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3.9 out of 5 stars59
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2007
I rather like Piers Morgan .Sure he is a vain , egocentric ,occasionally pompous, often wincingly smug human being but he is also reasonably witty , balanced and truly capable of laughing at him self. He also writes very entertaining books. "The Insider" was as addictive as something very addictive indeed and the follow up -which takes in his career post the "Mirror" sacking - is equally as compulsive. It is also a rather shallow examination of the trappings of fame and celebrity which basically amounts to Morgan saying I wanted to become rich and famous and here's how I went about it.
Thus this book takes in his break into mainstream television through humiliating appearances on "The Weakest Link ", the political show "Morgan And Platell " , "You Can't Fire Me I'm Famous" through to his big break through stateside with "America's Got Talent". Like "The Insider" it's written in diary form and is basically a heady trawl through all the celebrities, politicians( who he admits he finds mainly boring , duplicitous and only interested in one thing -themselves) and media people he meets along the way.
Through his "GQ" contact to interview numerous celebrities there are revealing conversations with Billie Piper( a very naughty girl indeed) ,Steve Coogan, Ulrika Johnson and most strikingly George Galloway who makes a truly conspicuous statement that is then frustratingly not followed up on later in the book.
Simon Cowell ( Seems a reasonable bloke apart from his hideous product but then Morgan would portray him that way wouldn't he) , "The Hoff David Hasselhoff ( Completely deranged and insecure)Anne Robinson , various cricketers , Gordon Ramsey ( Surprisingly likable) pop up regularly throughout the proceeding s. There is also a running narrative involving Morgan's attempts to woo Celia Walden ( Who is listed in the back as being his girlfriend so it worked ) which is actually the most tedious part of his book .His sons get lots of mentions but that's fair enough.
Like I said its hard to dislike the bloke. Anyone who calls Kate Moss a "stroppy , pinch-faced little coke snorter from Croydon" or Pete Doherty a "filthy talent less junkie" is alright by me and his venomous opinionated writings are often spot on you feel. His comments on the McCartney /Heather Mills break-up provoke an extraordinary outburst from the soon to be ex-Mrs McCartney and hard though it is I feel he is absolutely right about Boris Johnson's upper class twit act being a bit of a con. His tales that end up with him being the butt of the joke are great and one or twice he even offers glimpses of insecurity .
Morgan concludes that being a celebrity is hard work and often humiliating but the rewards are worth it. Bizarrely he deduces that being a celebrity is actually a talent in itself - that the power by sheer force of will to get people to believe in you is something that could be described as flair . I disagree on that point but also take his point that the success of so many reality celebs is partly a back lash against clean cut "Cosseted saccharine superstars". To believe someone is worthy because they have been on the goggle box is stupidity boiled down to its essence and to pursue fame avariciously for its sake is ultimately delusional , potentially disastrous ...Just ask Jade Goody . Yet Piers Morgan makes it seem a right laugh and a terrific life to lead. Indeed he's enjoying himself so much he even makes friends with Jeremy Clarkson.
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on 6 May 2008
This book was a lighthearted read, but it becomes so apparent that Morgan truly does think of himself as a big-time celebrity long before he made it big on America's Got Talent. I would imagine that most people bought this book to read about gossip about various celebrities, and - like me - really aren't interested in Morgan's conversations with his children or gilfriend. He writes like he's a celebrity and worthy of a great deal of attention. He's not.
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It's difficult to know whether to like or hate Piers Morgan, on the one hand he can sometimes come across as unbelievably smug, but on the other his humour is so self deprecating that he's entertaining and amusing. Anyway, having read Morgan's first book The Insider this volume took up the story after his infamous Mirror sacking and sees him trying to earn a living as a freelance journalist/after dinner speaker/celebrity. He bumbles along and manages some amusing faux passes along the way, especially in regard to securing a secure TV job and his ongoing feuds with other media types such as Jeremy Clarkson and Charlie Brooker are interesting.

The chapters surrounding Morgan's work on American Idol with Simon Cowell are well worth a read, if nothing else for his take on fellow judge David `The Hoff' Hasselhoff. His wooing of journalist Celia Walden is also quite sweet, but the really telling segments are his interviews with various people for GQ and his summary of Kate Moss is incredibly perceptive. The diary entries which pertain to his love of Arsenal football club or various cricket events are fairly boring, but otherwise an excellent book and a somewhat guilty pleasure as I'm sure you'll agree!
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I read and loved The Insider,Piers Morgan's first published diaries, and fully anticipated loving this follow up just as much. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. However, what I will say, just to prepare a potential reader, is that there isn't quite as much juicy and delicious gossip as The Insider since he is no longer a tabloid editor. However, as a detailed romp through his search for fame, both here and in LA, its second to none. There is still a high head count of celebrities and Mr Morgan isn't backwards in coming forwards with his opinions on one and all. He loathes Kate Moss and Pete Doherty and gives a graphic vignette of being in their presence, and yet he has a lot of time for Anne Robinson and his New Best Friends, The Hoff and of course, Simon Cowell.

