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Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: (And Other Things I Learned From Famous People) Hardcover – 5 May 2011
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"We might as well have had sex by now." (Lady Gaga)
"The Mike Tyson of interviewers." (Dave Pirner, Soul Asylum)
"The best interview of my life." (Britney Spears)
"One of the longest and greatest interviews I've ever had." (Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys)
"One of our favourite interlocutors." (Bono)
"The best and most honest daily newspaper reporter rock has ever seen." (Dave Marsh)
"Well Neil, f**k you." (Phil Collins (in an angry letter to Neil))
"[Strauss has] had fantastic access to an enormous range of famous people..." (Keir Hind Skinny)
"When dealing with the media-savvy, emotionally frail modern megastar...[Strauss'] techniques certainly get results." (Andrzej Lukowski Metro)
"Strauss becomes confessor, accomplice, champion and prosecutor. One minute he's discussing feminism with Lady Gaga. Next, he's taking part in the Ho'lympics at the home of rapper Ludacris." (Colin Waters Sunday Herald)
"one of the most intuitive interviewers and portraiture artists on the Rolling Stone/NY Times payroll ... Addictive." (Peter Murphy Hot Press)
"Strauss is genuinely trying to shake down celebrity for the small change of wisdom. ... Strauss can be an imaginative and sympathetic interviewer and packaged up alongside his A-list interviews are encounters with unsung heroes." (Observer)
"Fantastically entertaining." (Sunday Times)
"It's almost overwhelming when you realise the wealth of people [he has interviewed]...beautifully designed, it's a lovely thing to own." (Alex Heminsley BBC 6 Music Nemone)
"Strauss is a deft narrator and expert inquisitor. He cuts out the flowery descriptors and gumpf that comes with interviewing a star...and strips it back to the revealing nitty-gritty, absurd and amusing exchanges we all wish we could be privy to. ... The perfect book to dip into." (Kim Taylor Bennett Time Out)
"an insight into the inner workings of contemporary fame" (RedHanded)
"fantastically riveting" (RedHanded)
"rare skill... extremely intriguing/entertaining" (RedHanded)
You can tell a lot about someone in a minute. If you choose the right minute . . .
Top customer reviews
The book is also very nicely designed, each chapter having a cover page which looks almost like a title card from a silent movie, and there are numerous sketches of the participants dotted throughout. Due to the structure of the book this is also a great book for dipping into - pick it up, read a page or so, then put it down again, but the fragmented approach of some of the interviews also makes it unputdownable at times.
If I have any criticisms I'd have liked a better index at the back. The book features a list of the interviewees but shows tiny versions of the sketches from the text rather than their names, and there is an index of subjects at the very end rather than of those involved, which is fine if you want to know which pages feature references to drugs, rubber pants, dogs etc. but not if you want to find all of the mentions of a particular person.
All in all this was a surprisingly enjoyable read, often surprising, sometimes moving, always entertaining.
He is probably the finest of his craft around at the moment and the book takes the format of excerpts from interviews that often capture celebrity behaviour at its most candid. There are so many moments that will change your perceptions on celebrity as a concept and make you realise that many of these people have real difficulties or problems just like those who have no fame. Strauss captures and asks how people deal with these problems. Some turn to drink, some turn bitter, while others simply write him angry letters telling him to f-off!
It would have been a great read if he had simply compiled these in order of their star status alone to make it more appealing to the casual reader. Instead he has intellegently structured the book into various themes, with appropriate narration along the way to highlight their relevance to the reader. The end result is a dense patchwork of life-stories that hold lessons for us all on how to approach life and work to acheive personal goals.
This book is entertaining, thought-provoking and above all really good fun. I do have favourite moments but they are probably too shocking to repeat here!
Strauss has done a strange thing anyway, by mixing up the quotes from interviews, and very few of them, as a result sound even halfway coherent. Still, handy to have around even if you only use it for a doorstop.
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