Customer Reviews: Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game)
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on October 8, 2007
This is an unprecedented book by an unprecedented Star!

Just like Rosie O'Donnell, "Celebrity Detox" is candid, humorous at times, compassionate, clever, and incredibly thought-provoking. If you think you know everything about Ro, you will be surprised after reading this. And, if you detest Ro and believe that she is the antichrist then you will also get a new understanding of the real Ro. Because she is nothing at all like that lunatic the press portray her as.

You can you say what you want about Rosie O'Donnell. I am sure there is nothing she hasn't heard and there's nothing she cannot take. But you cannot read "Celebrity Detox" and call Ro a coward. In the book, Ro courageously discusses her life after hitting it big and how her brief stint on "The View" came to a thunderous halt. This is the first book ever written by an A-list star that frankly details their own fame in such a forthright and impartial way. Through "Celebrity Detox," Ro has forever ripped that mysterious veil of secrecy off of the MSM.

As Ro has said, she wants to "let the book speak for itself." Who else can write a best-seller without doing any type of promotion? Ro doesn't care about being popular or about making lots of money or being famous. Maybe that's why she was able to write such a riveting and original book? This book was not written for money or for attention (another myth that the media tries to pass off as "fact.") All the proceeds from "Celebrity Detox" are going to Ro's Broadway Kids foundation. I wonder if a certain big-mouth billionaire gives even a tenth of what Ro does?

"Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game)" is somewhat of a follow-up to Ro's extremely successful NY Times Bestseller, Find Me. It's hard to say which book I prefer because they are both works of art. Maybe that's also why Ro is so controversial (and unconventional?) Because art always attracts mixed feelings and is usually subjective. To some, they could be looking at a beautiful rose, and to others they might see something terrifying. Perhaps through her writings, Ro is trying to convey that art can be whatever you make of it?

Like a fine hand-made wicker basket, this book is woven together very intricately. Ro discusses her childhood in certain passages that may have a prevalence or a similarity to her most recent situations. There are parts of this book that are very sad, shocking and extremely tragic. Ro is especially delicate in these passages. But, Ro is nothing if not (always) candid. She gets it all out in "Celebrity Detox." And, Rosie doesn't care what the repercussions are because she has the truth on her side!

If you enjoyed Ro's latest book, I also recommend Find Me and Ro's 2006 documentary All Aboard: Rosie's Family Cruise. And I also recommend, Journal Revolution: Rise Up and Create! Art Journals, Personal Manifestos and Other Artistic Insurrections which includes some of Ro's art!

I have come to really admire Rosie because she gave so much of herself in this book. And, Ro gives me hope. She gives me hope that there are still decent people out there. She gives me hope that people still care. She gives me hope that no matter what life befalls there can still be mirth and a promise of a new start. Rosie O'Donnell is my shero.
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on October 10, 2007
. . .but she shouldn't be. She is of that generation/mentality that appreciates the surface image more than the reality. Rosie has stripped the varnish off of Barbara and shown her for what she is: an amazingly accomplished, dynamic, conflicted, emotionally frightened, well-intentioned woman. I'm sure Barbara sees it as a slam, but I came away from the book like Barbara more than I ever have. At least I felt I understood her now.

And Rosie doesn't spare this kind of critical evaluation from herself. She admits her failings readily.

The book is full of candor, honesty--just what anyone would expect from Rosie, even her detractors.

But it could have been better. So much of it feels disjointed: pieces of blogs, bits of interviews, excerpts from a discarded draft of the same book--all rest uneasily next to anecdotes surrounding her time on "The View," the program that she made must-see television by her mere presence.

But the book lacks focus (and yes, I know that this can be attributed to Rosie's unconventional "style," but hear me out). While ostensibly about Rosie's adjustment to fame, very little of that journey is chronicled here. There are snippets, but not enough to fully convey what that meteroic rise has been like for her. The relationship to Barbara Walters is what comes through most compellingly. Each moment chronicled between Rosie and Barbara is a real "scene," and it made me wish she had focused the book exclusively on her year at "The View, rather than moving back and forth through time and intercutting with blog material, etc.

