Not My Father's Son: A Memoir

· Sold by Harper Collins
123 reviews

About this ebook

“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.

Ratings and reviews

123 reviews
Susan Carrillo
February 7, 2017
Loved your storey, Alan. You & your family are an example of staying strong through all adversities in an abusive childhood. Loved reading of your grandfather in WW II. Excited to see you soon in your endeavours, as you were one of our family's favorites in The Good Wife. Keep writing!
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Lin McInnes
January 1, 2017
In stiring up old memories of abuse and following/ feeling the emotions and insecurities along with Allan I feel a measure of his closure. This is a book worth experiencing. It is a fitting achievement from an actor I enjoy become an author I will count as a favorite and a man I truly respect. On so many levels this book deserves five stars and more.
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Candice Macias
August 6, 2016
My sister called me one day and said, "Candice, you need to read this book!!!" Had no idea why but I decided to see what the fuss was all about. So I started reading the sample. I can tell you that I hated it! Not because it's a bad book but rather it stirred up a lot of feelings and emotions I thought they were long gone. I cannot believe a book made me feel this way but I knew I had to finish it for my own sake. Highly recommended!
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About the author

Alan Cumming’s many awards for his stage and screen work include the Tony, Olivier, BAFTA, and Emmy. He is the author of two children’s books, a book of photographs and stories, a novel and the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Not My Father's Son. He is a podcaster (Alan Cumming’s Shelves) and an amateur barman (NYC’s Club Cumming). Find out more at, @alancumming on Twitter, and @alancummingsnaps on Instagram.

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