- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Stephens Press LLC (September 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932173773
- ISBN-13: 978-1932173772
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,120,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vegas Confidential: Sinsational Celebrity Tales Paperback – September 1, 2008
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Recommended: Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Norm Clarke's new book, "Vegas Confidential," which is jam-packed with gossipy stories of (mostly) bad star behavior while cavorting in Sin City. Norm's been on the Vegas entertainment beat since 1999. That he's managed to keep a sense of humor about some of the insufferable stars he's covered (including Jerry Lewis and Robin Williams) is remarkable." --New York Post, Michael Starr, 2009
Great news! Norm Clarke has a new book out: Norm Clarke's Vegas Confidential: Sinsational Celebrity Tales!
Norm Clarke has been a part of my Las Vegas experience since I arrived here in 1999. We "met" the first time I opened the Las Vegas Review Journal and caught sight of the black eye patch on page three. I admit, my first impression was, "OMG, how silly. A celebrity gossip column gets higher billing than local news." But it didn't take me long to understand that celebrity gossip is local news in Las Vegas. As I learned more about my new hometown, I gradually realized just how important it is to know whether Britney Spears is a good tipper (she isn't), or whether Criss Angel has a bad temper (he does). When you live in the entertainment capital of the world, these factoids are not just juicy tidbits for voyeurs. They are vital information for anyone who really wants to feel connected to the pulse and current of Las Vegas life. Well, okay, they're juicy tidbits, too. Made even better by the fact that if you happen to be somewhere when somebody with a name worthy of boldfaced type does something embarrassing, offensive or notable, you can join the army of spies that report it to Clarke.
But--and it didn't take me long to learn that there's always a big "but" when you're talking about Las Vegas--there's more. Norm Clarke and his career as freshly-squeezed juice reporter reflect far more than a 55-hour marriage (yeah, Britney again) and even a "bitch slap" by Pete Rose (see page 11). Buy the book for that, and it won't disappoint, but please resist the random-page appeal of all the scintillating tidbits. Because although you might not expect it from a glossy paperback packed with full-color photos of Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, and--oh, yeah--Britney Spears--this book is far more than a distillation of Norm's columns. I will admit, that's what I was expecting. What I was not expecting is the beautifully written, honest, insightful, wise, personal, and revealing overview of Las Vegas history over the last decade.
Las Vegas, as everyone with a phone cam knows, is a photo op waiting to happen. Whether it's capturing the kitschy architecture, your oh-so-slightly-drunken bachelor/bachelorette celebration, or a celebrity sighting, this is a city made for fully-charged batteries. And even that topic is covered in Norm's new book. Yeah, see page 96 for the difference between a life of luxury paid for by video of two Oscar-winning divas naked in a hot tub and--no juice.
Yes, this is a book about juice: power, money and celebrity. And juice fueled the party for "Sinsational Celebrity Tales" I just attended at the Palms Casino, as well it should have. Clarke devotes a number of pages to George Maloof, the creative force behind the Palms. The story about a guy from Albuquerque who ends up not only practically discovering Paris Hilton but also teaming up with Hugh Hefner to open the only Playboy Club now in existence is not just Hedda Hopper/Herb Caen dot-dot-dot reporting. I'd never read this stuff anywhere else, and--where else would I? Clarke's the guy with stories to spare, and he has packed this book with fascinating ones.
While he has to pay attention to seemingly trivial events, what Clarke has learned while covering them is the stuff of cultural history. In this book, he manages to relate all the tabloid-selling details while at the same time providing thoughtful commentary on the history of Las Vegas from 1999 to the present. An era of economic growth around the globe, this was the decade Las Vegas shed the last vestiges of its mobbed-up past and forged a shiny new Hollywood-inspired identity. Thanks to this book, I even learned a new phrase: "step and repeat." Have you ever noticed those backdrops studded with brand names that hang behind red carpets wherever celebrities are likely to appear? Thanks to Clarke, I can now call them by name.
What happens next in the evolution of Las Vegas is anybody's guess, but because of Norm Clarke, we now have a star-studded insider's view of what happened here in the first years of the new millennium. It will take time to find out whether the decade covered in this book gets labeled golden, but no one's ever going to be able to claim it wasn't juicy.
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1) this book is very small in size
2) this book has a large amount of pictures that take up alot of that already small space
3) alot of what is in this book is likely something you may already know if you follow this type of stuff