Cover Image: Golden Boy

Golden Boy

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This is a very detailed non-fiction account of a brilliant, rich and mentally ill (or was he?) young man who committed a tragic crime.  The evidence against him was overwhelming and undeniable, so why did the case take five long years in the courts to come to conclusion?  That is another crime in itself, but such is our legal system.  Ultimately, I understand how the jurors reached their verdict, although I'm not sure I agree.

I would have preferred more paraphrasing and less of the minor  details, some of which seems included haphazardly.  The first half of the book about Tommy's life is overly long and could have been tightened up.  The court case and trial in the second half of the book I found interesting.  How did it wrap up?  I don't think I'm giving away anything to say the entire case was decided on, believe it or not -- a can of coke.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed this fast read.  I was not familiar with the case prior to picking up this book.  I was very quickly sucked into the story and tried hard to not search for news stories about the case.  I was constantly googling photos of all the players in the story as well as particular incidents that were referenced.  Since I went in "blind" I was not sure how the case would end.  This made for a particularly captivating experience.  Due to the author's relationships with principal players I did develop a sympathy for Tommy.  I can see how without those perspectives others might not have that same sympathy.  I will definitely recommend it to my psychology students that are interested in the intersection of psychological disorders and true crime.
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Incredibly well-researched, in depth look at a case that fascinated me. While the day-by-day recording of the trial process was somewhat tedious, I found the character studies, on the whole, intriguing. Great for a true crime lover with an interest in upper class hijinks..
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DNR. Computer broke down with Kindle app and couldn’t recover nor download again. My apologies. I would have liked to have read this.
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Truly unbelievable story and was so well told. I couldn’t put it down! The mental health component was fascinating and a piece so many books like this miss. Will be recommending!
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Ok, so if you like, or love, true crime, then pick this one up.  This is the "oh, poor me" story of one wealthy young man who was different and had some mental issues.  So, instead of working on them, he uses drugs and then does some very bad things.  So if you have heard of the case of Thomas Gilbert, Jr . and want more details, read this book,  you'll learn all you want to and more.
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True crime used to be my favorite, but now I hardly read it, as it just breaks my heart.  With that said, John Glatt is one of my top true crime authors, and he did a phenomenal job with this heartbreaking story.  Well researched and will give you great insight to the very sad tragedy.  It’s done in a manner that keeps it intriguing, without being overly dull.  If you are a fan of true crime, definitely give this book a read!
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In some respects, "Golden Boy" is a massive dose of schadenfreude.  If the Gilberts had been a middle class family, this book would have never been written.  The author traces the pedigree of Thomas Gilbert Jr.'s parents and heavily focuses on the Gilbert family's wealth and privilege.  Thomas Gilbert Jr. (Tommy) was good-looking, intelligent, athletic, and had all the advantages that wealth and privilege can offer.  However, when Tommy murders his father, the Gilbert family's world comes crashing down for everyone to see.  The family's life was already somewhat turbulent and their wealth was not as great as it appeared to be, but they were largely able to keep that hidden.  However, the murder became a media sensation, especially because it happened in New York City and it involved "elites."  How the mighty have fallen -- the Gilbert family's wealth and privilege could not protect them from the scourge of mental illness.  

Yet, as much as the book is a dose of schadenfreude, it is also a commentary on the devastating affect that mental illness can have on a person and family.  Based on the book, it appears that the jury probably got it correct when they decided Tommy was not "insane" when he murdered his father -- he knew what he was doing and he knew it was wrong.  However, if Tommy did not suffer from paranoid delusions or if his mental illness had been properly treated, the tension between him and his father likely never reaches the point where he resorts to murder.  Let me make it abundantly clear that most people with paranoid schizophrenia (which it appears is an accurate diagnosis for Tommy) are not violent and do not commit murder.  

