Nelson George wrote this compilation of information that he accumulated from interviews with members of the Jackson family and several journalists that had spoken with or written about Michael and the rest of the Jackson family from the time they began singing professionally until 1983.
There are several facts that have come out through the years after this book was published that are incorrect in this book. Simple things like who discovered the Jackson 5 and how big their original home was. However, this is an interesting tome detailing a lot of the background work that was laid in order to make the Jackson boys famous.
Most Jackson fans know that Michael was the youngest member and began singing professionally at the age of 5. Details about schools attended, fans chasing the boys, and family pets are provided all through this book. His membership in the Jehovah Witness church and vegetarian lifestyle are briefly touched upon as well. Michael lived with Diana Ross when the Jackson 5 first arrived in California and his relationship with Diana is portrayed as a learning environment that he highly enjoyed.
16 pages of black and white photos portray Michael as a fun-loving, hard-working artist that knew a lot of celebrities including Tatum O’Neal and Quincy Jones. Also discussed is the 1978 acting role that Michael played in The Wiz, an altered version of the Wizard of Oz.
Some interesting side-tales regarding discography are included, as well as information about some of the background artists and session musician little-known facts are related to the reader. Also discussed is the work that went into Michael’s solo “Off The Wall” and “Thriller” albums, along with the great success both enjoyed in sales and awards. (As of 2009, “Thriller” remains the highest-selling record album of all time).
Of course, life-long Michael Jackson fans will find no surprises in this book. But, if the reader has never read anything about his rise to fame through 1984, this is a good little book that can be read in about 2 hours and gives enough generic information to get a good look at Michael and his family. This book lets readers see him as a shy and kind human being that is at the top of his form in the entertainment world at the time of the book’s publishing date.