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Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction Paperback – January 3, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
As a former fame junkie, the moment I saw this title, I had to buy this book. Nine years living in Burbank, California brought the reality close to home and I was SO over the fake "magic." If you think being famous will make fill your need for love or attention, it won't. It doesn't fill you. It never will. You'll always want more.
The book was fascinating. It covered three areas of fame: kids looking to get famous, celebrity assistants, and fans. None of this surprised me, really, but I'm glad someone put it in book form.
Now I have a book to give to people who are obsessed. Good book, Mr. Halpern. Thanks for writing it. :-)
The book is split into three basic "takes" on the culture of fame, each of which is full of enlightening interviews, anecdotes, studies, and commentary. It is hard to say I was impressed by one part more than the others, but I continue to think through the act of giving up a "normal" life and career to become an assistant to a star. Halpern does a great job of telling some of those stories and allowing the reader to hear from their own mouths why assistants do what they do.
I have since quit watching any form of celebrity TV. I used to unwind from time to time with a little Leno or Letterman, but now all I see is narcissism. And not just on the part of the "stars" - it is the cash currency of the world of fame. If self-absorption disappeared and humility reigned, well, things would be different for the world of TV, print, and movie media.
In that vein, "Fame Junkies" is a modern tale of the consequences of meaninglessness and vice. The people represented in the book are nice and normal people (for the most part), and they are presented fairly by Halpern, but theirs are cautionary tales. Because their lives seem to lack any over-arching meaning, they seek for it through the fleeting attention paid to them by others. Or in other cases, they live their lives vicariously through the famous.
These are among the morality tales of our culture. Read them and learn.
A must read for every student of modern American culture and sociology. Parents of teenage children should also peruse this book, if for no other reason than to understand why their daughters prefer People magazine to Scientific American, and their sons watch professional wrestling rather than the evening news.
Reading Fame Junkies allows you to be a fly on the wall in all kinds of interesting places, from modeling & talent conventions to the Hollywood apartment complex where hopeful child would-be-stars live with their parents. The book is really a collection of fascinating stories. This is journalism at its best; Halpern gets his subjects to say all kinds of funny and (sometimes unknowingly) insightful things. My favorite: Halpern asks one guy so many questions that he finally snaps, "Where are you from, kid -- Buffalo?" Of course, Halpern *is* from Buffalo.
And the topic could not be more timely: large percentages of young people long for fame, and value being a celebrity over many more worthwhile things like being a leader in their community or being the CEO of a company. After all, we live in a world where kids are constantly told they can "be anything" and are "special." Many of them want to be celebrities, though it's hard to imagine why. So the book is a cautionary tale as well -- we need to think of a way to stop the fame obsession before it gets any worse.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is just an amazing book. A read I couldn't put down from cover to cover facinating and very well written. Read morePublished 10 months ago by ldream
A good solid read. Parents living vicariously through their children has been going on since the beginning of time but in this book it suggest that it is at an epidemic proportion. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Charles Caprarella
I like how many different kind of people Halpern talks to, from all over the fame industry. Some of the psychology/physiology behind the phenomenon felt a little forced though.Published on June 8, 2014 by Noodles Bhai
I liked this book and the message it sends. I purchased to additional copies for my sons because I thought it would be beneficial in their particular fields of work.Published on January 25, 2014 by A Reader
Loved the book, one of the first books we had to read in my English class. gave us an inner look on glam and hollywoodPublished on May 31, 2013 by Avril
In tandem with a couple of other books on celebrity, I found this book quite helpful. It's basically a journalistic effort, and it puts a face on a lot of the statistics in other... Read morePublished on April 29, 2013 by Dardopete
This incoherent mess of a book is from a supposedly intellectual guy who came up with what he thought was a clever idea to sell to editors (why we like fame) and then brought... Read morePublished on June 22, 2011 by Mediaman
Fame junkies is a book from my mass communications and journalism class this year at Fresno State. The book investigates the obsession that Americans have with the rich and famous. Read morePublished on February 5, 2011 by Aaron t.
The first thing you will notice about this book is that it is NOT (thankfully) armchair conjecture. It's closer to muckraking journalism. Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by Mary Jo Mathew