Celebrity book extravaganza

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness by Neil Strauss
This is the summer of the celebrity books. Or maybe it’s just my summer of such stuff. But I think it’s a bigger thing — it’s even hit the news. At any rate, I’ve been devouring them like they’re going out of business.
During the same weeks I was listening to Life by Keith Richards on audio, I was reading this book, which consists of the best parts of celebrity—mainly rock star—interviews. Pretty fascinating.
Neil Strauss has written for Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and he’s interviewed some crazy-*** people.
The way this book is structured is kind of weird, and I mean good-weird. Lots of the interviews are diced up and then scattered throughout the book, which is arranged in “Acts” that key off a theme. (e.g., “Act Three, or, Mean Guys with Long Hair”)
The result is that you read segments of interviews that flow naturally into the topic of the interview that follows; the transitions are really smooth. Which is strange and surprising, especially when you have Russell Brand following Ryan Adams. And Lionel Richie following N.W.A. (Yeah, I didn’t know who N.W.A. was till I read this.)
Lots of people come off sounding pretty darn crazy. And some (Jay Leno, Bruce Springsteen) leave you with a good feeling overall.
Some of the most interesting interviews are actually with people I’ve never heard of, or people who aren’t even famous. When Strauss talked with a roadie, interesting.
In addition to being surprisingly satisfying to read, this book also is forgiving if you decide to do a serious skim of a section or two or seven. You can just skip over the interviews that don’t grab you, and then you can dive back into the next one. No harm, no foul. The librarian says so.

by

Reader, librarian, & happy little geek

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