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Scary Monsters and Super Freaks: Stories of Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N' Roll and Murder by [Sager, Mike]
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Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This strong collection of Sager's articles over the past 20 years for Rolling Stone and GQ demonstrates his skill as a reporter whose main interest is investigating America's dark and lurid corners. Most of the articles divide roughly into two groups. The first focuses on well-known subjects such as porn star John Holmes's drug-induced decline ("The Devil and John Holmes"), actor Rob Lowe's infamous sex tape ("Rob Lowe's Girl Trouble") and funk-rocker Rick James's obsession with freebase cocaine and violence ("The Rise and Fall of a Super Freak"). The second explores lesser known but often more horrible incidents, such as "The Death of a High School Narc" in Midlothian, Tex. Sager incorporates in all the articles such journalistic devices as scene-by-scene construction, realistic dialogue and third-person point of view, completely capturing everyday details of a subject's life. But two articles are especially compelling. One is an intimate portrait of Janet Cooke (with whom Sager was once involved), the journalist whose Pulitzer Prize-winning, and fake, story about an eight-year-old heroin addict got her fired from the Washington Post; the other is a lengthy, detailed look at the life and death of author Carlos Castaneda.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Sager's delightfully seamy glimpses of the underside of pop culture begin with the facts behind the film Wonderland. John Holmes, whose prodigious penis once made him the king of smut, lost the ability to, uh, perform because of his coke habit and, before dying of AIDS, got involved in a series of sleazy deals culminating in a bloody revenge killing. Next up is innocent-looking porn queen Savannah, who apparently lacked enthusiasm for sex. Reportedly, a director once suggested she "say 'fuck me' or something," whereupon "Savannah looked over her shoulder at the actor inside her" and said, "Fuck me or something"; shortly after, the occasional junkie shot herself in the head. Then there's the original Super Freak, Rick James, who went from recording success to serving time for false imprisonment and assault; Rob Lowe, who videotaped himself having sex with an underage girl; ex-congressman Gary Condit; and 14 other celebrities who had similar misadventures. Pretty it ain't, but throbbingly real it is--dynamic episodic reading, too. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1930 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: The Sager Group (May 9, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 9, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081WZAQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,036 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You have probably read some of these articles over the years in magazines and weekly newspapers. Here are some great stories of the last twenty years. Stories about John Holmes and Rick James are great. Mike Sager goes into great detail to give a rounded picture of all his subects. The stories about journalists Janet Lewis and Veronica Guernin are pretty intense. Some of this stuff is about obsessions we all had about ten years ago like Easy-E Eric Wright and the Heaven's Gate Crowd. It's funny how time flys. Check it out.
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Format: Paperback
each piece in this book is somewhere in the 20 to 50 page range, but despite the brevity, you feel as though you've gotten an in-depth look at some dark, dark american lives. nothing here that you could call feel-good fluff. but it is mostly all very interesting; it kept my fingers flipping the pages faster than 90% of the other books i've been reading of late. highly recommended for those who like good writing on sex & drugs & murder & other sorts of mayhem. and personally i don't think there is a lot of good writing out there on those sorts of things.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really great collection of his writings. Who knew that you could fall in love again with Rick James? Sager's writings make you feel that you are looking into someone's life. I love this book. The stories are wonderful.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a whim because it looked interesting in the store. I'm glad I did as I've enjoyed it very much. The book is a collection of nineteen articles originally published in Esquire, GQ, or Rolling Stone. The subjects are generally sad and sordid but Sager takes the time to understand his subjects and explain not only what happened to them but why. Some of the incidents he describes are familiar but Sager's work has depth and reveals and explains things other more superficial coverage missed. I recommend this book and will be looking for future work by this writer.
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Format: Paperback
This is probably my favorite book to re-read. I thought I would leave a review for anyone contemplating this collection of short articles. I bought this book shortly after its first publication and it's so dog-eared from loaning it to friends, that I'm thinking of buying a fresh one so it has that 'new book' smell I love when you crack those pages. Every story is so well written that love or hate the subject matter, you come away feeling you know a little more than the average Joe.
My wish for 2013: Mr. Sager adapts his work for Kindle readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As I read this book I found myself groaning, gasping, squirming, or laughing out-loud at least once on every page. I challenge you to read this book and NOT get sucked in. Every single piece has that can't-put-it-down/cant-believe-it quality. "Scary Monsters..." promises chills, twists, and unique insights to the stories that you thought you knew. The rise and fall of a super freak; wrongful imprisonment; self-mutilation; drug addiction; cult worship, sex, and suicide. Sager leads his readers down the darkest of alleyways, into the minds of the depressed, deranged, and overlooked, and always brings them back into the light on the other side. This book was a cultural education for me. Great stuff. A must-read for any aspiring writer or journalist, Sager's style and abilities as a storyteller transcend the non-fiction genre and place you, the reader, directly in the thick of the action. This is a book to read and re-read-- I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining and interesting read. The stories remind of us headlines from the past - Rick James, Heaven's Gate, just to name a few. Even though the chapters are small, it is well written enough where you comprehend the whole story.
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Format: Paperback
Based simply on the title of Mike Sager's "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks: Stories of Sex, Drugs, Rock 'N Roll and Murder," I had to buy the book. The title promises a lot, and the book delivers.

The compilation of essays from Sager's journalism career at GQ, Esquire and Rolling Stone magazines features stories of real people who find themselves in improbable situations and what becomes of them. Love triangles, religious cults, musicians, surfers, politicians, cokeheads, moms, pornos, law enforcement agents and prisoners: every person and situation that Sager presents, he presents in a way that one might not normally think of. The 19 stories serve our culture up to us in sometimes unappealing but always intriguing ways. And because each chapter is a complete entity unto itself, the book is good for picking up and putting down if you have a hectic schedule.

Completely enjoyable (though I confess there was one story that I had to skip over - which one it was, I won't say!). Thoroughly recommended.
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