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The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers another dramatic look into the lives of the Kennedys—including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death. Critically acclaimed author Christopher Andersen is a master of celebrity biographies—boasting sixteen bestsellers, among them These Few Precious The #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers another dramatic look into the lives of the Kennedys—including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death. Critically acclaimed author Christopher Andersen is a master of celebrity biographies—boasting sixteen bestsellers, among them These Few Precious Days, Mick, and William and Kate. Now, in his latest thrilling book, new and untold details of the life and death of JFK Jr. come to light. At the heart of The Good Son is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the plane crash the took his life; and the aftermath of shock, loss, grief, and confusion. Offering new insights into the intense, tender, often stormy relationship between this iconic mother and son, The Good Son is a riveting, bittersweet biography for lovers of all things Kennedy.


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The #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers another dramatic look into the lives of the Kennedys—including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death. Critically acclaimed author Christopher Andersen is a master of celebrity biographies—boasting sixteen bestsellers, among them These Few Precious The #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers another dramatic look into the lives of the Kennedys—including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death. Critically acclaimed author Christopher Andersen is a master of celebrity biographies—boasting sixteen bestsellers, among them These Few Precious Days, Mick, and William and Kate. Now, in his latest thrilling book, new and untold details of the life and death of JFK Jr. come to light. At the heart of The Good Son is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the plane crash the took his life; and the aftermath of shock, loss, grief, and confusion. Offering new insights into the intense, tender, often stormy relationship between this iconic mother and son, The Good Son is a riveting, bittersweet biography for lovers of all things Kennedy.

30 review for The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda Wells

    Synopsis: "At the heart of The Good Son is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker, to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the senseless plane crash the took Synopsis: "At the heart of The Good Son is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker, to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the senseless plane crash the took his life; the aftermath of shock, loss, grief, and confusion; and much more. Offering new insights into the intense, tender, often stormy relationship between this iconic mother and son, The Good Son is a riveting, bittersweet biography for lovers of all things Kennedy." The book, The Good Son, is a thorough and complex expose of Jacquelyn Kennedy Onassis and her son, John F. Kennedy, Jr. The author defines the personal relationship John had with his mother and her efforts to raise both him and Caroline to be successful adults, in the shadows of the Kennedy legacy. Jackie was quoted in the book as saying she didn't want John to be "too Kennedy," and she kept John, Jr. and Caroline from getting too close to their Kennedy cousins. The author explains Jackie's issues, some serious, with the Kennedy family. She was a hands on mother, and after her husband, President Kennedy was assassinated, she was so frightened for her children's lives that she married Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy shipping magnate, and moved to Greece. Onassis turned out to be a good stepfather. He had a large security staff that protected the children, which gave Jackie great peace of mind. She was aware of the much talked about "Kennedy curse" and felt her children had targets on their backs. Andersen goes into detail about Jackie's marriage to Onassis. They shared great passion and many interests, but the marriage was a disappointment to Ari because Jackie would not be a "shill" for his business ventures. He also kept his relationship with Maria Callas intact, and Jackie refused to be publicly humiliated by Ari. While they were working through the settlement for their impending divorce, Ari became gravely ill and passed away. By then, the children were older, and Jackie moved them back to New York City, which became their permanent home. Through Jackie's encouragement, both Caroline and John graduated from law school. John was a playboy, suffered from dyslexia and A.D.D., and had to work hard to achieve his potential. He took the NY bar exam three times to pass it, but his persistence paid off. Jackie was the strong force in her children's lives, especially John. Caroline was self-directed and A student, and John had difficulties staying focused. As John became older, his relationships with women were fodder for the tabloid press. He had great charisma, extreme good looks, and became People Magazine's sexiest man of the year. During this period, he dated many celebrities, including Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and his most serious relationship of five years, Daryl Hannah. John's temper got him into trouble many times, and he and Daryl had public fights that embarrassed Jackie. She did not approve of the relationship and refused to socialize with her. After he met Carolyn Bessette, he was totally smitten, and after a somewhat stormy, off and on relationship, they were married September 21, 1996, in a private ceremony on Cumberland Island, just off the Georgia coast. Sadly, John's mother had passed away from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in May, 1994, and did not get to see the happiness that John had found with Carolyn. John launched the magazine, "George," which was initially a huge success, and he was happy with Carolyn. But he continued taking flying lessons, which before her death, he had kept secret from his mother. She had a premonition that something bad would happen, as did his wife. Carolyn kept telling him not to fly. He had a reckless streak and took chances. Carolyn was afraid to fly with him, although she would accompany him occasionally on short trips. On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren, took off from New Jersey in his Piper Saratoga, heading to Martha's Vineyard. Their plane disappeared. The weather was inclement, and without instrument training, John lost his heading, and the plane plummeted into the ocean. John had cut the timing too close, and darkness fell before he reached their destination. The tragedy of his death shook the nation. I've left out many details of this intensely personal look into the lives of one of the most famous families in America, even the world. I highly recommend this spellbinding book. You will be shocked and fascinated looking at the world of the iconic Jacquelyn Kennedy, an American royal, but more than that. "a good mother."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Suzyberry

