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Out of Tune: David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine
Out of Tune David Helfgott and the Myth of Shine
Author: Tom Gross, Margaret Helfgott
Margaret Helfgott, sister of the piano virtuoso David Helfgott, shines new light on the story behind the film that brought him into the public arena. Her story contests the ideas developed in the film Shine in a thought-provoking manner.
ISBN-13: 9780446523837
ISBN-10: 0446523836
Publication Date: 4/1/1998
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 2 ratings
Publisher: Warner Books
Book Type: Hardcover
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From the dustjacked:

The globally acclaimed, Academy Award-winning film "Shine" made pianist David Helfgott a household name. While purporting to be a true story, the movie is actually full of fabrications. Now for the first time, Margaret, David Helfgott's eldest sister, who knows him better than enayone from their early years, sets the record straight. Dispelling the many untruths propagated by the movie Margaret tells the real story of her extraordinary brother, of a life, a career, an a legace that will remain forever....

Shine was made without any significant patripation from family members other than David and his wife, Gillian. Its portrayal of a repressed young piano prodigy brutalized by a violent, obsessive father is a graphic, lasting image, but one that isn't true. Gillian (who never met David's father Peter) wrote a bestselling book that reinforces the distortions.

Here, in her own words, Margaret tells what it was really like growing up under the Helfgott roof. She descibes a poor but proud, close knit family and a house full of love, literature, and music. In reality, Peter Helfgott was a gentle, devoted father who had a loving rapport with David, who rejoiced in his son's incredible early success and was devastated by David's tragic disease. Margaret reveals may facts omitted from Shine including:
David's debilitating mental illness has a genetic basis--one of his aunts spent most of her adulthood hospitalized
Peter Helfgott was not a Holocaust survivor, having left Europe before the Second World War
David had an affectionate first wife ho was unstinting in her help of him

This memoir poigantly reclaims the dignity of the Helfgott family. It questions the film industry's practice of manipulating the facts to creat dramatic, marketable products--at the expense of people's lives and reputations. Intimate, touching, and brutally candid, Out of Tune is a gripping testament to the pwoer of the truth in a media saturated world.

My review:
I somewhat expected this book to be from the view of a sister who could see no wrong in her father but I was very pleasantly surprised. A very enjoyable read!
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