One thing that the author emphasizes throughout the book is that the Gilbert family's wealth and privilege was not enough to protect them.  Tommy was provided access to a series of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals and, if he had wanted the help, he probably could have been treated by the "best" mental health professionals and at the "best" facilities.  However, a mentally ill person has to recognize that they are ill and want to get better -- a challenge when the person experiences paranoia and delusions.  Especially for adults, there is only so much treatment that can be "forced" upon a patient.  There are numerous instances in the story where Tommy should have been involuntarily hospitalized.  However, in many states the length of an involuntary commitment is limited to 72 hours.  The Gilberts believed that Tommy would not agree to stay in the hospital longer than 72 hours and that if they had him involuntarily committed, it would make him angry and harder to help.  That is certainly possible.  However, what the author does not mention is that if, after 72 hours (or whatever period state law imposes), the patient is still deemed a threat to himself or others and refuses voluntary hospitalization, the option of a civil commitment exists, and that can result in a hospitalization that lasts for months.  Moreover, while the family seemed legitimately to believe that an involuntary hospitalization would make the situation worse, I get the impression from the book that the family was also reluctant to resort to involuntary hospitalization because they wanted to protect their status and reputation.  If Tommy had been involuntarily hospitalized, it would not have stayed a secret, and it could have harmed the family's social standing and business prospects.  

Part of the book deals with the legal process following Tommy's arrest and indictment for second degree murder (among other charges).  Because there are questions about his mental fitness, there are numerous evaluations or attempts at evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial.  Tommy is largely uncooperative, which makes this process very difficult, and leads to lengthy delays in the case going to trial, with Tommy, having been denied bail, spending years in jail awaiting trial.  The story provides a detailed look at how competency is determined.  Overall, "Golden Boy" is a tragic story that makes for an interesting read.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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What a heartbreaking story. There was never a question as to his guilt, but this tragic story could have been prevented. So many 'if only's'....If only this man had received the help he so clearly needed. If only his parents had been able to step in and force him to get that help. If only they hadn't been in denial of the severity of his mental decline. This story shows that even the most wealthy can be struck down by mental illness and that money can't always protect you.
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Felt this was a well researched and detailed true crime book. I did think it was a little slow at times. Overall it was an interesting story and kept me entertained.
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True Crime is a favorite genre of mine, and this one was so well done. I had not heard of this one before but was utterly fascinated from the beginning. The author does a brilliant job of highlighting the crime and the person behind it, Thomas Gilbert, Jr., who was a charming New York socialite that was accused of murdering his father, a Manhattan millionaire and hedge fund founder. The interesting twist in this case is the subject of mental illness, how it was a factor in this case and how we still have so far to go with treatment, especially in relation to crimes.

The author shows that the struggle with this case was that although it was clear the signs were there that Tommy had some form of illness, he was so calm when he shot his father it was hard to say he was ill when he committed the crime. It was absolutely fascinating to read this story and Tommy’s progression from high school to present day in prison. Having been married to someone that was bipolar and also chose to self-medicate with drugs rather than get help, this resonated very close to home. I am always interested in stories involving mental illness because there are oftentimes very similar patterns (although I fortunately did not experience any violence). If you like true crime I absolutely recommend this one, it was fascinating overall and I was captivated the entire time.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the digital galley to review.
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Interesting but somewhat confusing and highly annoying following of a true crime story of a rich Manhattan elite who murders his father over allegedly stopping his allowance. I found it hard to follow at times, not by credit to the author at all, just at the actual situation of what the man put the courts and families through. Well written. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Golden Boy by John Glatt

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @queensuprememortician on Instagram!
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I've read previous books by Glatt in the past and I enjoy the narrative style of his true crime books. In this one, he details the patricide of Thomas Gilbert, Sr. at the hands of his only son, Thomas "Tommy" Gilbert, Jr. It's a rather tragic case - and though I am sure that this did make it to the national news, is a case that I was completely unfamiliar with until reading this book. 