    I was so looking forward to reading this book but must say that it was more about Jackie than John. The book was filled with personal information about both of them, and Caroline as well like gossip and airing dirty laundry. I think we have moved past all the idle gossip, be it truthful or not, and this book sorely lacked all that I was hoping to enjoy tender, endearing writing about John and his mother. Instead I feel it was heavy on the titillating rumors/truths that followed thi I was so looking forward to reading this book but must say that it was more about Jackie than John. The book was filled with personal information about both of them, and Caroline as well like gossip and airing dirty laundry. I think we have moved past all the idle gossip, be it truthful or not, and this book sorely lacked all that I was hoping to enjoy tender, endearing writing about John and his mother. Instead I feel it was heavy on the titillating rumors/truths that followed this family all their life. It is not a total loss as many details do show what a devoted and loving mother Jackie was and what a wonderful son John was to his mother through all the tragedies in this family's legacy. His was not an easy life...born into tragedy and ending in tragedy. However I did learn things about John that had never been printed before and especially regarding he and Caroline's life after Jackie married Onassis. Don't pass up this book, but realize going in you will be rather turned off by all the people who knew them and felt it is alright to talk about them now that they are gone. Caroline lives on having to see these things written over and over about those she loved dearly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Reading about the Kennedys can be so depressing that sometimes I don't know why they fascinate me so much. This is the first book that I read that said JFK Jr probably had ADHD. I think that would explain a lot about his need to always be living on the edge. That's about all I got on this book. :) Good read for Kennedy buffs. Reading about the Kennedys can be so depressing that sometimes I don't know why they fascinate me so much. This is the first book that I read that said JFK Jr probably had ADHD. I think that would explain a lot about his need to always be living on the edge. That's about all I got on this book. :) Good read for Kennedy buffs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Andersen has made quite a living by writing middlebrow biographies about Jackie and other famous women of the 20th century. In his latest effort, he uses the dual biography method in looking at Jackie and her son, John F. Kennedy, Jr. There is much interesting material here, particularly about John Junior's childhood and young adulthood. The book is fair to Aristotle Onassis, describing the overall positive role that he played in JFK Jr.'s life. Some biographies attempt to portray Jackie as a pe Andersen has made quite a living by writing middlebrow biographies about Jackie and other famous women of the 20th century. In his latest effort, he uses the dual biography method in looking at Jackie and her son, John F. Kennedy, Jr. There is much interesting material here, particularly about John Junior's childhood and young adulthood. The book is fair to Aristotle Onassis, describing the overall positive role that he played in JFK Jr.'s life. Some biographies attempt to portray Jackie as a perfect and saintly mother. Andersen is more realistic, pointing out Jackie's many successes as a mother, while also delving into the moments that every parent has where they are not at their best. My quibble with the book is that Andersen frequently strays from his mission of a dual biography of Jackie's relationship with John Junior. He spends too much time on already well-known anecdotes about Jackie that have little or nothing to do with her role as JFK Jr.'s mother. A stronger editor may have been beneficial. It also seems as if Andersen doesn't know exactly how to proceed in writing about the period between Jackie's death in 1994 and John Junior's death in 1999. He does get into vivid detail about John's relationship with Carolyn Bessette, chronicling their many public disagreements. While Andersen does an admirable job of telling the story, he fails to give it any deeper meaning or analysis. Overall, a good but not great book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christina McLain

