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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Hilarious. Hyde nails our bizarre elevation of entertainers into UN spokespeople, unqualified medical advisers and pushers of alien religions. Some of the stories seem too extraordinary to be true, but check them out and apparently they are. Madonna hijacking UN headquarters to help Gucci sell handbags, Angelina Jolie allowing Namibia's borders to be shut to journalists...
Published on 4 April 2009 by Nick Thornton

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Celeb-bitty
Marina Hyde's celebrity tells us Ina hundred or so pieces that look like journalistic opinion pieces through the world of celebrity self endorsement. If you are surprised at the extent to which celebrities promote themselves and get attention for opinions on topics they have no expertise in, and have forgotten the details of Madonna and adoption and Cruise and...
Published 10 months ago by barbicandy


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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 4 April 2009
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
Hilarious. Hyde nails our bizarre elevation of entertainers into UN spokespeople, unqualified medical advisers and pushers of alien religions. Some of the stories seem too extraordinary to be true, but check them out and apparently they are. Madonna hijacking UN headquarters to help Gucci sell handbags, Angelina Jolie allowing Namibia's borders to be shut to journalists so she could give birth, congressional committees calling Elmo from Sesame Street to testify, etc etc. Loved it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - wish someone had written this 10 years ago, then we may not be living in such a mad world!, 6 April 2009
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
If you like Marina Hyde's column in The Guardian, you are going to LOVE this. It is hilarious, but rather worryingly the book's entire content is actually 100% true. How on earth have celebrities got away with this kind of stuff for so long?! I can tell you one thing for free, I will NEVER buy a copy of Heat magazine or the like ever again. Celebrities are truly vile and we need to stop them from taking over the world any more than they already have!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will make you laugh out loud - and seethe with anger!, 16 Jun 2009
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
Marina Hyde is young, bright and funny. Having read her weekly columns in The Guardian I more or less knew what to expect from this book.

She is not "anti-celebrity" as such but has over time become enraged by celebrities stepping out from their own sphere into arenas that they really don't know much about. It is the celebs who take on the role of spokesperson for the developing world, weird religions or peace initiatives that are recipients of her wrath. And many of the examples quoted are cringingly terrible. Madonna (sponsored by Gucci) taking over the UN gardens to draw attention to her Malawan charity is in receipt of Marina's opprobrium. And Sharon Stone gets numerous special mentions as she manages to promote both her forthcoming films and peace in the Middle East at the same event! When Angelina Jolie gave Namibia the privilege of being the country in which she gave birth she was actually granted a no-fly zone over the resort she was staying in and was also able to vet the entry visas for visiting journalists!

Over and over again she gives examples of how people willingly indulge celebrities - UN officials, politicians, charity organisers, government officials, TV presenters etc etc. Have we, the public, actually reached the stage of only being able to understand poverty/disease/war/ if it is pointed out to us by someone who is actually an actor, singer or model?
But apart from the neediness of the so-called celebs Marina Hyde also points out that the culture is driven by the tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines. Much of what they print is vicious and cruel - and if no-one bought them a whole industry would die.

Anyone who reads her Guardian columns will not be surprised by the high standard of her writing. She expounds her arguments well and is well armed with facts and figures. This book will make you laugh out loud as well as seethe with anger!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, informative, frightening., 4 Jun 2009
By 
Al Ussher (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
I'm sure that for most who read this book, Hyde will be preaching to the converted. I would still whole-heartedly recommend it to all, whatever your views of celebrities and pop magazine culture. I was astounded by quite how deluded and bonkers many celebrities are. Marina Hyde is intelligent, clever and funny and reveals the staggering depth of some celebrities' craziness that has somehow failed to make it into the public's consciousness. Most interesting for me were the chapters about Scientology and Kabbalah. I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. I'd thoroughly recommend this book to those who despise the likes of Tom Cruise or Madonna, and indeed send out a plea to anybody who for whatever reason admire celebrities to give Celebrity a go. You'll be amazed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Celeb-bitty, 12 Jan 2014
Marina Hyde's celebrity tells us Ina hundred or so pieces that look like journalistic opinion pieces through the world of celebrity self endorsement. If you are surprised at the extent to which celebrities promote themselves and get attention for opinions on topics they have no expertise in, and have forgotten the details of Madonna and adoption and Cruise and Scientology you might learn something from this book. The absence of analysis or historical perspective (celebrity adoptions go back to at least Joan Crawford) make this book supremely forgettable, and an extravagance even at two books for five pounds at Fopp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 29 April 2010
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
Marina Hyde is probably the best writer in any British newspaper at the moment. No one can combine pop culture references with works of classical literature in the way she manages it. This book sees her aim squarely at celebrity culture and it isn't just an aimless point scoring exercise at the expense of celebrities, there's a serious point here about how politics, charity and religion are being warped by celebrities and the media obsession with them. It will make you laugh and it will make you despair of our world. Excellent book well worth buying.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stool to the left, stool to the right, arse on the floor., 21 May 2009
By 
Mooch (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
"In a world..." in which the grossly inflated egos of our superstars have broken free of their entertainment-land moorings and are looming large over the news-sphere, Marina Hyde - the snarkiest heckler on the back row - holds the corrective pin. With withering sarcasm and baffled incredulity, she shows who's crossed the line, who can no longer see the line, and who has never even heard of the concept of the line. But fan as I am of her newspaper columns on this subject, I felt this book was a missed opportunity from a talented writer. It's neither consistently funny enough as a work of humour, nor sufficient as a piece of thought-provoking analysis, when it is within Hyde's grasp to have achieved both.