These diaries cover his courtship of both fame and his now girlfriend, the gossip columnist and writer, Celia Walden. I would say he succeeds in bagging both having jumped through many, many hoops to get there. There are some lovely human touches in the way that he tries to give his sons the best birthdays and the best holidays, only to be shot down in flames by some withering remark from his sons (Dad why haven't you got a Lambourghini?), or foiled in his plans by an incompetent driver (I couldn't find you). He is rescued from irritating pomposity in three ways. Firstly, he openly admits he has a big ego, secondly, he is not afraid to recount the many, MANY times when he has made an abject fool of himself both publicly and privately, and thirdly, he tries hard to be a good Dad and its rather touching when he misses his boys and tries so hard to make them happy.

I enjoyed this immensely and it gives a fascinating insight into the fanfare and reverence accorded to massive TV hits in the USA. Despite being an untried, non famous rookie on America's Got Talent, he is immediately given a huge trailer and a personal gofer. As for his colleagues- Simon Cowell comes across well as fiercely ambitious but fair and The Hoff is on his own planet. I thoroughly recommend it and I look forward to his next tome.
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on 7 October 2009
This is one of the most entertaining books I have read for ages. I started to consider the "cult of celebrity" in the UK when I lived in the USA in the early 1990's. Celebrities there were first famous for being or doing something (writer, politician, actress etc), whereas in the UK Liz Hurley could become a celebrity without ever having shown any talent in any field. This current of life degenerated over 15 years to the point where sad creatures or freaks appeared on Big Brother in the hope of emulating the late Jade Goody. You first became a celebrity, only then tried to write books etc (with help, usually).

Morgan talks of this world as a real insider, ex-editor of two tabloids and well connected to the nth degree. He is rude when he wants to be (joking about George Osborne's having been caught snorting cocaine with a black prostitute and telling him to "keep your nose clean and you might become Chancellor..."); about Kate Moss ("a spotty, tiny, coke-snorting little nobody from Croydon" etc, whose boyfriend, one Dohertry sings "like a lobster dropped into boiling water". No prisoners are taken.

What I like about Morgan is that he remains connected to reality. He knows that his brother, an officer serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, makes about the same in a year as William Hague does by making two after-dinner speeches. That knowledge grounds him.

Well worth reading.
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on 11 June 2007
In his previous book, The Insider, Piers Morgan regarded the world of the rich and famous from the position of power bestowed by his status as tabloid editor. Now deprived of his job, he decides to plunge into the world of celebrity, seeking what he describes as "fame, the fastest-growing career option in the country." In Don't You Know Who I am? he invites us to join him on his journey.

At one level this is a diary of celebrity gossip, a humorous compendium of anecdotes involving a veritable galaxy of today's stars. At another it is a sweeping portrayal of modern British (and American) culture, at a time when celebrity obsession holds so many people in thrall. What is most striking about Morgan's book is how balanced it is as a study of celebrity culture: Piers is clearly intrigued by people such as Katie Price (Jordan) and particularly David Hasselhoff, who becomes virtually the icon of the book. On the one hand they seem to lack qualities which make them deserving of the adoration they receive, but on the other they are able to hold the attention of millions simply through sheer force of personality. The Hoff's unique brand of self-deprecating egoism has turned him into an undisputed cult icon, a comic colossus, and Morgan relishes this paradox, even embracing it himself. But the book is not just about raw celebrity: the best moments are where we are given glimpses of humanity. In Ian Botham we are presented with a truly great man of our times, marshalling his formidable abilities in his charity work against leukaemia even more than he did against his opponents on the cricketing field. Morgan even allows himself to show the odd shred of decency, as Felicity Osborne (mother of the Shadow Chancellor) regales him with lurid anecdotes about her son then realises her mistake and asks him to promise not to write them down in his book - he stays true to his word.

So whether you want a very funny book about the habits of famous people away from the cameras, or a modern odyssey through celebrity culture which captures perfectly why we admire (and should admire) the bizarre and egotistical people who populate our collective imagination, this book is for you. If like me you want both, then you definitely won't be disappointed.
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on 11 October 2008
Started reading this book feeling I would probably abandon it after the first few pages but found it highly addictive.
Piers certainly has an ego the size of Mount Everest and a Rhino's skin but gratifyingly a few small drops of humanity and even compassion leaked through.
The narrative...written diary style...was never so longwinded to make it boring and went from day to day at a refreshing pace.
An ability to laugh at his own shortcomings seemed to cover up more hurt than he wanted us to know he had suffered.
A true survivor.
I shall now read more of his work
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on 10 October 2009
This is the kind of book you enjoy but feel a little bit guilty about doing so. It makes you want to read a Pulitzer Prize winner afterwards as penance. Basically we are given access to the diaries of Piers Morgan, a man with access to rather more celebrity juice than someone who so clearly thrives on salacious gossip should have. And as you would expect, it's a pretty entertaining read. You probably have an idea whether you're going to like this sort of thing or not, and if you are then you may as well get this book.
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on 20 July 2009
... despite yourself you will probably enjoy this book! It really is good to read on holiday as you can dip in and out so easily - and just like before mr morgan is so indiscrete. you really see how the celebrity world works, how everyone goes to the same parties, knows each other etc. One final thing that surprised me (as despite loving the books I can't bring myself to quite love mr morgan) - is that he is such a good and caring father. that really lifted him in my eyes and brought an added extra dimension to the book.
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on 11 September 2008
I have to say it isn't as good as his first book, this is probably because his first book spans 10 years of a hectic life.

This book spends alot of time talking about America's Got Talent, which had he done it in the time frame of his first book, wouldn't have got a look in.
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