    I don't know exactly what it is about the Kennedys that makes them so enduringly fascinating for so many. Perhaps it is the cachet of unfinished expectations with which they left us, or the tragic but glamourous aura which still surrounds them. Even now they have the power to titillate, with their reckless glamour and their excess. As one reviewer said, this is a middlebrow biography which pretends to be a serious study of JFK, Jr. In reality the book is much more about the enigmatic and complex I don't know exactly what it is about the Kennedys that makes them so enduringly fascinating for so many. Perhaps it is the cachet of unfinished expectations with which they left us, or the tragic but glamourous aura which still surrounds them. Even now they have the power to titillate, with their reckless glamour and their excess. As one reviewer said, this is a middlebrow biography which pretends to be a serious study of JFK, Jr. In reality the book is much more about the enigmatic and complex Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis than it is about her son. In essence Jackie comes off as a woman who was a good mother but not necessarily a good person. She suffered terribly from PTSD after Dallas and from the emotional and physical fallout from a miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death of her son Patrick in the five years before. She was mistreated by her insanely promiscuous and often neglectful husband. Yet Jackie was not above her own sense of entitlement. She apparently had a long passionate affair with brother-in-law Bobby as well as a short fling with Peter Lawford. Her sisters-in law called her the Widder; the Onassis children and Maria Callas called her worse. She spent a fortune on clothes and married a thug to give her children physical security and herself a fortune. John John comes across as a nice guy with some understandable issues but his character pales in comparison when compared to that of his complicated mother. She and the whole fam damily ...they haunt us still.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Write a book about the Kennedys and I'll read it. This is a solid read but there's pretty much nothing new here. It feels like a rehash of prior articles and books. The one new angle that I hadn't picked up on before is how much Jackie tried to shield her kids from their raucous Kennedy cousins. I knew there was no love lost between her and the Kennedy siblings, but I didn't realize that she'd literally send John to other countries in the summer to keep him away from the Kennedys. Smart plan as Write a book about the Kennedys and I'll read it. This is a solid read but there's pretty much nothing new here. It feels like a rehash of prior articles and books. The one new angle that I hadn't picked up on before is how much Jackie tried to shield her kids from their raucous Kennedy cousins. I knew there was no love lost between her and the Kennedy siblings, but I didn't realize that she'd literally send John to other countries in the summer to keep him away from the Kennedys. Smart plan as it turns out. As I said, nothing new learned here but it did make me want to be a better mother. The way Jackie treated her children is touching and beautiful. For someone who was a plotter and a schemer and who had a ton of issues, it seems clear that when she was with her children she really reveled in the "here" and enjoyed every second of being around them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joan Colby

    . A combination of smarm and gossip. Such books are ones I find browsing in the library and then give in to my lower nature, the way a shopper in Whole Foods might suddenly seize a package of Little Debbie cupcakes, no nutritional value, but appealing to the mindless sweet tooth. Thus, I am treated to lurid information on Jackie Kennedy’s love life as well as the sad fact of her son’s impulsivity and lack of judgement that led to the plane crash that ended his life. In fact, these traits seem en . A combination of smarm and gossip. Such books are ones I find browsing in the library and then give in to my lower nature, the way a shopper in Whole Foods might suddenly seize a package of Little Debbie cupcakes, no nutritional value, but appealing to the mindless sweet tooth. Thus, I am treated to lurid information on Jackie Kennedy’s love life as well as the sad fact of her son’s impulsivity and lack of judgement that led to the plane crash that ended his life. In fact, these traits seem endemic to the Kennedy’s and may constitute “the curse” that many believe haunts the clan. Having indulged in a chemically laden and over-sugared literary snack, I’m hungry for more substantial reading.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    At first I thought this would be great reading. It starts with John's death and that was spellbinding. I even commented that I would like to read more of the author's bios. There is so much pain and dirt and ugliness that when I finished the book I really felt dirty and a voyeur in someone else's life where I did not want to be. I read it in two days only because I'm visiting a relative for two days who had the book out of the library. Toooooo much Kennedy at one time. It definitely takes the st At first I thought this would be great reading. It starts with John's death and that was spellbinding. I even commented that I would like to read more of the author's bios. There is so much pain and dirt and ugliness that when I finished the book I really felt dirty and a voyeur in someone else's life where I did not want to be. I read it in two days only because I'm visiting a relative for two days who had the book out of the library. Toooooo much Kennedy at one time. It definitely takes the stars off of Jackie. They would never been able to keep "Camelot " going in our internet 24/7 world.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Frothy bio - not a lot of substance - but a couple of things I did learn. Or things that were obvious to all: 01. you can never be too rich 02. you can never be too thin 03. you can never be too dysfunctional - or feel too entitled 04. the rich & famous really ARE different from the rest of us regular folk