Reading this book I was reminded of something Eric Idle said about the last Python film, The Meaning of Life. He said that in retrospect he felt it had been one draft away from a masterpiece, specifically he regretted that they had left it as a series of short films bundled together and hadn't linked the strands in a stronger way. That's also the problem I had with this book, in which Hyde takes on celebrities one topic-chapter at a time without managing to hang it all together as a satisfying whole.

It starts out with a chapter on 'Celebrities and the War on Terror' that feels like it was hurriedly tacked-on (perhaps at the publisher's request?), as it reads like a brief collection of her Guardian columns. It is however very funny and luckily after that the chapters are more pleasingly essay-like - but sadly the hilarity is sacrificed.

Don't get me wrong, it's fairly amusing and interesting and Hyde is a good writer but I was expecting much more from this book. It felt too diffuse, didn't come to any conclusions. She comes up with some great images now and then, like the "Frankenstein's celebrity" made up of different star-bits, but in the case of this book the monster does not come to life. Hyde takes aim at the celebrity mags near the end and this hints at what could have been - a rounded analysis of celeb culture, it's causes and effects - but in the event it just seems a bit schizophrenic. The question of why we feel the need to exalt entertainers to such pedestals is not addressed, nor why we seek to knock them down. Take the case of Pitt and Jolie closing off the borders of Namibia for the birth of their child: Hyde is affronted and pours scorn, but fails to examine why this course of action seemed reasonable and necessary to the celebs concerned. I also would have liked some analysis of how and why celebrity culture has exponentially grown over the years.

A few more problems: I think she is sometimes guilty of that Daily Show thing of pouncing on remarks that people have come out with on the spot and treating them like cast-iron policy positions. To my mind she is shockingly harsh on Sean Penn when, in a fairly glib aside, she strongly implies that he let people die in the Hurricane Katrina floods so a photographer could take up a seat on his rescue boat - by far the most outrageous accusation in the book. There are comedy footnotes throughout - a good idea, but it's one joke and becomes woefully unfunny after the first couple of times. She even has a pop at "ironists" who make up words like "Celebutante" and "Sublebrity" - this is basically her own shtick! Also it seems a bit Americanised - only people who are famous across the pond get a look in (Pete Doherty is briefly mentioned, but he is explained as Kate Moss's former boyfriend not as a Babyshambles/Libertines musician) and there is a reference to "Where's Waldo?" It's not a big deal but it does add to the suspicion that there may have been publishers breathing down her neck interfering too much with what kind of book we got.

It's not a terrible book by any stretch of the imagination, it's diverting, amusing, a lot of it is interesting. I would advise any celebrities to carry around a copy and study it, learn to avoid a few Pitt-falls. I think it will become a more interesting document as time goes on as it is essentially just a run-down of crazy celebrity antics of the last few years - it will seem a fascinating snapshot of the age. I'm just disappointed Hyde didn't do a few more drafts and make it the masterpiece she's capable of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Work of genius, 26 Sep 2009
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
Brilliant! If your friday morning is the highlight of your week reading the Lost in Showbiz column in The Guardian you'll love this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come and sit next to me", 28 Aug 2009
This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
If your mouth has ever dropped open in amazement at the latest 'celebrity' scandal / rumour, then this is the book for you. It's bitchy, funny and very intelligent. The only disappointment is that few, if any, of the celebrities Marina Hyde pillories will read what she (and I) think of their stupid ways.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, funny and frightening, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Celebrity: How Entertainers Took Over The World and Why We Need an Exit Strategy (Paperback)
The best of The Guardian's best writers. Some of this is serious stuff - or should be - but it's a collection of short comic stories and it's funny, enlightening and frightening. It's long due for an update - and I would like a collection of sports and political writing.
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