19 August 2008

Life With My Sister Madonna

Life With My Sister Madonna
Life With My Sister Madonna is an account by Christopher Ciccone of his relationship with Madonna, written by Ciccone with Wendy Leigh. Ciccone briefly recounts their childhood and their early days in New York, challenging the self-mythologising accounts of the period that Madonna has given in interviews. For instance, the story of how she arrived in New York with $35, and a taxi driver dropped her off in Times Square, is - surprise, surprise - not true.

The book's main focus is on his professional relationship with his sister. Over the years, she has employed him as an interior designer and stage director, and he writes at length about his demeaning chores and paltry compensation. It's hard to feel much sympathy though, because he also complains when she doesn't hire him.

He is evidently jealous of the men in her life, and he makes it clear that he can't stand her husband, Guy Ritchie. His personal offence at the wedding speech of Ritchie's best man seems like a massive over-reaction. Also, for some strange reason, he is surprised that Ritchie wants to approve the decor of their home rather than giving Ciccone carte blanche to design it however he likes.

There's nothing really revelatory about Madonna in this book. Yes, she seems selfish and controlling, but we knew that already. Where are the details about Sean Penn tying her to a chair all night?