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Schmidt

    VERY INTERESTING. lOTS OF negative things about Jackie and John. John was a areal risk taker and not surprising he died piloting a plane and not using good judgment. Sad, because the crash took two other lives.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janet Lovestodance

    Yet another amazing book about the Kennedys. It gave great insight into the short life of John Kennedy Jr.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I couldn't stop listening to this story of JFK Jr - from the beginnings of his parents relationship and road to the White House to the assassination of JFK to Jackie rebuilding her life after "Camelot". So much history in this book that I lived through yet so much insider information that I would never have known that just made the story of the famous beloved family in our country so compelling. They were very human and normal, but at the same time larger than life. They suffered so much tragedy I couldn't stop listening to this story of JFK Jr - from the beginnings of his parents relationship and road to the White House to the assassination of JFK to Jackie rebuilding her life after "Camelot". So much history in this book that I lived through yet so much insider information that I would never have known that just made the story of the famous beloved family in our country so compelling. They were very human and normal, but at the same time larger than life. They suffered so much tragedy, yet found ways to overcome and move forward.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Keegan

    Although this book was mostly about Jackie, I learned a lot that I hadn't know. I didn't realize how manipulative she was Although this book was mostly about Jackie, I learned a lot that I hadn't know. I didn't realize how manipulative she was

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andie

    The story of JFK, Jr. is a cautionary tale of an intelligent young man, who, by virtue of being the son of an assassinated President and a beautiful controlling mother, tires, without success to find his place in the world and also live up to his family's expectations. The result is that he becomes a reckless young man, who dives into what is becoming a disastrous marriage who ends up not only killing himself, but also the woman he claims to love. By dying young, he becomes part of the never-endi The story of JFK, Jr. is a cautionary tale of an intelligent young man, who, by virtue of being the son of an assassinated President and a beautiful controlling mother, tires, without success to find his place in the world and also live up to his family's expectations. The result is that he becomes a reckless young man, who dives into what is becoming a disastrous marriage who ends up not only killing himself, but also the woman he claims to love. By dying young, he becomes part of the never-ending Kennedy myth. If he had lived, he most likely would have ended up a celebrity dilettante.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Penny McGill

