Matt did a great job painting a picture of New York and the magazine world and how fast paced it is. He writes in short chapters which makes it more readable for me and also more addicting because I tell myself I’ll just read one more chapter, and then of course I read more.
He talks about how he met JFK Jr, Carolyn, and how close they all became. Matt compared John to his older brothers, how they teased him and were protective of him at the same time. He was a normal kid from Connecticut (as was Carolyn, a fact which they bonded over) and found himself in an exciting world filled with celebrities and working closely with the son of the most beloved president.
Matt talks about photo shoots with big celebrities such as Demi Moore, Ben Stiller, Robert Di Nero, Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Hurley, Cindy Crawford, and Barbara Streisand. He talks about what they were like and his interactions with him. Matt also said people lit up when they saw John.
Matt talked about his insecurities, which I thought was really refreshing and honest. He wondered if people were nice to him just because he was John’s creative director. He always sensed celebrities disappointment when he just showed up and they realized John wasn’t coming. He felt the pressures and expectations from the media to deliver each month. But John gave Matt confidence he didn’t always have in himself. John had a way of putting people at ease.
And no book about JFK Jr is complete without the heartbreaking ending of his untimely death. Matt recounts the day their plane went missing and how he was thinking about John’s last time doing everything from waking up, to locking his bike and the last meal he had. He went through all the emotions of numbness, denial, and anger.
I love the way he summed it up, “How could thing turn so quickly? In one minute, John was nothing. Just as nothing had turned into everything when I met him, everything turned into nothing when he died So many things turned out to be the opposite of what they initially seemed. The first cover of George was actually a woman; the Prince and the Vampire (me) were very much alike; John’s icy wife turned out to be warm and funny. The job I wasn’t sure I could handled helped me come into my own. When their plane crashed into the sea, pure water turned into a brick wall.”
It’s a really sweet look into their friendship and life at the George magazine. He shows you how real and down to earth both John and Carolyn were and it just breaks your heart to think they were cut down in their prime, just like that, taken away from all the people who loved and knew them, and people in the public who didn’t know them at all, but felt like they did.