I measure my years in Coreys…

By Shawn Robare


Corey Feldman and I both share an interesting trait in common, we both use his filmography as a means of charting the timeline of our lives (well to a point, for, um, both of us.) Seriously, when St. Martin’s press kindly offered a review copy of Feldman’s newly published memoir, Coreyography, I figured why not, I knew I loved a bunch of his movies and was curious to read how he reflected on his life to this point. But in the preface, when he writes, “I’ve always marked the chronology of my life not by the year, but by the film…”, it really struck a chord with me. Looking back I’ve personally done the same thing, using movies to mark the years, but when I consider my childhood and adolescence, Corey Feldman stands out in so many of my favorite films. Gremlins, Goonies, Friday the 13th 4&5, Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, License to Drive, The ‘Burbs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and yes, even if not especially Rock and Roll High School Forever. These are all films I’ve watched a million times, and all of them very clearly chart my time growing up in the 80s and 90s. I was also an avid fan of the Bad News Bears sitcom when it aired in repeats on Nickelodeon, and watched my fair share of Madame as well.


When I found my copy of the book on my porch this past Thursday I was excited, but also not really sure what I was getting myself into. Sure, I love most of Feldman’s 80s era films, but I’ll be honest I’m not a devotee of his personal life. In fact I’ve sort of purposely tried to ignore the press on him dating all the way back to when my mom would clip out the articles on him and lifelong friend Corey Haim from her copies of People magazine. She thought I’d find them cool, but I really didn’t want to know about his drug busts or legendary hotel-trashing parties. So I was in the dark for the majority of his big sound bites over the past decade or so, whether it be his comments on Michael Jackson, his declaration of war on Hollywood pedophilia, or even his reunion with Haim on The Two Coreys and the bombshells about molestation and rape. Blissfully ignorant. So when I cracked the cover and dug into the preface(filling myself in on all of the personal Corey stuff I managed to miss over the years), I again asked myself, what was I getting into?

Corey 1

First and foremost, the memoir is a very quick read, light and breezy with a conversational tone that belies the fact that Feldman wrote it himself (I mean seriously, so many memoirs are ghost or “co-“ written.) It also skirts dramatic license when considering the prose. I’ve read a handful of memoirs and am consistently bugged by the way the authors chose to fill their recollections with an absurd amount of detail and massive amounts of quoted conversation. As much as I’d love to trust their writing, I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the past and know that when you get right down to it, very few of us have the ability to remember in exacting details the events of our lives. Feldman doesn’t fall trap to this and stays true to the snippets of memory, which is both refreshing and honest.

Circling back to the “light and breezy”, well, that’s just as much of a positive as it is a negative. When you get to the content, the book reads like a Cliff’s notes edition. He scurries from topic to topic, only barely touching on any one movie or experience for a moment before flitting onto the next. For anyone who is a fan of his movies, don’t hold your breath for much in the way of behind the scenes tidbits. He devotes a decent amount of time to the filming of the Goonies, but honestly, most of that time is spent describing himself lusting after the opportunity to meet his childhood hero Michael Jackson on set. Similarly, for those hoping for a lot of behind the scenes stories with his best friend Corey Haim, well, there honestly isn’t much of that either. When it comes to Haim, Feldman spends a lot of time dancing around the rape Haim suffered on the set of Lucas, and the rest painting a portrait of a friend who seemed to annoy way, way more than ever endear. In fact, Feldman seems to be distancing himself from Haim with this memoir, down playing their friendship.