    I had hoped for better (didn't Voldemort say that to Neville?) when I picked this book up on my holds shelf. Christopher Anderson made something special out of These Few Precious Days and I felt like an author with the experience he had would have built a book about Jackie and J.F.K. Jr. into something more than this but it really read like a poorly edited People article and he can do something much better than that. You'd think. His concept does provide a nice focus to the story. Many of the big I had hoped for better (didn't Voldemort say that to Neville?) when I picked this book up on my holds shelf. Christopher Anderson made something special out of These Few Precious Days and I felt like an author with the experience he had would have built a book about Jackie and J.F.K. Jr. into something more than this but it really read like a poorly edited People article and he can do something much better than that. You'd think. His concept does provide a nice focus to the story. Many of the big chapters tell the bare bones that you've read or heard about before but the slant to say how Jackie or John related to it through each other is rather nice. There were one or two tidbits I hadn't read before about John's early years at school and something or other pleasant about the activities she encouraged him to try as a high school student but other than that I felt like he included rather too many dollar signs to talk about how she spent her money or how her divorce might be settled. Not much of that seemed relevant to her relationship with her son or vice versa. It's not going to make my top ten list of best Kennedy family books but I'm pleased to have pulled out a few new pieces of information about their family. If someone were to ask me which book to read about them I can confidently weed this one out for them so it wasn't a total loss to have read the book. If you are in the mood for Kennedy reading and this one is a book you haven't had a chance to get to yet then maybe it's worth a read but it should fall very far down on your list.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    Not bad overall, but no single huge takeaway on John. I think any bio of him would paint a picture of ADD-unfocused and other things, and perhaps some general forgetfulness. The Jackie part was of separate interest. I didn't know she "carried on" for that long with Roswell Gilpatric. Nor did I know she had a one-nighter with Brando, nor the amount of drugs she and Ari apparently shared. I did find it interesting that Anderson did not at all discuss rumors or speculations about a possible affair bet Not bad overall, but no single huge takeaway on John. I think any bio of him would paint a picture of ADD-unfocused and other things, and perhaps some general forgetfulness. The Jackie part was of separate interest. I didn't know she "carried on" for that long with Roswell Gilpatric. Nor did I know she had a one-nighter with Brando, nor the amount of drugs she and Ari apparently shared. I did find it interesting that Anderson did not at all discuss rumors or speculations about a possible affair between her and Secret Service agent Clint Hill. On the likelihood they did? Like Jackie and Bobby, they were, but in a somewhat different way for Hill, of course, sharers of a common tragedy. And, even more than Jackie and Bobby, they were regularly together. Mitigating against that? First, I think Hill, unlike RFK, would have had a hugely guilty conscience over adultery. (OTOH, if there were an affair, that could have added to his own PTSD.) Second, I think Jackie would always have considered him "the help" in some way and not crossed that line.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Brown

    I listened to this book on Audible. It was a very thorough look at JFK, Jr., Jackie and also Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis, the kids’ nannies, and a little about his sister Caroline. While listening to this book, I felt a combination of shock, heartbreak and a deep sadness for the deceit, trials, tragedy and lunacy this family has lived out while living in a glass house throughout their lives. I felt a bit like I was reading a very long issue of People Magazine on steroids. Alth I listened to this book on Audible. It was a very thorough look at JFK, Jr., Jackie and also Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis, the kids’ nannies, and a little about his sister Caroline. While listening to this book, I felt a combination of shock, heartbreak and a deep sadness for the deceit, trials, tragedy and lunacy this family has lived out while living in a glass house throughout their lives. I felt a bit like I was reading a very long issue of People Magazine on steroids. Although you get to see the greed, privilege and deceit that was part of most of their lives, you are also saddened by the early end of the lives of John Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (his wife) and Lauren Bessette (Carolyn’s sister) in the plane crash in 1999, while he was piloting the private plane. Who knows what would have been the end of the story had JFK, Jr. lived out his life to old age.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    Well written and researched without gossipy, invasive passages, this is the lovely story of Jacqueline Kennedy, her life with John F. Kennedy, her grace under pressure when tragedy seemed to be abundant, her love of their children, and the very special relationship she had with her son. There are delightful, heart-warming stories of JFK Jr. and the love his father had. A frequent visitor to his father's oval White House office, he hid under the desk, and made himself right at home with those who Well written and researched without gossipy, invasive passages, this is the lovely story of Jacqueline Kennedy, her life with John F. Kennedy, her grace under pressure when tragedy seemed to be abundant, her love of their children, and the very special relationship she had with her son. There are delightful, heart-warming stories of JFK Jr. and the love his father had. A frequent visitor to his father's oval White House office, he hid under the desk, and made himself right at home with those who sat round a negotiating table. The love received lasted him a short life time. Always one to push the envelope in courting dangerous situations, tragically he, his wife and her sister died when 38 year old JFK Jr, en route to Martha's Vineyard, flew his plane during a heavy fog, creating problematic spacial abilities to judge how to right the plane.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    I realize I'm part of the problem, one of the many still fascinated by the Kennedy family tree, and JFK's branch in particular. But I was disappointed by this book. From the title I hoped for more of a look at Jackie and JFK Jr, not a bunch of gossip and family secrets being spilled out again. I also truly did not care for the opening when the author wrote of the last hours of John's life - particularly those last moments in the plane. It just seemed like he was trying to capitalize on and sensat I realize I'm part of the problem, one of the many still fascinated by the Kennedy family tree, and JFK's branch in particular. But I was disappointed by this book. From the title I hoped for more of a look at Jackie and JFK Jr, not a bunch of gossip and family secrets being spilled out again. I also truly did not care for the opening when the author wrote of the last hours of John's life - particularly those last moments in the plane. It just seemed like he was trying to capitalize on and sensationalize the tragedy again, as he seems to have done with other Kennedy family books. Kind of tasteless, honestly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Frank Carll

