Tag Archives: celebrity

Book Review: Little Known Facts by Christine Sneed

Title: Little Known Facts
Author: Christine Sneed
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 978-1608199587
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

When I received the uncorrected proof of, “Little Known Facts” I did not look at it for a long time before deciding to pick it up and give it a read. “Little Known Facts” is all about the glamour and the glitz of Hollywood and what lies underneath all of that, through one Hollywood family.

I have always wondered about the lives of stars and sometimes starlets as well. Thoughts that cross the mind are: What kind of lives do their families live? Are they always in the shadow of the star and what he or she does? Do they have an existence of their own? Are they also surrounded by the media at all times? This to me holds true across the world, when it comes to the entertainment industry. “Little Known Facts” is all about that. It may not provide answers to all questions but it most certainly is a great romp of a read.

Renn Ivins is one of Hollywood’s most handsome, charismatic, and critically-acclaimed movie stars. He is what they say, “the golden child” (this is purely my perception) and delivers and lives up to that title. He has it all – the ex-wives, the girlfriends and the children. He is doing what a celebrity should and yet there is a side of the man that only his family knows and endures and sometimes also revel in it.

Renn’s grown children, Anna and Will are struggling in their lives, trying to do something on their own, than just being a version of their father. Anna, a medical student is prospering with her academics and has a bright future ahead of her. On the other hand, her personal life and relationships are marred by the exploits of her famous father. Will on the other hand is facing a so-called quarter-life crisis and does not know what to do with his life. They are both willing to use their father’s money but not his influence. Amidst all this Sneed tells a tale of fame and fortune, its rise and downfall and the people involved in its web and how they deal with it on a daily basis.

The book for me had almost everything in most places – wit, empathy, curiosity, and how people behave in front of celebrities and what do they say about them. The story also is about the lies we tell ourselves and how the shadow of a celebrity is so huge that it sometimes takes over an entire family and its existence. The writing is to the dot with an eye for detail, which is the firm premise of the book. Every emotion and the nuance attached with it are beautifully depicted and at the same time the writing is not overbearing.

What I liked the most about the book is the fact that there are a lot of layers to it. “Little Known Facts” is one of those reads that will take you in from the first page and make you keep turning the pages with great speed. I may not re-read it but would definitely recommend it as a onetime read.

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Book Review: America by Andy Warhol

Buy America
Author: Andy Warhol
Publisher: Penguin UK/Penguin Modern Classics
Genre: Non-Fiction
ISBN: 9780141193069
Price: £14.99
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Who is Andy Warhol? This is one question which is very difficult to answer. No really is it. From a movie-maker (pseudo, but what the heck, we all are in some way or the other) to a cultural pop icon to a writer to a philanderer to a weirdo and to a very successful painter – Warhol was probably everything rolled into one. Andy probably saw things which no one else did and that was the beauty of his observations coupled with this simplistic writing skills.

My fascination with Andy Warhol started when I first witnessed the Campbell soup can display and wondered: “Well, here is a man who is selling this to the public and they are eating out of his hands. This is exactly what he wants and he is getting it as well. This is Andy Warhol, I guess”. And maybe that’s who he was – a charmer. An intellectual in his own right – a person who was somewhere down like a child – wanting acceptance and a little insecure deep down and always wanting to satiate his curiosity and in the bargain producing brilliant works such as, “America”.

“America” is an introspection on almost everything American and what makes and breaks it – from images, celebrities and their guises to what does it take probably to just be human. What I liked about the book was the fact that Andy not once gets preachy about anything. Everything is a summation or just a mad and random observation and he has the need to let us know what it is.

For me the book was a revelation as I always thought of Andy Warhol to be self-obsessed and maybe he was that to a very large extent. It is just that with this book I got to experience another side of the artist and the mad genius that he was.  The book is very well-written, but of course however most of the book is full of pictures clicked by Andy and the images are wonderful. The madness is clearly visible and one thing is for certain: You cannot remove Andy from America and America from Andy.

You can buy the book from Flipkart

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk

Ok, so while one part of me loved Tell-All because I love the 50’s cinema, the other part of me couldn’t understand exactly what Mr. Palahniuk was trying to tell us. It felt there was so much of it in the book and while I loved most parts, there were parts that were a total turn-off, and yet I think die-hard Palahniuk fans (like me) should read this book at least once.

The premise is fairly simple: It is a look at celebrity culture, gossip rag and the favourite game of them all – name-dropping. The thread is weird and there is a lot left to the readers’ imagination (assuming they have one) and yet so much that is still said.

The novel is from the perspective of Hazie Coogan, who for almost decades has tended to an ageing film star – Katherine Kenton. When a gentleman woos her, Coogan fears that Katherine is about to die soon and already starts writing her memoir. This is where Mr. Palahniuk’s dark style of writing steps in, with crackling wit and dry humour.

Palahniuk’s research into that era is brilliant. The references (Mildred Pierce, The Postman Always Rings Twice, All about Eve and Sunset Boulevard) are clever, and ingeniously built to cater to readers who will lap it up. All in all it is about how Chuck Palahniuk builds a story.

If you love a good old Hollywood cinematic tale with some pills and Botox thrown, bring out your martini and read this book in one sitting…