Books: This Golden Boy's Life

The long-awaited American Son paints a careful if insubstantial portrait of John F. Kennedy Jr.

David Letterman used to do a segment on his show called "Brush with Greatness," in which an audience member recalled a fleeting encounter with a famous person--say, bumping into Joan Rivers on an elevator. American Son (Henry Holt & Co.; 294 pages), the much anticipated memoir of John F. Kennedy Jr., by Richard Blow, feels a little like an extended literary version of this, as Blow unearths every last encounter with his subject, as if to say, I knew him; I really, really did.

Blow, the former executive editor of Kennedy's magazine, George, made headlines even before the book was written:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!