    A great read to fill the gaps in the sad history that most of us know. The author does a masterful job of weaving the facts with the perspectives of those close to this part of the Kennedy clan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hodgins

    Good and balanced but a sad story

  22. 4 out of 5

    LPL Staff Reviews

    Rehash of previous Jackie JFK Jr books. Skip this one if you have read many Kennedy books before. Angela K. Mahon Branch

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nena

    If you like your celebrity- you can KEEP your celebrity. Just don't READ about your celebrity. Christopher Anderson does an excellent job of bringing you right into the inner circle of the John F. Kennedy family with little known facts and unpublished conversations, exposing details that are so disenchanting that at times left me utterly angry. Nothing like knocking your celeb idols off their pedestals in one fell swope! There were several eye popping holy cow moments throughout this part tell-a If you like your celebrity- you can KEEP your celebrity. Just don't READ about your celebrity. Christopher Anderson does an excellent job of bringing you right into the inner circle of the John F. Kennedy family with little known facts and unpublished conversations, exposing details that are so disenchanting that at times left me utterly angry. Nothing like knocking your celeb idols off their pedestals in one fell swope! There were several eye popping holy cow moments throughout this part tell-all/part biography. Things I never expected to read and the general public most likely know nothing about. But as they say, everything done in the dark will be dragged into the light. And hopefully this will put an end once and for all to the conspiracy theories about John Jr.'s plane crash. The answers as to why this crash happened are crystal clear and lie within the pages of this book. The one thing about this book that I found unsettling was Anderson's style of writing Jacqueline's and John's dialogue. Listen to the way he splits up the sentence whenever Jacqueline or John Jr. speaks. It's truly irritating. Unlike other reviewers, I would not question the accuracy or truthfulness of this book. I don't think Anderson would have taken the risk if there were blatant falsehoods within its pages. Otherwise he would have opened the door for Carolyn Kennedy Schlossberg, a lawyer, to file a defamation and libel law suit. QUI TACET CONSENTIRE VIDETUR. No? The narrator was Robertson Dean, a very attractive actor who should never, ever try to imitate a female voice ever again. That's just a hard no. All in all I give this 4 stars. I found it fascinating and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Kennedy family and particularly in John, Jr. I warn you though, do not go in expecting the Kennedy's to be all sugarcoated and sweet. For me, they have all fallen from grace. Happy reading!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    At base this book is really about the relationship between John Kennedy and his mother Jacqueline. Since JFK was gone when John was still very young, Jackie was really who formed John into who he became. Honestly, I felt like the book was almost more about Jackie than it was about John. I felt like John’s story really began once Jackie had passed. However, I guess that might be said for any of us. Once our parents pass, WE have the choice to live the life WE want, not what our parents want/expec At base this book is really about the relationship between John Kennedy and his mother Jacqueline. Since JFK was gone when John was still very young, Jackie was really who formed John into who he became. Honestly, I felt like the book was almost more about Jackie than it was about John. I felt like John’s story really began once Jackie had passed. However, I guess that might be said for any of us. Once our parents pass, WE have the choice to live the life WE want, not what our parents want/expect of us. There were some interesting bits of information about John that I didn’t know before I read it, but nothing earth shattering. The part where Jackie passes was very moving (I cried even though I’ve read about her death countless times). I’ve read all of Andersen’s Kennedy books, and he does a wonderful job at making history seem like a story, not past factual events.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Hoppe

