suspect, is more than 99% of people who end up with a copy will actually do.

Madonna is labelled a myth-maker and a miser, who plies her brother with MDMA, has legs that look like “fat sausages” and is the sweatiest woman he's ever encountered.

If she's that much of a miser, how come she's so generous with the drugs, eh?
He denounces Guy Ritchie, her husband, as a homophobe (Ciccone is gay), and believes her adoption of David Banda, the Malawian toddler, like everything in her life, just served her image.

A frugal woman who relies on image, married to a man with outdated social attitudes and a tendency to put his foot in it who spends time on foreign trips talking to small children? Add in the expensive homes in London and the British countryside, and she starts to sound less like The Queen Of Pop, more like the actual Queen.

Still, there are some surprising revelations in Ciccone's book:
[S]he fired him as her backing dancer when she hit the big time, insisting that he be her dresser instead. He found this demeaning, but reveals that Madonna is surprisingly prudish and doesn't like being naked in front of strangers.

As if there's anything left she hasn't shown the world. Twice.
Ciccone does cocaine with a lot of them [the celebrity a-list]. Both Courtney Love and Jack Nicholson swear to him it's their first time.

Oh, if only that were true - but we suspect Ciccone would have had to have been about three years old to have snorted alongside Courtney's first line of coke. Perhaps she meant it was her first time, ever, with the brother of a top 40 star.

Hattersley's judgement is balanced - it's the "best book" about Madonna, without being especially good:
His prose smacks of an embarrassing man, skidding towards 50, whose entire existence is driven by a desire to cleave to a remorseless celebrity.

It's worth noting, though, that his current book, with all its flaws, is ghost-written.

It's unclear where Ciccone will go now - revelation has made him more famous than discretion ever did, but has ensured he will no longer be in a position to reveal any more. It's like a tiny star exploding noisly, but pointlessly, in a distant corner of the sky.