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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a compilation of interviews
I was pleasantly surprised by Everyone Loves You When You're Dead (ELYWYD?). I was expecting a collection of Strauss' interviews over the years, assembled, like every other such book, in some kind of mundane order-- the interview with Madonna, then Gaga, then Bowie, etc.-- I was expecting to read the interviews I was interested in and skip the ones I wasn't...
Published on March 15, 2011 by Erik Ketzan

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bathroom read? Choose your own adventure?
I was looking forward to reading interviews from this journalist. I heard him speak on NPR and had high hopes. I didn't expect it to be chopped up into short pieces of an interview then ended (to be continued) and start with another interview. Then you pick back up with the initial interview several pages in and then switch to another interview before it's completed! It...
Published on April 22, 2011 by NPRjunkie


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bathroom read? Choose your own adventure?, April 22, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
I was looking forward to reading interviews from this journalist. I heard him speak on NPR and had high hopes. I didn't expect it to be chopped up into short pieces of an interview then ended (to be continued) and start with another interview. Then you pick back up with the initial interview several pages in and then switch to another interview before it's completed! It gave me a a headache trying to read through it. I guess it's good for someone who wants some small sections to pick up and read in the bathroom for example. Or maybe for someone with a short attention span. But I couldn't keep each interview straight from the others as I'm trying to recall the situation once the story starts back up again. Maybe it's a choose your own adventure book and you're supposed to jump to the person you want to read about instead of reading it from front to back. Very disjointed, I'm personally not a fan. There's my opinion, for what it's worth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than a compilation of interviews, March 15, 2011
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This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised by Everyone Loves You When You're Dead (ELYWYD?). I was expecting a collection of Strauss' interviews over the years, assembled, like every other such book, in some kind of mundane order-- the interview with Madonna, then Gaga, then Bowie, etc.-- I was expecting to read the interviews I was interested in and skip the ones I wasn't.

Thankfully, ELYWYD is so much more than that. The book splices dozens of Strauss' interviews into a narrative so that, unlike most books of interviews, you actually want to read this one cover to cover. The narrative sometimes follows a theme (contrasting different rock stars' views on faith, struggles with addictions, their childhoods, battles with record companies, etc.), and other times explores a particular story (for instance why some members of Pink Floyd don't speak to one another and why Pete Townshend resisted re-forming The Who).

Like most of Strauss' books, this one's a page-turner. I read over 300 pages in one day. The book goes down so easy that it's easy to take for granted how *big* it is, in every sense. It's the condensation of apparently a couple decades worth of rock journalism, and assembling such a crazily entertaining narrative from what must have been thousands of hours of interview tapes must have been no easy task. But as entertaining and fun as the book is, it's also a deep and surprisingly illuminating exploration of fame, art, and ego. It's a major and important book on music, stardom, and, well, the times we live in.

There's a lot more to say, and I'm sure many other reviewers will jump in and say it. Anyone with a serious interest in music or pop culture in general will probably devour Strauss' ELYWYD.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truely Enjoyable Read, March 15, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
I've worked with major artists in both the music and film worlds for 20 years -- but this book at 507 pages will take you around the block in far less time. I'm giving it as gifts to all my co-workers and friends this year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Lessons From The Great And The Late, March 15, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
Neil Strauss has a talent for honing in on the very essence of who a person is. It's an attribute that has served him well as an interviewer for publications such as The New York Times and Rolling Stone, as a writer penning biographical books with the likes of Mötley Crüe (The Dirt) and Jenna Jameson (How To Make Love Like A Porn Star), and in his other life, as Style, the seduction guru and author of the pick-up bible, The Game.

On the surface, his latest book, Everyone Loves You When You're Dead, is an anthology of interviews culled from Strauss' extensive back catalog, which includes conversations with everyone from Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Britney Spears to Chuck Berry, Leonard Cohen, and Johnny Cash. However, the acknowledgements section at the back of the book, which sums up all that's included, isn't just a laundry list of high profile names. Amongst the interviewees are some surprising and lesser known people (Kenny G, Patrick Miller, members of the Calabrian Mafia, et al.), and it's these inclusions that perhaps give an indication of the collection's greater purpose - that of a self-help book compiled from lessons learnt (or not, as the case may be) from those with problems on a grander scale than our own. Because of this underlying narrative, readers are advised to read the book from start to finish, cover to cover, rather that skipping about to find preferred interview subjects as one might initially be tempted to do.

The result of Strauss' labors is an anthology like no other. It's a hard to put down book that not only gives you an insight into the souls of those Strauss has interviewed, it also offers insights culled from the great and the late that can be universally applied.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!, May 14, 2012
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This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
This is the first book that I've read by Neil Strauss but won't be my last. He's an amazing author and interviewer. Every interview in this book is entertaining. I've learned so much about the celebrities I've admired my whole life by just reading these in depth raw interviews. I really like how each interview is extremely different than the last. It will go from Snoop Dogg to Johnny Cash to Britney Spears to Led Zeppelin to Madonna and so on. All the words from each interview are coming strait from the mouths of each interviewee and not manipulated and twisted by journalists and thrown together for a magazine article. You'll really get to know each and every celebrity on a personal level. I would recommend this book to anyone. I've found a new respect for almost every person in this book based. It's all very entertaining!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Sketches, Interview Style, January 1, 2012
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This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
I'd love to see this book's unedited manuscript, or especially Strauss's notes, because that would mean being a modicum closer to the personalities in these pages -- something you'll want to do with at least several since the interviews are like rhythmic character sketches, with journalistic precision. Definitely my favorite of 2011.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a Bore, April 20, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
I have no clue why this book is so highly rated.