But perhaps that's asking for too disciplined a product from a mind that clearly relishes jumping from one bit to another. I do think, however, it would have made a better book. "The View" material is really the most compelling material in the book, and even vague descriptions of sexual abuse are all used to serve that material. But people like Joy Behar and even Elisabeth Hasselbeck get little face time in these pages. And what about Jahero, Rosie's cult-inducing video blog segements that corresponded with her "View" appearances? The book would have been richer and more directioned if she had focused on this tumultuous year alone. After all, 60% of the book is about "The View," (in one way or another), and the other 40% just doesn't seem to be enough space to say all that Rosie is trying/wanting to say about fame.

But, in the end, the book earns three stars for its honesty and for Rosie's sometimes poetic prose. She has the raw makings of a very good writer--which is saying a great deal more than one can say about other celebrity-penned books. The woman emerges as complex, exasperating, fascinating, heroic--and someone you would like to know.
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on October 9, 2007
This is an exceptionally well written book. As a fan of Rosie's blogs, I didn't know what to expect, but she is not just an average writer. She writes with incredible honesty and almost artistic prose. I am yet another person who picked this up in the bookstore, tried to find out what happened on the day of the big fight with Elizabeth, and read the whole thing...and I am normally a very slow reader (and I hate reading for pleasure because I am in graduate school and have enough to read!) Anyway, unless I missed it - she actually skipped the Elizabeth fight. She did include the Kelly Rippa feud, the Ching Chong issue, and of course Donald Trump. Her opinions on him are made much more clear and the whole thing has so much more context now. The subsequent fallout from the Trump debacle (specifically, her relationship with Barbara Walters) was actually a big piece of this book, as she tied it back to betrayal issues with her own mother when she was being abused by a man.

Like the other reviewers said, the book gives a lot of insight into the real Rosie. She is clearly not this caricature portrayed in the news for the last year. Also, the book (like her) has also been poorly represented in the media. She does not really call Barbara Walters "tired." She's not unaware that she has abandonment issues, and sees Barbara Walters as a mother figure. It's a big part of what she talks about. (Some news show psychologist was psychoanalyzing Rosie and Barbara in this manner, but Rosie actually described the issue better herself.) The passage about Walters being "tired" is taken out of context from a letter to her brother where she writes about the *entire* situation on the View. She felt like the new kid in school - but a new kid that drives a Mercedes (I believe that was the exact line.) They asked her to be herself - but then to stay in a box at the same time. At some point, she talks about Barbara in the context of the overall view environment. In another page of brutal honesty, she admits that she believed Donald Trump's claim that Barbara Walters said that she regretted hiring her. The emotional carnage of this kind of betrayal (after past betrayals by her mother which she goes into) is pretty rough.

This is not 150 pages of Rosie whining and playing the victim really. It is a very behind-the-scenes look at a very complex woman (and a complex show) who is possibly more in touch with her emotions than anyone I've ever seen. She has an understanding of interpersonal dynamics that is remarkable. She may come across a little self important and emotionally strange at times, but that's how it is. For example, she e-mailed Elizabeth "I love you and I'll always protect you" at one point - in response to a little change that Elizabeth made in one of the show's segments. Rosie also saw Elizabeth's emerging independence (taking out the earpieces that they wear on the show) as a sign that she was converting her to be a better person or something. Maybe that was a little over the top.

I can see why she does not want to do interviews about this book. The stories and emotions in here are raw. Not everything is included, and if she were interviewed, it would be likely that she'd be taken into areas that she's not ready to discuss. She reveals something about a man coming into her room at night, and leaves it vague. It's pretty obvious that some kind of sexual abuse occurred, and I am still confused about whether or not her mother believed her when it kept happening after they cut down the tree (where the man supposedly came in from) - but those details are not really the point. The point is to think about her feelings when she told her mother that a man was abusing her and was told "you lie like a rug."
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VINE VOICEon October 16, 2007
I think with Rosie, you either love her or hate her, and if you're in the latter there's really no reason to be reading this book. However I think whatever camp you fall in, it's hard not to respect her for her honesty and near fearlessness in telling the truth. Like her blog, the book gushes out in a near stream of consciousness that you either get and go with, or hop out of the boat and scratch your head. And although much of the book deals with her sticky relationship with Barbara Walters who becomes some greater representation of her own Mother, the book never feels sensational or dishy. You won't find passages bashing Elizabeth and Joy, and Trump manages to bury himself enough that even those segments are restrained from vitriol. Bottom line is, if you like her, this is only going to make you respect her that much more.
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VINE VOICEon November 27, 2007
Towards the end of this book, O'Donnell describes celebrity as an intersection, if you don't know how to negotiate it, you get run over, like Anna Nicole Smith. She asserts she knows how to negotiate it because she understands she's a comedian and you have to stay in the role that suits you best.

