Not My Father’s Son – A Book Review

This book is a little bit out of my ordinary reads. I do like an autobiography every now and then and this one was quite interesting and left me thinking about it for a while after finishing it.

Not My Father’s Son is a memoir by the actor Alan Cumming (you may know him from his roles in the X-Men movies and The Good Wife TV show). The book is mainly about his relationship with his abusive father and his journey to find answers regarding the death of his grandfather.


I listened to it in audio which is narrated by the actor himself (I can’t say no to listening to a Scottish accent). The story goes back and forth in time between his life in Scotland as a child living with his father and his experiences in the more recent years and participation in the British TV show “Who do you think you are” to find out more about his maternal grandfather’s life and death.

I didn’t know anything about this actor before reading the book besides what films and shows he’s appeared on and I would not have imagined this actor having such a troubled childhood. The book is not long, it took me a couple of days to finish. It was well written, engaging and suspenseful. Here I’m sharing one of the interesting quotes in the book:

Memory is so subjective. We all remember in a visceral, emotional way, and so even if we agree on the facts—what was said, what happened where and when—what we take away and store from a moment, what we feel about it, can vary radically.

I haven’t read a good autobiography is a long time. This made me start to look for other best sellers in this genre. If you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them :)

5 thoughts on “Not My Father’s Son – A Book Review

  1. Pingback: My Book Year in Review – 2016 – A Book and Two Cups of Tea

  2. Oh glad to hear you liked this, it’s on my tbr. I recommend reading/ listening to Cary Elwes’s book, As You Wish. The audio is read by a lot of the cast members from The Princess Bride and the book has their notes


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