MICHAEL AND ME by Shana Mangatal

MICHAEL AND ME

The Untold Story of Michael Jackson's Secret Romance
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Seven years after his death, Michael Jackson's secret girlfriend reveals their peculiar 20-year relationship.

First-time author Mangatal met her idol while working as a receptionist in Jackson's talent management office. From the beginning, their mutual attraction was obvious to her co-workers; it “was so strong it was impossible to ignore.” Shortly after their first kiss, she "just knew that Michael and I would soon be an official couple. In my mind, he was already my boyfriend." Despite his eccentricities—"every time it seemed he was acting normal and like a regular man—someone I could see myself having a real relationship with—he would revert back to this mask-wearing dude with a little boy by his side. It was difficult to understand”—her obsession remained. Mangatal details Jackson's work on his post-Thriller albums, his competitive nature and perfectionism, and his playful, pranksterish nature, which often came out on video sets. Unfortunately for her, she rebuffed several men and agency clients because "all of my thoughts and focus were totally consumed by one person—Michael." Unfortunately for readers, the author’s prose leaves much to be desired, with many passages seemingly pulled from an eighth-grader's diary—e.g., "Michael was like a drug I was addicted to”; "I am his forever”; and, regarding the child abuse allegations, "this beautiful, sweet soul couldn't harm a fly." The author seems to believe that their chemistry, her (limited) sexual experience with him, and his flirting with women on set definitely proves that Jackson was heterosexual. "Interacting with him,” writes Mangatal, “was sometimes like dealing with a 14-year-old boy—and it wasn’t an act. It was like he had stopped maturing emotionally the moment massive fame snatched away his childhood.”

A vexing and tedious memoir that offers only brief glimpses of the extraordinary creativity of the King of Pop.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61373-617-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Chicago Review
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016




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