But she doesn't. Every time she's gotten into controversy that has brought criticism, like being rude to guests who don't share her politics, taking a stance for gun control on her old show, or her political debates on "The View," it has backfired on her. She withdraws from the public spotlight saying she has to get back to her family, but it's like politicians who say they want to spend more time with their family when they get into a jam.

O'Donnell hasn't yet acquired the very thick skin you need to be in the public eye and take political positions. You are immediately hated by half the people when you do and you have to accept that. Her biggest failing when debating with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on "The View" was she was determined to convert the woman. She could not let it go until Elizabeth gave up her own opinions, and people aren't going to do that. You put out your position; you let the other person put out theirs, and it stops there. Even the best preacher can't convert a sinner who doesn't want to come to Jesus. O'Donnell couldn't let it be over. She had to win, and when she couldn't, she quit. Back to the family.

So, be a comedian and don't do politics on TV, or be a political commentator and grow that thick skin. You will be called fat and ugly every day because that's how the Conservative Right fights. You have to deal with it.

And the other thing she needs to do is out her molester. In this book, she dances around it again, the man coming in the window. Her mother cutting the tree down, but that didn't stop "the man." Her mother telling her she's lying. The discovery that having a cast on your arm helps you fight better at night. The attempt to keep breaking her hand or arm after that so she'd still have the shield. And yet, she doesn't name the attacker or say anymore. She is still protecting him. Why? She is never going to be free of this and she's doing a disservice to all molested girls by not outing this man and making him pay.

That's why I think it's a family member, a brother or her father, and she's been silenced by the family because they have convinced her they all could not abide the truth coming out, that it would tear the family apart. That's always the molester's shield. Always. But she needs to do it anyway so this doesn't keep eating at her, because it is. It is the underlying theme on every page of every book she writes. She goes into great anguish about Barbara Walters betraying her, without making the connection it was ultimately her own mother that betrayed her, who did not protect her when she was alive, and then died and left her more vulnerable than ever. Everyone loses their mother, many of us when we're still children, but it doesn't become the huge loss O'Donnell perceives it to be unless there is another element, and in this case, the unspoken -and for Rosie, the unspeakable - betrayal. Which she has now hoisted onto Barbara Walter's substitute shoulders.

She needs to make two hard decisions and act upon them. Be a comedian or be political commentator, but not both, and take what comes, and out her molester, and take what comes. Both will set her free more than therapy or doing crafts.
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on October 9, 2007
Rosie is brave and her honesty is inspiring.

This book made me look at my own life and ask, am I living my life to the fullest? Am I present enough with my family/children? Do I appreciate the small moments of life, or do I rush through it? This is what Rosie does best, she holds a mirror up to her celebrity self and somehow we see ourselves in the reflection.

Bravo, Rosie.
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on October 9, 2007
Rosie's style of writing makes for a clean read; her voice comes through loud and clear (but NOT annoying!) This is a wonderful presentation from someone who is not afraid to share her real feelings in print and in art. You can see her expressive artwork in Linda Woods and Karen Dinino's Journal Revolution: Rise up and Create!