What you expect going in: Interesting insights on how Neil built up rapport, who he probed with questions, how he found out tidbits of celebrities' characters

What you get: Just some taped dialogue written out.

As a big fan of Neil, it made this an even bigger let down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different way of understanding people, March 15, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
This isn't your average compilation of celebrity interviews. I know he's a celebrity interviewer by profession, but this clearly isn't just a copy-and-paste book of all his past interviews. It seems he actually went back to the source, including remarks and moments that were edited out of the published interview, or in retrospect add so much more interest to the interview.

I was pleasantly surprised at how addictive the book is--I found myself reading section after section, laughing out loud at parts...the book really offers you a different perspective on people. It's almost like it was written by a pyschiatrist-- Strauss really gets into the heads and psyches of these celebrities, observing them and questioning them in very astute ways. I think the title "Everyone Loves You When You're Dead" really evokes this action of evaluating people: the book has a sense of order, starting with interviews of younger celebrities, followed by those older or deceased (doesn't completely stick to this structure, but for the most part it follows this trajectory). As a result, it's like reading about the lifespan of a celebrity, from the trials and excitement they experience as youths just entering the business, to the disillusion or anger they feel as they become older or outdated. Strauss's writing is very insightful and wise, offering some comic yet smart commentary on the lives of celebrities.

Not something I'd usually pick up, but I found it to be an excellent and out-of-the-ordinary read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unrivaled glimpse behind the curtain., March 15, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
Although a big music aficionado, I have never been obsessed with celebrity. I can't remember ever buying a celebrity biography. I bought "Everyone Loves You When You're Dead" because I have enjoyed Strauss's music reviews when he was a music critic for the NY Times and later his articles for Rolling Stone.

That being said, I have never seen a more fascinating study of fame, celebrity and the artistic temperament than I found in this book. Through excerpts from his vast treasure trove of interviews Neil Strauss has captured a remarkably candid view of the most inscrutable and mysterious figures in pop culture. Somehow Strauss as an interviewer, has learned the art of hypnotizing his subjects into revealing themselves in ways they probably never intended. As an author and editor he has woven these moments into a thoroughly riveting book. It is by turns heartbreaking, hilarious and thought-provoking. I will probably never fantasize about being famous again.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The secrets of a good life, March 15, 2011
This review is from: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness (Paperback)
It occurs to me while reading this book that Neil Strauss has met a lot of people. Over 3,000 close encounters of the celebrity kind. Andy Warhol said; "Everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame." Not everyone gets more than 15 minutes, but thankfully most of those that do merit inclusion here, the permanent wavers. Presented in the form of dialogue. A veritable who's who of our cultural icons.

And, if you're a writer for the Rolling Stone, that's a tremendous entree into the rarefied world we all know perhaps not intimately, and would like to enter. Imagine being able to meet your idol.

Even a short encounter encounter can turn into an adventure, if you're hanging out with Motley Crue, and two band members get marched away in handcuffs, or the wife of a bluesman who cannot distinguish between perception and reality makes a ridiculous accusation, and the police get called. Maybe Tom Cruise will take you under his wing and explain Scientology, or perhaps Courtney Love uses you as her personal pin cushion.

Recently Strauss won the prestigious James Joyce Award, and I find the narrative technique of dialoguing with shorter than usual scenes, often cut at a point of great interest, cross cutting to a new interview adventure within the same theme, snipping and stacking the metaphors, to be fascinating and innovative, and having learned hypnosis strangely hypnotic. Many subjects, one thread. Some nested loops, some not. I am sure many writers will be using this style as a template, even some PUAs.

Beatling o'er the bass, a Starr drummer, those guys who gather no moss, Pinball Wizards, Crocodile Rockers, climbing Plant's Stairway. Ozzy to Orlando. Bloom's flowering self doubt. Cruise control or lack thereof. Life after Love, how Ali Khan fawns fan mania, and puts his fans in trance, how dangerous it can be to perform music in certain parts of the world. Cher and cockroaches. Eight years to make a famous song, and many songwriters to make it number one. Mindreading with Britney. Success, excess, demon wrestling. Checking outrageous facts. Cockblocking copy editors. Some still haven't found what they're looking for. Sometimes you just want a girl who will sit on a bottle. So out of joint. So. In the joint. All of life is here. Even aliens. Don't ask. Not everyone successfully wrestles their demons.

The one thing that I felt lacking was the Index. I wanted to look up Ali Khan again, p331. Almost no one mentioned in the book is mentioned in the Index. I suggest you highlight or bookmark what you may wish to refer to again.

Sometime ago, I looked up the most sampled artists. Rick James was one of the top 3, along with Parliament eg.Mothership Connection, and was famously sampled by MC Hammer. I found the Rick James vignettes fascinating, how drugs influence every decision he makes,an excellent and somewhat poignant peek into the murky mind of an addict.

This would make a great coffee table book. I read the epilogue several times. The secrets of a good life. Derive your self esteem from within not from other people's opinions. If you are like me you may have some attention deficient friends, and this book with its short vignettes provides great talking points. You may also find yourself googling some of the more memorable yet less familiar names. As far as other Strauss books go, I recommend The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, if you don't already have it, with its faux black leather binding, and a red string bookmark, it's the bible of seduction. The closer you look the more you can see its principles at work here.

If you wish to explore further I recommend you get Cialdini's Influence because that influenced a number of strategies in The Game such as the false time constraint, aka the limited time offer which you probably receive in your email every few days. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)It's the bible on influence. I hope you feound this review helpful.
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Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness
Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness by Neil Strauss (Paperback - March 15, 2011)
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