Born in Syracuse, New York but from a longtime and fairly distinguished Louisville family, Thomas Cruise Mapother grew up in a variety of places from Louisville, New Jersey, and Missouri to Ottawa. Very close to his mother and sisters, Cruise hardly knew his father, who separated from his mother and became an alcoholic when the boy was 12. British-born journalist Clarkson's book does a reasonable job of presenting the megastar's origins, values, strong work ethic, and almost paranoid secretiveness. The author is not a terribly skilled writer or thoughtful biographer, but his 1997 book (it ends during the filming of "Eyes Wide Shut") is reasonably informative about Cruise's personal background and early career, and largely avoids being too prying or disrespectful toward its subject.
This report prepared by David Loftus