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Summary

A powerful chronicle of the 16 weeks leading up to King of Pop Michael Jackson's death

Michael Jackson's final months were like the rest of his short and legendary life: filled with deep lows and soaring highs, a constant hunt for privacy, and the pressure and fame that made him socially fragile and almost - ultimately - unable to live.

With the insight and compassion that he brought to his best-selling telling of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final year, Tavis Smiley provides a glimpse into the superstar's life in this emotional, honest, yet celebratory audiobook. Listeners will witness Jackson's campaign to recharge his career - hiring and firing managers and advisors, turning to and away from family members, fighting depression and drug dependency - while his one goal remained: to mount the most spectacular series of shows the world had ever seen. Before You Judge Me is a humanizing look at Jackson's last days.

©2016 Tavis Smiley and David Ritz (P)2016 Hachette Audio

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Before you judge me....

I have read many books on Michael Jackson both before and since his death, I also love Tavis Smiely and David Ritz previous books .

The problem with this book there is nothing new disclosed there are a few interesting quotes. The premiss is to give the reader an idea of the stresses and strains whether it be financial addiction related or lack of confidence. These are again well documented. The other issue I have it does not go far enough I would have expected a bit more meat an effort to answer questions we all have. Finally thier are better books available on audible "untouchable the life and death of Michael Jackson it goes into more detail and paints Michael as human full of light darkness and floors. The other book is recommend is Aphrodite Jones The conspiracy theory terrible title but fantastic book.

In short before you judge is a good effort but I expected more especially when thier is so many books on the subject.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jai Dev Singh
  • 09-07-16

Beautiful book

Continued to be impressed by Tavis Smiley's writing. Loved 'Death of a King', 'My Journey with Maya', and loved this one as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • The Alchemist
  • 08-07-16

Facing Our Demons...

The title is so very appropriate and Tavis has done another superb job in grappling with the complexities of another icons last days leading up to their death. I felt MJs pain and was forced to reflect on my own demons that drive me and so many of us. They force us to wear so many different mAsks that don't just take on the shape of drugs but sex work abuse
Etc. Well worth the read.... and I love the ending....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Allison
  • 29-03-18

Nothing new here, keep moving on....

Any additional comments?

I bought this book because of the reviews. Everyone says a Michael Jackson fan should read it for sure. I disagree. I think the non-Michael Jackson fans should read it. I consider myself a MJ fan, but not a super fan. I don't claim to know everything about him, but I have followed his career since the 80's and loved his music growing up. I had hoped this book was going to give me some new insight into the last days of his life. However, if you have ever listened to a news story about his death, you already know everything. This book is literally a narration of news stories and documentaries that are already published on this subject. It goes into detail about his videos and songs that are already known. There is very little first hand experience from the author. As I listened, all I could think of was, this is a fluff piece. Someone just wants to put something about MJ to make others think they knew him. And then that was confirmed at the end of the book when the author admitted to knowing MJ's Mom and really wanted her approval of the book. This is not a book about MJ. This is a summary of news articles, fan based information you can find anywhere on the internet (or already know just by following him), and fluff to make him sound good. I don't think a nasty book needs to be written about him, don't get me wrong. I don't like those types of books. But this one claimed to have information on the last few moments of his life. Pull up a news article, you will know all you need to know. Don't waste money on this. Rent the Movie: THIS IS IT! That will tell you a lot of the same things, but you actually get to watch Michael perform and create. This book is not worth the money if you are already an MJ fan. If you are not, by all means, buy it, maybe you will learn something. BTW, the narrator was really dry too. Hard to keep listening when he was so boring.

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  • tabitha jones
  • 22-03-18

A good book.

Truly enjoyable book. I listened to it twice and each time get a different view. Although a sad story in whole, I can't help but love the way Tavis Smiley and David Ritz gave Michael Jackson's story a peaceful dignaty that shines in they're mutual respect for Michael. Other authors want to relish in his misfortune, but you two brought a sense of reflection good and bad. I love that.

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  • R. G. Pickering
  • 23-01-18

Eye opening Insight

I enjoyed this audio book which exposed me to things about Michael that I did not know. I have a much better understanding of his personality and challenges.

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  • Julia
  • 02-12-17

Excellent!!! Michael Jackson fans must get this!!

You get to step into Michael Jackson's world and see what was going on with him mentally, emotionally, and psychologically throughout his life. I have gained a much deeper understanding of who he was and what he went through........a man who was more beautiful, talented, caring, and stronger than I ever imagined.

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  • Shandi Gage
  • 03-03-17

This was a wonderful book.

It succeeded in its mission to reconnect us to Michael. Even here in 2017 I still teared up in hearing of his passing. Thank you for giving us some background of the greatest artist of all time

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  • Ellyma
  • 04-08-16

Before You Judge Me

Most people either grew up with the Jackson's or The Jackson Five. If you didn't, you most certainly heard their music at some point in your life, but when you heard or saw Michael perform, it was mesmerizing! He had a way, a style, a grace that was unforgettable. Tavis Smiley's book, put you right there! He described it with so unchanged detail, he put the reader or listener in the midst of what was going on. Really fabulous effort. Most enjoyable, but true to exact details.

Michael Jackson(MJ) was under so much pressure from his demanding father, and his family, as well as his handlers, managers, promoters, the general public and most of all himself. It's no surprise that things went the way they did. It would have been too much for far less of us than he? Tavis captured that essence and reminded us what made MJ so great. Thank you for telling it like it really was. Enjoyable for young teen on up. Worth your time.

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  • CHarris
  • 12-07-16

Underwhelming

To be fair, and Tavis speaks to this in the afterward, the distance between Michael and us makes the production of a quality biography of him near impossible. I enjoyed the book it it didn't really further inform my opinion of him. However, and thankfully, I do think the details of the book are true.