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How to Kill a Rock Star Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140220521X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402205217
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

DeBartolo looks into the love affair between an aspiring rock journalist and a "spirited maverick" musician in her clunky, earnest sophomore outing (after God-Shaped Hole). When Eliza moves from Ohio to New York to work for a music magazine, she finds herself rooming with Paul, the lead singer in her brother Michael's band. Paul and Eliza hit it off immediately: both love the same singer/songwriter (who says things like "rock 'n' roll music is a dying man.... [i]t's a man being crucified"), both are orphans, and both think the other is hot stuff. It could be a decent romantic comedy, but DeBartolo aims for drama, and serves up uninspired prose and a skimpy plot. Paul and Eliza fall in love; he writes a song about her ("She is a virgin. She is a whore. She gives it all and I beg for more"); her fear of flying (her parents were killed in a plane crash) gets worse after September 11; Paul, on the brink of megastardom, refuses to tour unless she comes along; she sacrifices their relationship for the sake of his art. Complications (note the title) ensue. This is best read by younger adults, who might be more forgiving of the inelegant writing and the characters' classic concerns of waning adolescence. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Funny, tender, edgy. I wanted the love story to go on forever. I loved it." -- Joan Johnston, best selling author of No Longer a Stranger

"Wonderful characters wrapped up in a story that moves like an express train." -- Sidney Sheldon, New York Times best selling author

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Customer Reviews

This book made me laugh and made me cry.
Though there were times were I was so upset I just wanted to put it down and stop reading, I kept going and thoroughly enjoyed the book.
This was a really great story... I found the characters very entertaining.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By O. Kang on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
...and seeing as it is not 6:30 in the morning, have decided that it's better to just forgo sleep.

i don't know how to explain this book. i don't think that i'm ever going to be able to read the whole thing ever again.

it was joyous and gut-wrenching and euphoric and terrible. it sounds corny but i cried and laughed and for the latter half of the book felt like my heart was going to break.

never have i looked at the last page of any other book i've read before (and i didn't read the whole last page, just glanced at it to spot any key words/names) but i couldn't control myself with this book. it was so emotionally demanding to the point where i felt the anguish the characters were feeling that i had to have some sort of clue of how it would end, just so i could be the reader again and not one of the characters themselves.

the editor's review says that the writing is inelegant... if it was i didn't notice. the meaning behind the words is what grabbed me. it wasn't dickens but it never pretends to be and would have failed if it did.


i'm not even tired.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By ChickLitGirl on October 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
The first book by this author, "God Shaped Hole", was a wonderfully touching story with plenty of sadness along the way. This one is no different, except for being even more so.

Eliza, our complicated and interesting main heroine, manages to meet and interview the famous Doug Blackman. Fed up with Cleveland and her go-nowhere job, she scores a great job and apartment in New York City and decides to start over. She has many insecurities and fears, mainly being of flying, because of the fact that her parents died on an airplane when she was young.

She settles into an apartment with her new roommate Paul, who happens to be: 1. Very attractive. 2. In the same band as her brother. 3. Someone who goes through women like water, but deep down wants one special woman to call his own. The two of them manage to get together after some time passes, and they fall deeply, deeply in love with each other. Around the same time, Paul's band gets "discovered". What more could they ask for? They are in love, they now have money from his new contract, and they trust each other.

But life as an up-and-coming rock star isn't easy. Paul has to go on tour, and Eliza doesn't know what to do. She will never get on a plane, as she has a very strong phobia about them. Yet she doesn't want to stay behind. Meanwhile there are other things happening, such as her growing friendship with Loring, Doug Blackman's son. Eliza's job is not going as well as she'd hoped, due to a jealous coworker who can't deal with Eliza's taking time off.

What happens next? Well, Eliza decides to take fate into her own hands. She makes a complete and utterly ridiculous mistake which in turn ignites a series of unfortunate events, culminating in a disaster and heartbreak.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dux on September 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Well, I am confused as to how to write my review: on the one hand, the author is clearly talented and has an impressive vocabulary, which I **adored**. Seriously, when is the last time you read the word "recrudescence"? For me, it was when reading something I had written. But, what was the point of the magnificent word-dropping?

Unfortunately, even though this was published by a big house, it was still filled with ridiculous errors (spelling same word differently on the same page). Whatever, not the author's fault. Additionally, chapters are written from various characters' POVs: the only chapters which I immediately "got" were those written in Paul's (male lead) voice because the font was distinctive -- otherwise I found it both a distracting and precious device to jump from Person A to Person B to Person C, etc. Not for me, I guess, or not how it was handled in this book.

I just could never connect with the main characters, Eliza Caelum, a parentless girl in her mid-twenties, or her roommate-cum-fiance, Paul Hudson, himself parentless and a self-involved lyricist / musician. Neither of them seemed complete to me; they seemed real (in terms of vapidity) but not interesting. Their attraction and deep love never made sense to me, and this is the author's responsibility. Whammo they meet! Then months later, evidently, they are wild about one another and in the deepest sort of love. I couldn't feel / find their connection -- why is Paul so crazy about Eliza? Why, seriously, why? Why is Eliza so bananas for Paul? He's interested in himself and doesn't come across as particularly thoughtful (of others) or generous in spirit.

The only character I did "get" was the strong secondary character, Loring Blackman.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow.....just wow. This book completely broke my heart in two...and then somehow managed to put it back together...and then break it all over again. It was a very intense and emotional real, I'll give you that.

Let first start this by saying I absolutely ADORE THIS BOOK - LOVE it, and I give it 4.5 stars. The only reason it doesn't get 5 is because the beginning was a little drawn out. I considered putting it down a few times, but I am SOOO so so glad that I didn't. (well, later, I did...but not because I was bored - it was because I needed a minute to get myself together emotionally and process what I had just read - more about this later...)

This book drew me in from the beginning. It alternated between Paul and Eliza's point of view. Paul is hilarious, honest, weird and sexy, and the way he feels about Eliza is amazing. He loves her with all he has. The conversations he has with his `tape recorder journal' just cracks me up. Loved those parts. Eliza is also a lovable character. She is beautiful, smart, and knows what she wants. She is just so messed up by her past that she has a hard time moving forward. Her selflessness was my favorite quality about her - she just didn't know what to do with it. By being selfless, she made awful decisions. And when she as making those decisions, I was yelling at her in my mind to stop - she was breaking my heart! But she didn't break Paul's heart...she broke something else:

"My heart's fine. My heart is in the best shape of its life. You know what you did to me? You took an AK-47 and blew my soul open."

Whoa. That line was so deep. I could just FEEL his pain.

And Loring...he was such a great character, I absolutely love him!
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