It hasn’t been a full month since Corey Feldman’s autobiography Coreyography was released, but the book may just pull the rug out from beneath Marc Maron’s feet as the best memoir and, potentially, the best non-fiction book of 2013. Though sure to be grouped in with a legion of other celebrity biographies, Coreygraphy deserves to be set apart from the rest for its unfiltered stream of absolute, unpolished truth and structure of storytelling.
Many will be quick to dismiss this book, as well as Feldman, who over the past ten years has become known as a dramatizer and attention seeker through his exploits during the Michael Jackson trial and his own reality show The Two Coreys. However it is evident in the text that Corey has used this book as his own personal pallet for cleansing; an attempt at a rebirth of sorts to free himself of the schlock and embarrassment that has surrounded both his public image and career over the past twenty years. Coreyography offers not a hint of exaggeration and, at times, is actually a bit too self-depreciating in its portrayals. No stone goes left unturned and it genuinely becomes painful to read—not because the writing is poor, but rather due to the fact that, as the story progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to accept that such a small child, forced into the limelight, could be put through the ringer time after time all while being expected to come into his own as a normal individual and superstar celebrity.
The book begins with Feldman recalling where he was upon hearing the news of the death of his long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Corey Haim. Feldman makes no bones about calling out Haim’s exploitive friends and neighbors, as well as sympathy-bandwagoning celebrities on Twitter—who he outright names. (We’re looking at you, Ashton Kutcher.)
It’s almost shocking how much Corey reveals, not only about himself and his family, but about Corey Haim. Details about Haim’s private life and questionable sexuality are unearthed for the first time. And while the information regarding Haim’s alleged rape, as well as his sexual advances toward Feldman, are regaled respectively, one cannot help but read certain passages and cringe as if such information should’ve never been shared about another human being.
Corey Feldman’s relationship with pop star Michael Jackson is also touched upon. We, as readers, are given an eerie glimpse at Jackson’s odd behavior without treading into familiar, and somewhat predictable, territory. Drug use, parental abuse, and onset feuds are written about at length and help provide clear insight into Feldman’s psyche from the launch of his career to its steady decline.
From start to finish, Coreyography feels full and rich; not lacking in any fundamental elements required for a good biography or a good book. It is a heartbreaking, well-written memoir and is certainly worth the time of casual readers and literary snobs, alike—although the latter group will very likely turn a cold shoulder to this book, ignoring its very existence based solely on its name, cover art, and author.
The fact of the matter is that Feldman has done something here that many authors have only dreamed of doing when writing about themselves. He crafted the perfect biography, both in substance and form. As of 2013, Corey Feldman may throw underwhelming, too-bad-to-be-laughable parties, but he can also write one hell of a book.