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The Digested Read: Life with my sister Madonna

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  • The Digested Read: Life with my sister Madonna

    Christopher Ciccone's book is the latest to feature in The Guardian's occasional series "Digest Read", in which a book is condensed in a usually belittling, but funny, way.

    Digested read
    Life With My Sister Madonna
    by Christopher Ciccone

    Simon & Schuster, 17.99
    as digested by John Crace

    I had hoped this book might go some way to answering that eternal question no one has ever asked, "What is it really like to be Madonna's brother?" But as I've got no sense of self and even less insight, that's totally beyond me. So I've settled for bitching about that mediocre diva whom I adore really.

    The Lanesborough Hotel, 1993: The Girlie Show, for which I choreographed the Hokey Cokey, opens tonight and we need to meditate. We. The royal we. Madonna and me. She, the world's biggest superstar. And me, her much more talented brother. I wake her. "Flush the toilet for me," Madonna snaps as I spoon-feed her some macrobiotic seaweed. "Shall I lick it clean as well?" I ask, sensing her need and relishing my importance to her.

    We leave for Wembley in two cars. Our egos can't fit into one. She takes a stretch limo, while I follow in a Reliant Robin. She comes off stage to the screams of 25 million adoring fans and I wring the sweat out of her thong. "Where would I be without you?" she yells, as she leaves by helicopter. "See you in Paris. Get yourself an off-peak Eurostar ticket."

    We are just two of eight Ciccone kids, who grew up in Michigan. But who wants to hear about those other six losers? You want to know all about Madge and little old me. Well, just Madge really, but it's my book, so tough. Madonna begs me to join her in New York. "I really need you," she pleads. "You can stay in a homeless shelter." She has no idea I have given up a well-paid job on the checkout at Wal-Mart to be one of her backing dancers, but she's my sister and I know how difficult she finds it to exist without me, so I bite my tongue.

    I am not oblivious to my sister's many shortcomings at this time. I know she uses people and then drops them, I know she is self-centred, but I forgive her for all this. I don't have a lot of choice. The moment I confront her, the gravy train stops.

    "You're fired," Madonna says to me one morning in 1994. "But you can't do that," I squeal. "I'm devoted to you." "Well, I guess I'm just a capricious control freak who enjoys abusing her staff," she says. "OK," I reply. "I'll take a 95% pay cut and work for $10 a week."

    Over the next few years, our fame becomes awesome. Everywhere we go, people shout, "Madonna" and "Who the **** are you?" We are inseparable, though I choose not to tell her that I think all of her movies are utter crap and that her music is derivative dross, because I know she finds it hard to take criticism and it would be needlessly destructive of me to do so. And, besides, it would also require me to be honest.

    The deaths of Princess Diana and Gianni Versace bring us close together in 1997. When we hear the news, we both have the same two thoughts. How come these nobodies are getting all the attention and how come we're not important enough to be assassinated? By now I have an international reputation as an interior designer - after Madonna asks me to buy a sofa from DFS for one of her 97 houses - and I count many celebrities as my close friends.

    "We adore you, Christopher," say Sting, Trudie, Demi, Warren and Donatella. "We think you're absolutely brilliant and we'd definitely be your best friends even if you weren't Madonna's brother."

    My relationship with Madonna takes a turn for the worse when she marries the fat phoney, because Guy can't deal with the fact that he really fancies me. Tough titties, Guy! I've got my boyfriend Danny.

    She fires me 19 times more and each time I apologise and promise to go to Kabbalah, but when she refuses to reimburse me for the Athena print I bought for her London home, I've finally had enough. So now, I sit alone in my bedsit, bitter, yet content, praying for the moment Madonna's career hits the skids and her kids end up in therapy. Just like me.

    The digested read, digested: Immaterial boy.

  • #2
    oh oh he will not invited to her 50th B-day, i think
    How 'bout you GTFO?


    • #3
      Who knows when the book will be on sale in Italy?
      There's only one Queen
      and that's MADONNA.