Having read this book, I have been justified in my opinion that Mr. Cruise is not a nice man! I would not like to have him as a friend and would not join Scientology if you paid me! This "religion" is a cult, plain and simple, and has Mr. Cruise firmly under it's spell!
Have just finished reading Lawrence Wright's excellent "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief" and, needless to say, Mr. Cruise does not come off well. I am not a Tom Cruise hater, mind you--I really like some of his films--but after the Oprah couch leaping appearance and the disastrous Today show interview where he roundly criticized Brooke Shields for advocating medication for post-postpartum depression, I started to wonder what he'd been smoking. I highly recommend "Going Clear" as a companion book to this one (which I am just starting) and look forward to seeing the documentary based on the Wright expose. Poor Tom Cruise. Maybe he was better off smiling, waving to the crowds, and letting his handlers do the talking for him!
ADDENDUM: The comments above are from April 8th; I've just finished the book. And... wow. Just wow.
It should be pointed out that Andrew Morton's unauthorized bio isn't at all a hatchet job on Tom Cruise, but it is a clear-eyed, unsparing, warts-and-all examination of the man and how his involvement with Scientology and Scientology CEO David Miscavige has shaped his life, career, and relationships. Reading this book I found myself thinking more than once about Cruise's mom Mary Lee. I can't help but wonder how this woman, who surely loves her son and is proud of his accomplishments as an entertainer, truly feels about the "religion" that has ruled his life for more than 30 years, and the man he has become because of that. It seems to me that she is in some way imprisoned; if she ever allowed herself to question anything she risks being banished from her son's insular, totalitarian world and the lives of her grandchildren.
Published in 2008, the book ends on an ambiguous note regarding Cruise's marriage to Katie Holmes. By now of course we know that that marriage, Tom's 3rd, has failed as well. Katie finally stopped drinking the Kool-Aid, reclaimed her family ties and Catholic faith, and rescued herself and--perhaps most importantly--her daughter.
I recommend this book; far from being your typical fawning Hollywood bio, it is a fascinating, disturbing look at a talented and troubled superstar. I am definitely going to see that HBO documentary "Going Clear."
Not only would I never see any of Cruise's movies in future, I have now surgically excised Travolta and Lisa Marie Presley off my list too. These people are complete Whack-Jobs. If they are dumb enough to follow the doctrine of L. Ron Hubbard, (Scientology/Dianetics "inventor"and "Idiot Extrordinaire"...I will make sure that they never make another dime from gate receipts out of my wallet. Thank God that Canada does not allow Scientology to enjoy "religious" status as a church in this country.. Pretty bizarre!
I haven't read this book yet...will do so shortly, but I have been studying Scientology (not to be a member, but the "religion" itself. After the many books I've read, most from ex-Scientologists, I doubt anything Mr. Morton can say would be half as bad as what that cult actually is...including Mr. Cruise's involvement.
It is hard to know how accurate an unauthorized biography really is but Morton's account of Scientology seems to line up with other information about the religion/cult. I am appalled at how much money they make by taking advantage of vulnerable people and/or stroking egos (Cruise). Tom Cruise is a fascinating individual, strange, but fascinating. I like his zeal for life but most accounts of him seem to confirm that he is unstable. I enjoyed this book though, I actually listened to the audio book on a road trip, which made the time fly by! And I think I'll go out and buy a SAVE KATIE t-shirt now, because that girl is now trapped in bizarre life that will keep her children from her if she ever wants to leave it. SAD.
I was fascinated by the Scientology information. That was a wonderful bonus!
If I previously wrote scientologists off as nuts to be laughed at.... I now look at them with terror after reading this book. Morton uses this biography to paint a terrifying picture of a damaged person being drawn into a cult. Not that I disagree with his research.... I just felt that this bio was was moulded to suit Mortons assertion that Cruise is a weaker mortal first drawn into and then becoming a powerful cult tool. I get the distinct impression that Morton enjoys painting Cruise as a clueless numpty.... I also felt that Morton minimised Cruises career decisions as luck-based... Surely there is more to Cruise....
If you are a real fan of Tom Cruise, please, take this book and return it to the shelf immediately.
It's like Andrew Morton woke up each morning, rubbed his hands together and thought: "How am I going to vilify Tom Cruise today?". Morton has a habit of taking historical quotes or data and fitting it into some weird concept to make Cruise look like a complete fool. Later on, the book unexplicably turns into a ranting account of scientology.
Clearly people of the Cruise Camp were ordered to stay away from Morton, no doubt enraging the author. Nonetheless, Morton did his job: I wouldn't spend a dime on any future Cruise movie or video. On the same token, I'll never read Morton again. He ruined it for me.
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