Written by: Bryant Dillon, Special to CC2K
Fanboy Comics‘ Bryant Dillon reviews the new book from Babylon 5‘s Claudia Christian.
Fans of J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 TV series are sure to be familiar with the brave, tough, and fierce Commander Susan Ivanova, but many may not know of the personal strength and amazing life led by Claudia Christian, the actress who portrayed the beloved character. With the release of her new book, Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, & Addiction, Christian invites her fans to take a fascinating, shocking, intimate, and ultimately inspiring look into the epic journey she’s led off-screen in between her epic adventures on-screen.
Let me start off this review with a confession: before reading Babylon Confidential, I had very little experience with Babylon 5. Given my taste for things of the geeky variety, I was very much aware of Babylon 5, the critical acclaim it has received, and its rabid fan base, but I never had the opportunity to dive into the series itself. While reading Babylon Confidential definitely left me with a craving to fill the Babylon 5-sized hole in my official list of sci-fi experiences, I want to confirm to anyone, especially those potential readers who are on the fence about reading Babylon Confidential, that you have no need to be familiar with the plot and characters of Babylon 5 in order to appreciate and enjoy Christian’s amazing tale.
In describing the high and low points throughout her life, Christian paints a captivating tale that, at many times, would be unbelievable if not told in such an honest and open manner. Even without the allure, glam, and gossip behind her Hollywood career, Christian has lived a life that enthralls and emotionally resonates with almost any reader. Christian’s story clearly is that of a survivor, detailing numerous occasions of personal tragedy that the actress has endured and overcome. Babylon Confidential is an extraordinary read, and the sheer amount of connections in Christian’s life to various famous and infamous Hollywood events and figures is both stunning and engrossing. If there’s any need of further convincing that Babylon Confidential deserves a place on your night stand, then perhaps the impressive praise coming from geek idols like Neil Gaiman, Kevin J. Anderson, Walter Koenig, and many others who describe the book as “honest,” “compelling,” and “a runaway train on a roller coaster rail” will persuade you.
In addition to the incredible story of her life in Hollywood, Christian also conveys with amazing bravery and openness the destruction reigned down by her battle with alcoholism and the powerful struggle she underwent to overcome her addiction. Given that this battle is one shared by 76 million people worldwide, Christian’s frank recounting of her pathway to redemption is uplifting, inspiring, and hopefully helpful to readers who experience the effects of alcoholism themselves or through a friend or family member’s personal struggle. This could not have been an easy side of her personal history to reveal to the public, but I applaud Christian for taking this issue head-on. While I don’t want to give too much of Babylon Confidential away to potential readers, here are a few particular pieces of information that I found interesting:
– The Cylons in our reading audience may be surprised to hear that Battlestar Galactica’s Doc Cottle, Donnelly Rhodes, served as best man at Christian’s wedding.
– Christian has had a number of stalkers due to her presence in the public eye, including one troubled individual who actually shot her at a fan convention signing!
- Christian had a fiery, and incredibly harmful, relationship with actor Angus Macfadyen who readers may remember as Robert the Bruce from the Oscar-winning film Braveheart.
– Christian sold one of her former homes to former vampire with a soul, David Boreanaz.
- Christian ultimately overcame her battle with alcoholism by employing a treatment known as The Sinclair Method. This relatively new advancement has an 80% success rate and, unlike many other methods of treatment, doesn’t involve a life-time of abstaining from alcoholic beverages.
All in all, whether you are a hardcore Babylon 5 fan or a noob like me, Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, & Addiction is an extremely entertaining, touching, and worthwhile read about the highs and lows of life inside and outside of the Hollywood scene. You can learn more about Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, & Addiction by visiting the official website. You can also find out more about Claudia Christian at her official website.
Bryant Dillon is the President of Fanboy Comics, an online conglomerate of geek media, providing its readers with daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum. For more interviews, blogs, and reviews by Bryant and the FBC staff, check out the Fanboy Comics website at www.fanboycomics.net.