January 9, 2014

Between Heaven and Haim: a review of Corey Feldman's "Coreyography"

by Corey Feldman
St. Martin's Press (2013)
288 pages
ISBN-13: 9780312609337

Corey Feldma's youth was so peppered with scandal, drugs, and bratty behavior, it's a wonder he never became mayor of Toronto.

I grew up a child of the 80s, and as such Corey Feldman was one of those faces that always seemed to pop up in the movies I enjoyed. Whether it be Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, or License to Drive, there he was emblazoned on the screen. But like 95% of the child actors out there, he grew up and was quietly brushed aside, so the next fresh face in Hollywood could claim the spotlight for a few years. Fair to say Macaulay Culkin picked up where Corey Feldman left off as the boy with a Gatling gun full of one-liners. But what happens when famous kids grow up? In Feldman's case, a whole helluva lot--especially when his personal life was even more turbulant than his professional life.

Now, I am loathe to read memoirs, especially celebrity memoirs. I've read a couple and found each to be thinly veiled exercises in stroking one's own ego. The over-inflated sense of self-worth becomes apparent just by listening to the celeb in TV and radio interviews as he/she promotes his/her book. Coreyography struck me as a little more grounded than the usual fare, judging by the back cover blurb and being spared listening to any interviews beforehand, so I decided to give it a go.

If Feldman has softened the lens on his life through this book, it's hard to tell because it gets dark, and quick, starting off with the death of Corey Haim, before going back to his early days in Hollywood as a young boy becoming the breadwinner for the family. I've long held the notion that child actors have a rough lot in life despite the fame and fortune, however fleeting, but if just half the things Feldman opens up about are true, then his is truly a cautionary tale for families with children on a similar career path. It's not all bleak and abyssmal, mind you. Feldman is, after all, still breathing in and out, and raising a young son of his own these days. And the reminiscing of the actual nuts and bolts of acting as a craft for a kid thrust into some pretty big effing films are enlightening and even amusing, since I tend to enjoy those behind-the-scenes looks at how movies are made.

Some readers may go for the salacious aspects of the book, some may just want a nostalgia trip through the days of Coreymania, but don't expect a long-winded diatribe from Feldman on any aspect of his life. The book moves fast and covers a remarkable amount of time and tumult in well under three-hundred pages. The guy who wrote this book seems far more mature than the guy I saw on TV a few years ago parading around L.A. dressed like Michael Jackson with a couple of "Corey's Angels" at his side, much to the delight of paparazzi. Feldman may have gotten out of Hollywood alive, but not unscathed.


  1. I am loathe to read memoirs, especially celebrity memoirs. I've read a couple and found each to be thinly veiled exercises in stroking one's own ego.

    Well said, and it's refreshing to read that Feldman strays -somewhat, at least- from that execrable pattern.