Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson
A friend whom I first met at the gates of Neverland on 25 June 2013 told me about Barney Van Valin s little book Admittedly I didn t rush to buy it, but now, having done so and having read it, I am than happy to tell others about it.Everything we disliked from the Michael Jackson Tapes or other supposedly tell all tales from Michael s so called friends and associates all of it is absent from this book.Private Conversations is a rather sweet collection of anecdotes, vignettes of life at Neverland, of visits late into the night with Michael, his children and his staff, meeting his friends and returning his hospitality in the Van Valin s own home.Some things will stand out for example, the elephants trashing a birthday party on their daily walk down to the house The theft of antiques by some of Michael s own staff I actually saw one item specifically mentioned in this chapter still where it was subsequently located There are plenty of examples of Michael behaving like a big kid, enjoying himself, having fun and encouraging others to have fun with him whether it be watching movies in his private cinema, playing arcade games, riding the bumper cars of which he was the most reckless driver or just hanging out watching DVDs and having late night snacks.This is nothing we haven t heard before from other MJ insiders and observers, and confirms a definite lack of anything of a sinister nature in Michael s activities, whatever they may be In fact Barney s observations of Martin Basheer s depiction of it in his television documentary, coming from the perspective of someone who frequently visited the ranch with his family, pretty much sum up what has always been obvious to Michael s fans.Barney s wife Criss gets to give her opinion of Michael about halfway through the book That too rings than true If he had never become famous you still would have been smitten with him no matter what it was he did It was lovely just to be around him I loved every minute that we spent together He was charming and funny and I am lucky to have been able to count him as a friend Her husband s book is certainly written from the perspective of someone who truly valued that friendship.Review by K A Hennigan2 September 2014 Book purchased through Smile, to benefit my charity of choice, the Roar Foundation whose Shambala preserve is home to the last Neverland tiger, Sabu, whom I sponsor Kerry Silly, pointless reading, not particularly well written, but it was quick and entertaining Fun to hear an insider account of what he was like. Another Testament to the Wonder That Was Michael JacksonThis was a wonderful, if short, read.Any Jackson fan who has been faithful about reading the numerous CREDIBLE biographies about him or books by his trusted friends will find little New information here What you will find instead is further illustration of that which we already know that Michael Jackson was one of the most extraordinary human beings ever to walk the planet That one of our society s greatest mistakes was how we misunderstood and devalued him, and further, how tragic it is that this lesson will likely go mostly unlearned When Dr Van Valin s narrative is so abruptly and tragically cut short as he describes when his son Mason learns of Michael s passing, I shed tears on the NYC subway one feels the sensation of losing him all over again.Thank you, Dr Van Valin, for your personal generosity in sharing this part of your life, and for your historical testimony, as it is This book belongs on the shelf of every MJ fan or scholar. Doctor Van valin s writing style was very simple,childlike,describing the situations and dialogues as a child would..just describing that special friendship See you in heaven,Applehead. As a visitor to Neverland myself, I read this book intrigued by others who ve visited Michael Jackson s estate Van Valin II creates strong emotional connections for the reader through vivid descriptions of his own personal experiences in the many years he, and his family, have befriend Jackson Abundant with humor, tragedy, scandal, and forgiveness, this intimate memoir is a must read for those who wish to find a most intimate portrait of one music s timeless legends.My only negative critique is the improper formatting, inconsistent paragraph spacing, and several grammatical and spelling errors Most readers shouldn t be deterred from picking up this story though, because the content itself is rich and illuminating. The Real Michael JacksonI enjoyed this book as it tells of a great friendship and what Michael Jackson was like, not The King of Pop , but the type of human being he was It was a very warm and pleasant reading. This book was amazing I loved everything about it One of the best books I have ever read Deffinatly would reccomend for anyone just like what the author suggested A must read for any Michael Jackson fan An insightful journey into the friendship between Barney Van Valin, a rural farmland physician and music icon, Michael Jackson You will read about the close friendship from their first meeting to the mysterious and sudden end of their conversations after five years Michael spent countless hours away from the opulent Neverland Ranch inside the humble home of Dr Van Valin sharing time with his family The book takes you inside Neverland Ranch from the dinner table to the extravagant game room, carnival rides, theater, to sitting in bed watching movies with Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor You will read of the absence of memorabilia in his home from gold records to photographs of world dignitaries and his candid view of such acknowledgements the nightly menu at the Neverland dinner table the origin of the Moon Walk dance his curiosity of the deceased that had him at Barney s mother s death bed Michael s ghost mystery behind Billie Jean and his candid opinion of his father, Joe, and mother, Katherine A must read for any Michael Jackson fan Nice touching account of a man s friendship with the King of Pop He didn t exploit him, just talked about his loneliness, generosity and kind nature.