Journal Revolution: Rise Up and Create! Art Journals, Personal Manifestos and Other Artistic Insurrections

I found the subjects she writes about intriguing (love the peek at inside workings of The View) and purging (enjoyable to see Mr. Dump Truck blasted by the master!)Totally worth a purchase. Yes, I will read this one again after a bit (and I don't do that very often!)
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on October 9, 2007
I pre-ordered this book on [...] a while ago, but I'm on vacation in Vancouver, Canada! I was having it sent to me here in Canada but I just couldn't wait. I went out and purchased Celebrity Detox (the fame game) and read it in one sitting. Wow is all I have to say! Wow! that Rosie has the courage to be so honest and forthcoming! Wow! that the publishers had the guts to back, publish and print such an amazing recollection of ones life, dreams and disapointment! Wow! on how lucky we all are to be able to read such an amazing piece of raw memory from one of our leading artists in the United States.

Rosie has always been on the forefront of changing the world and I'm glad to see that she doesn't hold back as she progresses through the journey of her life. Like her or hate her you will be able to admire the woman who says what the majority of amercians feel. She is a hero in my book and I feel lucky to have had the chance to say I was able to enjoy Rosie on screen, on tv and on paper.

Purchase Celebrity Detox and you will understand what makes her tick and why Rosie O'Donnell is who she is. This woman has been a humanatarian for years and has never asked for anything back but for us to keep an open mind about her opinions, views and ideas.
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on November 24, 2007
I a speechless after reading this book. I read it cover to cover, despite the incorrect punctuation, spelling errors and poorly written dialogue. Terrible! The book is in no way a 'tell-all' and tends to jump around more than a hyper two-year-old. As a Rosie fan, I am so disappointed with this book. I have more questions than answers, e.g. why did she devote entire chapters to her body functions and, more importantly, who cares? Don't buy this book. In fact, if you e-mail me, I'll send your mine free.
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on August 6, 2008
I have been a longtime fan of the talk show personality of Rosie O'Donnell, even tho' I do not agree with her personal views (let's just say I am more Elisabeth Hasselbeck than Rosie O'Donnell). As a talk show host Rosie was the perfect host because she made it okay for every day people to be intrigued with the celebrities she interviewed. After all, Rosie was into her guests as much as the audience. She was and is authentic and real, even with her extremely rough edges and all. Thus I enjoyed her autobiography CELEBRITY DETOX.

This book is more a therapy session and a detox for Rosie once more coming out of celebrity and trying to find happiness and normalcy in her life. It is all over the board and abruptly goes from one thing to the other but not in an irritating way, rather in the way I bet she lives her life. Celebrity Detox makes it clear Rosie is a damaged, hurting victim of abuse still desperately seeking salvation from her wounds but searching in places salvation can not be found--in two celebrity heros/icons Barbra Streisand and Barbara Walters both of whom were also heros of her mothers. Tho' only alluded to, it is apparent that Rosie was not only abandoned by her mother when her mother died when Rosie was 10. She was also betrayed and unprotected by her mother--3 issues that have haunted her and continue to haunt her--abandonement, betrayal and unprotection. Rosie told her mom of the abuse in the only way she could...her mom humored her to the extent of literally cutting down the tree "bad man" climbed up, but when Rosie told her it didn't work, the bad man still comes in her room at night, her mom betrayed her by calling her a liar and implying Rosie would lose her love if she didn't drop this lie. So Rosie lived on with the abuse, defending herself by breaking her own bones to obtain not only attention but "nightime weapons" with the casts. Heartbreaking for any little girl to live through.

I am not surprised that she was more devastated by Barbara Walters' betrayal than she was of Donald Trump's public annialation of her. She already thought of Donald Trump as a pathetic human being. He can only hurt her in the pocket book. She was devasted by Barbara Walters because she made Barbara her surrogate mother so much so she hoped Barbara would do everything RIGHT her mother did WRONG--i.e. protect her and definitely NOT abandon her nor betray her. By not defending her to Donald Trump and the public Ms. Walters did everything Rosie's mother did to her--left her once more alone, unprotected and open to abuse.

All said and done, CELEBRITY DETOX is a fascinating read into the life of a damaged little girl grown up and turned famous ... twice. You'll feel compassion for Rosie, disdain for Donald Trump and sympathy for Barbra Streisand and Barbara Walters who love and admire Rosie but in their own humaness can not be everything Rosie hopes they will be.
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