Not My Father's Son - Alan Cumming

Not My Father's Son Summary

Written By Alan Cumming

Readers Score: 4.5/5
Rated by 333 Readers

Not My Father's Son Book Summary


“Equal parts memoir, whodunit, and manual for living . . . a beautifully written, honest look at the forces of blood and bone that make us who we are, and how we make ourselves.”  --Neil Gaiman

In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

A beloved star of stage, television, and film—“one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine)—Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father—a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.

When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.

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About the book:

Not My Father's Son is a Biographies & Memoirs book, written By Alan Cumming. As a testament to the Book's popularity, it has gathered a rating of 4.5 out of a possible 5 Stars, on Reviews by 333 Readers who strongly recommends this book.

You can get the book for $8.99 on Amazon or on Apple iBooks for similar price


Best Video Summaries of Not My Father's Son By Alan Cumming

Would this be the next book you read? See What Top Readers Think!

  • Did not

    By Cheats2
    Good book, well written, reads like a mystery. I do wish however that he had not said in the acknowledgements "I forgive you". Such treatment of a child should never, ever be forgiven....
  • I love him even more...

    By LoriNYCKennedy
    ... for his honesty and ability to see through the forest of thorns that was his youth!! For anyone who has grown up under the hand of bad parenting and learned to be a better person because of it... this story is a must read!!
  • Candor and Sensitivity

    By SDWill
    The candor and sensitivity throughout Not My Father’s Son is humbling. While I did not have a childhood in any way resembling the author’s, his courage to share the story with us is nothing short of heroic. Alan Cumming is a gift for which I will continue to be grateful.


  • Fun

    By Radsalot
    Light read
  • I don’t read biographies of people younger than I.

    By RonicaOne
    I am an admirer of Mr. Cummings’ work and the title was intriguing. I found his story was well told and beautifully edited. Everyone thinks they have a story to tell but this one touched me deeply. Like his mom said it is hard to believe someone was just that evil. The second story about his search for his maternal grandfather was heart wrenching. In our new world we still do not acknowledge that war changes people, soldiers and citizens alike. As a creative person Cummings is subject to what I call the magic. It appears his grandfather was also a charismatic soul who touched others despite his own pain. Blood is thicker than water but each man was mentally ill but chose different ways to express their pain.
  • Ugliest

    By futuuyhhigu
    It’ll be utterlyee aUighur is fatdssdt
  • Not My Father’s Son

    By A.J. Madrid
    Simply could not put it down. A moving story of a child’s survival of trauma and abuse and finding his way to eventually healing himself and his family.
  • Not My Father's Son

    By Perky too
    I didn't dislike the book but I didn't really like it all that much. It was a bit too long and a lot more philosophical than it needed to be. Mr C states a lot of his thoughts more than once. He certainly had a miserable childhood and I agree that his father was mentally impaired. I give him a lot of credit for putting his life together and being such a success. An ok read if you like reading about celebrities.
  • Good Read!

    By Broikido
    Amazing that Alan Cumming is such a gentle soul after such a horrible childhood. I don't want to say too much, but highly recommend
  • Two Days Spent

    By Traci0626
    I have emotionally and spiritually spent the last two days with our dear Alan Cumming. I found it most intriguing and satisfying to both read the memoir and watch the showing of his episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” in measured spurts of either and both. Alan (I’ve spent two days with him, so I feel free with the casual moniker) has written so honestly and transparently of his childhood abuse and subsequent struggles that it reads like a heart-wrenching novel—evoking both laughter and tears as all good reads should. The added suspense and just knock-you-back-ness of the Tommy Darling story is really an amazing plot. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed his writing style and his story. Thx, Alan :)
  • Closure

    By SevenPaperMen
    While I have always admired Alan Cumming in movies, I never saw him as another person. He was an object I admired. Having read his memoir, he has reminded me that we are all people, with many stories to our being. I am incredibly thankful to read his story from his fingers but I'm indebted for the reminder that we all have a corner of the world we are responsible for. We do our best to survive it and come out better people for it but to share that knowledge and make your corner a better place for others is deserving of a word that isn't made up yet. Simply put, thank you, Alan.
  • Joyful

    By MaryAnnRN87
    Mr. Cumming confronts the abuse of his father in an honest, powerful way, and embraces joy more fully. I read this in one sitting, absolutely could not wait to read each new revelation on his journey to also find out the truth of his late grandfather. Forgiving his father did not mean he condoned his father's actions or excused them, but forgiveness brings healing to the one who forgives.