Sheila recommended this book to me several times, and I’m glad she did. It was a rushing trainwreck of a book, every bit as bitchy and snarky as one of Kitty Kelly’s gossip-fuled brain dumps but without any trace of graceful writing, even with ghosting assistance by Wendy Leigh.
Christopher Ciccone has the misfortune of being the brother of the greatest living legend of our time: Madonna. That seems to be his only role in life: Madonna’s brother. His book describes a lifetime of trying to get close to her, her refusing him, and then both of them acting like pricks.
Several times he describes Madonna’s financial parsimony, refusing, for instance, to pay off the house and buy the car for their beloved grandmother, refusing to pay him a decent amount for his “stage direction” of her world tours, and relegating him to the indignities of coach travel. It would have been nice for Madonna to be more generous, but does Christopher have to be such a total pussy? The man has absolutely no ambition other than being “Madonna’s brother.” It seems never to have occurred to him to try to do something unrelated to Madonna – something on his own where he would not need a recommendation letter, loan, or kind word from her. And yet he constantly bemoans the large shadow she casts, wishing he could somehow escape.
Mr. Ciccone describes frequent cocaine usage but when Madonna confronts him, he tries to explain it is just recreational, just on the weekends. He has no self-awareness, obviously, about how that sounds. And as a new mother to Lola, Madonna was right to keep Christopher at arm’s length.
Mr. Ciccone’s homosexuality was a considerable part of the book, and I enjoyed reading about his struggles to find acceptance in his family – that seemed like one of the few actual real issues that the man has faced.
There was an overall creepy vibe to the book as he described looking at the Playboy pics of his sister with his boyfriend, and wiping down her sweaty naked body during shows (making special mention of her breasts). He also noted how they both lost their virginity in cars to boys named Russell. These sexual references activated the ick reflex and made me think that he was seeing her as her fans were, which just felt sad to me.
Ciccone dishes about doing blow with Kate Moss, hanging out with Demi Moore, and doing more coke with Jack Nicholson. His book is basically an accounting of all the celebs that Madonna introduced him to, all the opportunities she exposed him to, and how he utterly pissed it away because he wasn’t willing to actually work for what he wanted. He wanted Madonna to make him whole, financially and emotionally. Though his intent was shed light on Madonna, his book shed light on characteristics he’d probably wished he’d left uncovered, if only he had enough self-awareness.