    This is an entertaining but very lightweight book. It's a dual biography of mother and son that would feel very comfortable in the pages of People magazine. I'm not sorry I read it, but it's celebrity journalism, not biography. Christopher Andersen is a highly readable writer, and, of course, the story is compelling. It begins with the two most iconic moments of his life: first, saluting the coffin of his father; last, falling out of the sky in a death spiral. Naturally, I wanted to see how Ande This is an entertaining but very lightweight book. It's a dual biography of mother and son that would feel very comfortable in the pages of People magazine. I'm not sorry I read it, but it's celebrity journalism, not biography. Christopher Andersen is a highly readable writer, and, of course, the story is compelling. It begins with the two most iconic moments of his life: first, saluting the coffin of his father; last, falling out of the sky in a death spiral. Naturally, I wanted to see how Andersen would take me on the journey between these two points. There's a lot of Jackie in this book. She emerges as willful, loving, and devoted. The second central woman in John's life, Carolyn Bessette, is less clearly drawn. Was she loving or manipulative? More sinned against or sinning? You won't know from the superficial portrait in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Wasn’t sure to give this book 3 or 4 stars. It kept my attention, but I don’t know if the title really fits. I felt this book was mostly about Jackie with interwoven info about John. It seems this book takes a lot of content from other books I have read about the Kennedys. It read more to me like a tabloid. It was really sweet to hear how John was universally liked among the many associates he would encounter in his life. It explains why his death left so much of an impact on so many people who lo Wasn’t sure to give this book 3 or 4 stars. It kept my attention, but I don’t know if the title really fits. I felt this book was mostly about Jackie with interwoven info about John. It seems this book takes a lot of content from other books I have read about the Kennedys. It read more to me like a tabloid. It was really sweet to hear how John was universally liked among the many associates he would encounter in his life. It explains why his death left so much of an impact on so many people who loved him and those that only followed his life from the television or media. He had so much potential and didn’t really get to develop into the man he aspired to be. With grief, you don’t just grieve all that was lost, but also what could have been.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Priscilla

    I went into this book hoping the title was an accurate heading of what to expect, but it wasn’t. The Good Son gives lots of detail on Jackie and John’s loves, lives and their mother/son relationship, but it came off as more of a tabloid, of juicy gossip, airing dirty laundry, than the poignant story I was hoping for. Some parts made me cringe at the frankness of the author, other parts made me shake my head in utter disbelief, and other parts had me in tears. There were numerous typos and gramma I went into this book hoping the title was an accurate heading of what to expect, but it wasn’t. The Good Son gives lots of detail on Jackie and John’s loves, lives and their mother/son relationship, but it came off as more of a tabloid, of juicy gossip, airing dirty laundry, than the poignant story I was hoping for. Some parts made me cringe at the frankness of the author, other parts made me shake my head in utter disbelief, and other parts had me in tears. There were numerous typos and grammatical errors throughout the book that drove me nuts. Good book, but not great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Halifax

    Audiobook. I was a freshman in high school when President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas TX. Yep, that was over 50 years ago. On my black and white TV, I can still remember seeing three year old John John saluting the horse drawn caisson, while Jackie held her children’s hands. JFK Jr never knew his Dad, he was not able to separate his memories, from pictures, from family stories. He lived a short life - of 38 years. I relived history with this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Not much different from The Day John Died. There was some more about Jackie and a little less about John after Jackie’s death, but not enough distinction to have warranted this separate book. I’m skeptical of some of Andersen’s sources, particularly about Carolyn. Nevertheless a solid read for anyone interested in John Jr

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thebruce1314

    A slightly trashy, wonderfully gossipy book. I especially liked that the author referred to this as an “exhaustive biography” - at 325 pages of rather large print and with many gaps in the narrative, I’m not sure “exhaustive” is the right word. Interesting, entertaining, but literature it is not.

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