Corey 2

For those looking for the gritty details of Feldman’s days spent snorting or injecting every drug within reach or details into his sexual escapades either consensual or non, it’s all there, but written in such a flippant tone that it all ends up seeming so very inconsequential. It certainly isn’t a tell-all, as he (probably) wisely chose not to name, accuse or implicate anyone in his own or Corey Haim’s experiences with molestation and rape, though he does spend a lengthy portion of the book addressing the abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother. Speaking of tone, I was also surprised how easily Feldman relates the stories of his life as if he were speaking about them as they happened. He doesn’t really look back and dig into his life, examining and offering up a perspective more wise with distance and age. He tone is in the moment, as defiant as when he was on the set of The ‘Burbs and was approached by Joe Dante and Carrie Fisher about his drug usage, or as childlike and naive when consistently pestering Stephen Spielberg for a meet and greet with Michael Jackson on the set of the Goonies. Again, this is both boon and bane, equally putting the reader in the moment, but also lacking much in the way of depth.

It’s not to say that there’s nothing to the book, or that it wasn’t and interesting and entertaining read, it’s just, well, light. There is enough here fans of his films will sure to gleam a fun detail or two about some of their favorite films, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking. All in all, the book feels like a really good outline for a much longer, more detailed look at Feldman’s life. Who knows, maybe in another ten or fifteen years he’ll use Coreyography as a guide to sit down and write it.

Coreyography hits book stores on October 29th!

  • You were brave to read this. I fear I’d be too disturbed and saddened to get though it.His recent music videos are so very sad.

    That reminds me, did I mail you a License to Drive magazine some years ago? I recall sending it off to a fellow nostalgist, but don’t remember if it was you?

    • Yeah, it was hard to get through some of the dusturbing stuff, but not because of the content as much as his flippant tone to it all. Also, no on the LtD magazine, but whoa, I did not know that existed! Off to ebay…

      • Huh, I wonder who I sent that to. It was so many Coreys ago. Anyway, yeah, the magazine was pretty neat. It had a foldout poster.

  • I didn’t realize he had a memoir coming out. Nice, honest review here Shawn!

    • Thanks, I really wish I dug it more, but it is what it is. I need to read Sean Astin’s now…

    • I didn’t either!

      • Yeah, not sure why they aren’t being more vocal about it. It drops the same day as Melissa Joan Hart’s autobio, Melissa Explains It All (way better title than Corey’s…)

  • At first I thought “cool, that would be a fun read” but after reading your review it appears to miss a lot of the details that would most interest me. I wasn’t the biggest Corey Feldman fan to begin with, so I’ll likely sit this out.

    • Yeah, I was really bummed that he didn;t spend more time talking about the flicks, I mean, I’m quite sure he’s tired of it, but I’d rather hear about that then sensational generalities…


    I saw an advert on TV today for this weekends Armageddon Expo here in Australia and it looks like Corey will be just down the road from my place, dude was in Gremlins and The Goonies. That is Cool is my book.

    • Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I adore Feldman’s work. Lord knows I’ve watched each of his flicks like 50 times. I’ve heard he’s really nice in person too (from his time at Goonies events and stuff.).

  • You’re gonna let me borrow this, right? I um…need to, uh, do a book report for school… Yeah, that’s it…

    • Uh huh, as long as you return it without the picture insert pages stuck together… ;)

  • Dunstonchecksin

    It’s an odd bio for sure. It’s very entertaining, but like you said, he hasn’t really grown. He’s trapped, and seems really angry and kind of cold. Not very loyal either. To Jackson or Haim. But I did enjoy a lot of his recollections- like the one of Crispin Glover on the set of Friday the 13th pt4. It has a nice feel for time and place and creates a certain mood and insight into that world, while still being breezy and light like you say.
    Speaking of which, when you say- “light and breezy with a conversational tone that belies the fact that Feldman wrote it himself” . That doesn’t really make sense to me. How does that tone belie the fact he wrote it himself?
    Isn’t that the tone it would have if he wrote it himself?

    • Basically with these celebrity autobios, it’s rare they they actually write them, themselves, so it was surprising that this one felt like he did actually write it. It’s written sort of like a scrapbook full of memories, which is not the tact that Pro writers take when they ghostwrite for a client. So in that way, the tone help solidify that for me.