I just finished reading Mercury And Me and my brain instantly started racing and wouldn't let up until about four in the morning.
When I first ventured onto Queenzone's forums, I remember hearing really horrible things about Jim's book and his overall character. Apparently, Jim Hutton was only after Freddie's money seeing as how Freddie left him 500,000GBP and "that still wasn't enough for him" because he wrote a book and made a bit of money. Then cut to years later where Phoebe Freestone, who also inherited 500,000GBP, also wrote a book. But not one of those Bastard Queen Fans attacked Phoebe and I have a theory about why that may be. It may not be very good seeing as how I thought of it in the early hours of the morning, but nonetheless...
Sorry to spoil it, but near the end of Jim's book, he claims that Mary Austin treated him, Phoebe and Joe Fanelli like shit after Freddie died. Phoebe ended his book at Freddie's funeral so there's nothing written from his perspective on this and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to talk about it at this point. A lot of Bastard Queen Fans immediately come to Mary's defense at the suggestion that she wasn't a nice person because she inherited the bulk of Freddie's estate as well as Garden Lodge. Legally speaking, she was within her rights to ask the three men to leave, since Freddie hadn't put it in writing that they could stay at the house for as long as they wanted. But if what Jim's written is true, her way of going about it was in really poor taste. And the BQFs further argue that Mary knew Freddie first before he was famous, and so obviously the love between her and Freddie was greater than what was between Freddie and Jim.
I'm going to derail for a second. The love between Freddie and Mary was real. The love between Freddie and Jim was real. Both loves were different and unique to each person. Neither was greater, less than, valid or invalid. Just different. To take a quote from one of my favorite articles on polyamory: "Don't think of the contents of your heart the way you think of the contents of your wallet; it doesn't work like that."
[I'm not suggesting Freddie was poly, I'm just trying to illustrate a point!]
And for the record, Jim stated in his book that Freddie didn't see any point to leaving him Garden Lodge since Jim was HIV-positive and that shit was pretty much still a death sentence, so what good is leaving someone an estate when they could be dead within a number or months or years? And according to Phoebe, Freddie had wanted Garden Lodge to be a family home. And since Mary had one child(?) at that point...
Now, my theory! Phoebe didn't rip on Mary, so his book is cool. Jim Hutton did, so his book is a crime against everything good and decent in this world. Since Mary was Freddie's girlfriend for six years at the very beginning of Queen, she apparently must be a saint who could do absolutely no wrong or some such bullshit. And since Jim Hutton didn't get Garden Lodge and he wrote a book where he made Mary out to look like a dick, BQFs retaliate by calling him a dick. Which is a very mature thing to do.
Further, it could be argued that Mary's less than pleasant attitude toward Jim was due to the fact that Freddie and Jim had a romance that she could never have with Freddie. Freddie was gay, and while he did love her, they didn't have that connection that Freddie would have with Jim or any of Freddie's other relationships. Freddie never wore a ring for Mary like he did Jim Hutton, he never referred to her as his wife in the company of friends as he referred to Jim as his husband. I'm pretty sure if they were both alive and well, they'd be legally married. If he'd married Mary, it would pretty much be a lie. So for all we know, Mary could have treated all of Freddie's male lovers and gay friends with disdain. They were together for, what? Six years? It has to really suck that in all that time, the man she loved deeply wasn't and couldn't be truly happy with her. And then for the next 16 years she got to watch from the sidelines while he came into his own, partied a lot, fucked a bunch of guys, and eventually settled into a monogamous domestic life while she occasionally assumed the role as his beard so the press didn't flip out over him shacking up with a man.
I can see where that would be like a slap in the face. But at the same time...
Unless Mary ever comes across this and decides to put the record straight, I'm going to chalk it up to sour grapes.
But overall, yeah. The book was nothing like I'd been lead to believe. I actually liked it quite a bit. Lots of BQFs made it sound like Jim would write, "And now I'll tell you all, in unrelenting detail, the freaky shit Freddie and I did in bed! By the time you're done reading this, you'll never look at the following household appliances the same way ever again!"
Oh, and I'm pretty sure if Jim hadn't written his book, a ton of BQFs would flood the forums whining, "Why didn't Jim ever talk about his life with Freddie? That would have been so cool to have further insight!" If you don't want to know a damn thing about Freddie outside of his career, don't read anything that delves into his personal life. And if you do read it, remember that you chose to go down that road. If you can't handle that Freddie did cocaine, or that he had anonymous sexual encounters with men, or that his kitchen cabinets were colored Oxblood, then don't fucking read the damn books by Phoebe or Jim!