With great detail, Glatt chronicles more than five years of the legal proceedings while also detailing the family's history and the events leading up to and after Tommy's decline in mental health. It shows, too, that no amount of wealth, privilege or intelligence could keep Tommy or his family safe from his untreated mental illness. I think that the book will start a good amount of conversation amongst readers as it shows an interesting of how the insanity defense works today. I think it makes a good companion read to the other true crime book that I recently listened to - COUPLE FOUND SLAIN, which highlights the opposite end of how mental illness is treated in the courts. I think that reading these together especially would lead to great conversations among readers! And I am curious to see what Glatt will write next!
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Thomas Gilbert Jr. was a "golden boy" that seemed to have the picture perfect life. One day, he shot and killed his own father. Some people thought he was just a heartless murderer, but the truth was Thomas had been struggling with various mental illnesses for years. 

This book lays out a really tragic story. It is not only about Thomas' downward spiral that led to murder, but also covered the court proceedings and mental illness. It really highlighted the flaws the legal system and if people with mental illnesses have the competency to stand trial.

I couldn't put this book down and found it very compelling. I really enjoyed how the book was put together, and it was very well written. I learned a lot more about court proceedings that involve people with mental illnesses.

If you're a fan of true crime, this is a must read! I'm definitely looking forward to picking up more books by John Glatt.
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This was a very interesting story but very sad and more than that, very Infuriating. John Glatt is one of my favorite true crime authors and he did an excellent job with this book, even though I’m sure he is frustrated with the fact that it took so long for the case to run its course in the judicial system. The only thing I would object to is the title of the book, golden boy. Tommy Gilbert Jr.  might have been a golden boy to his parents when he was young and certainly they thought he should be successful given his Ivy League background, Princeton degree and his good looks but what they fail to understand was that if several psychiatrists and psychologists tell you your son is sick and needs to be institutionalized, you should listen. Tommy was clearly schizophrenic or schizoaffective if you will. Everyone pussy footed around him and failed this young man. I know he felt he deserved a lot of things most people can’t afford but much of his behavior was a direct result of his illness and his family aided and abetted his inability and unwillingness to get help. I won’t tell you what happens as I’m sure you can guess and look it up. The trial shenanigans were unlike anything I had ever heard of. Again a direct result of Tommy’s mental illness. Clearly he needs to be hospitalized and treated, not stuck in a prison. Sad, sad story for the entire family, especially his father who seemed like a good man, but clueless.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I'd been following this case in the newspapers so was very happy to get a chance to read this book. It's well researched and though a little slow at times, it mostly really held my attention.

I think Thomas Jr inherited his mental illness from his maternal grandfather. Its sad all the way around. 

Great book. Definitely recommend.
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“Some people think mental illness is a matter of mood, a matter of personality. They think depression is simply a form of being sad, that OCD is a form of being uptight. They think the soul is sick, not the body. It is, they believe, something that you have some choice over……..I know how wrong this is.”~David Levithan 

Golden Boy was published July 20, 2021 and it was a compelling, tragic account of a family trying to make sense of this horrific murder. 
Mental illness stole from this family and it didn’t care about popularity or their social or economical status. I kept asking myself how I would handle this and I couldn’t put myself into this story. It was to awful to imagine. 
I’m a mother of a 31 and 29 year old adults. Where is the help? How do you fix this? Can it even be fixed? The legal system was a sham in my opinion. And I wonder how many mentally ill people are in prison. 
The writing was good and it was told well. I highly recommend this if you’re a crime junky like me. 
Thanks St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley.
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Well researched and detailed true crime piece.  The pacing was slow at times but the atmosphere of the book put the reader right in the center of the courtroom drama.  Very interesting story that held my attention.
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Tommy Gilbert, the son of a wealthy hedge fund manager, was the Golden Boy - rich, privileged and, unfortunately deeply disturbed. This book chronicles Tommy’s life and ultimately his arrest and trial for the murder of his father. This is a superb true crime story, told in a factual and unbiased manner, pieced together from trial testimony, interviews with friends and family and police reports, that dissects Tommy’s struggles with mental health issues, drug abuse, and his dysfunctional relationship with his parents. A must-read for any true crime fan, and a glimpse at a world few of us will ever experience. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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