|Book Review|Chasing Diana: Perception vs. Reality By Jack & Robin Firestone


I received a free copy of this book from OnlineBookClub and this book was “OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day”

About the Book :  TAGLINE: While vacationing in Paris 20 years ago, the lives of an American family collide with the fatal automobile crash of the world’s most beloved Princess. INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY.

Princess Diana was killed on August 31, 1997 in an automobile collision in Paris. Where were you when you heard the news? Everybody has an answer, but nobody has an answer quite like Robin and Jack Firestone, the wife-and-husband team who have co-authored this remarkable tome “CHASING DIANA: PERCEPTION VS. REALITY.”

Diana fan or not, it matters not, as “this ain’t your father’s Diana book..”. there’s WIDE READERSHIP APPEAL in these pages, as “CHASING DIANA: PERCEPTION VS. REALITY” is, at its organic core, an intriguing murder mystery and an international conspiracy-laden crime story… all experienced by a dysfunctional American family who unwittingly get thrust into the entire horrific misadventure, which only serves to further complicate their familial debilitation. Can they emerge unscathed?

Simple happenstance and the capriciousness of life places them at the seminal historic moment of the shocking death of Princess Diana in this dramatic, though breezy and light thriller/drama. A bit off-the-wall at times, yet always laced with a serious dose of wry humor and pathos, this book has the quirky endearing feel of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL but with the macabre darkness and ironic style of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. With an urbane sensibility coupled with a universally recognized subject matter, “CHASING DIANA: PERCEPTION VS. REALITY” is alluring to international audiences. And you’ll want to devour the read in one sitting!

Also included in this SPECIAL EDITION volume is a very rare Afterword, as the reader experiences a behind-the-scenes look at the trial that shook Great Britain to its core. After ten years of trying in vain to bring the truth to the forefront, on December 3, 2007, the Firestones were finally called upon to give live testimony in London at the Royal Courts of Justice for the “Coroner’s Inquests into the Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mr. Dodi al-Fayed.” Here, they describe their ordeal for the first time ever in print.

And you’ll also be treated to Mr. Firestone’s personal journal entitled “Tunnel Vision,” written down by him immediately after The Event of 8/31/97, which gives his personal insight to: the immediate witnessing of the car crash wreckage site in which lay Princess Diana, the initial French investigation, the police and the paparazzi and the motorcycle and the car activity in the Alma Tunnel that night. His words speak to the relentlessness and the restlessness of the news media that, even now, attempts to control our lives.

To sum it up: you’ve NEVER read a Diana book, or ANY book, quite like this one. It is the ultimate “you are there” experience, so buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride… er, read… as we set the dials on the Wayback Machine for 1997.

About the Authors : Jack Firestone was raised in Long Island, New York, and was trained in Meisner Acting Technique at HB Studios in NYC, and by famed Los Angeles actor/teacher Jeff Corey in LA. Jack has appeared on the regional, and Off-Broadway stages, in dozens of plays, as well as numerous TV commercials, and has been a card-carrying SAG-AFTRA member since the late 1970’s. He appeared in many Norman Lear sitcoms, including “All In The Family” and “Good Times,” to name a few. He had taken a hiatus from “show business” to work the “business of shows,” where, as a member of the sales staff of legendary television program distributor Firestone Programs — owned by his late father, TV program sales pioneer Leonard Firestone — Jack sold perennial hit shows into the TV syndication marketplace, including Chuck Barris’ “The Gong Show” & “The New Newlywed Game” (in which he also worked as a Contestant Coordinator!), Allen Funt’s “The New Candid Camera” (in which Jack acted as a recurring “shill”), and Garry Moore hosted “To Tell The Truth” (in which he was also, in one episode, one of the two “imposter” contestants.) Jack is happily married — for over 30 years! — to Robin, and they now reside near the booming Atlanta market, where he is reviving his acting career. To date, though, they have produced their best work of art yet: an only child — a son — who is newly-married, is an MD, and who is a father of boy and girl twins, Dax and Lennon

My Say : I have never read any book on Princess Diana so it was an unique read up for me. The Author, Jack Firestone did a very good job in conveying his message about the wreck that killed a princess that seemed to be dear to everyone’s heart across the far reaches of the Earth. This book is written in screenplay style which was surprising for me and also grabbed my attention. In the words of the author: “we present to you…a behind the scenes look of…what we had experienced…a darkly humored, three act play…”, and I must say that he has done a great job. The book is called perception vs. reality because the one part is inspired by the Firestones true story but the other part is Jack’s journal and their testimony. The fictitious portion is entertaining and really got me interested in the event more than I thought I would have been. The story behind this screenplay is that Jack and his family were not only in the country but were at the scene of the wreck that killed Princess Diana. Enjoying a new adventure in a foreign country and building memories for a family were soon collapsed by an extremely tragic event as their taxi cab slammed to a halt. Through the countless interviews, openings and closings of cases involving the wreck and paranoia from the possibility that there was a conspiracy at hand, Firestone tells his own version of an eyewitness report. The author does a very good job of being concise in language, character building, scene setting and suspense building despite the limited amount of words that could actually be used due to the format of the screenplay. I would highly recommend this book because of the suspense, humour and the way that it provides a new look at a major historical event in the past 20 years. This book is appealing to a large audience as this was one of the biggest happenings in recent history.

Click Here to know more about this book.

Happy Reading 🙂