Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity
by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Thomas Rodgers in Salon called this book "fascinating, well-researched," and readers who follow celebrities with a certain interest as well as angst may well find it fascinating. Unfortunately the people she writes about weren't all that interesting to me back when they were the most talked-about celebrities (which was probably a year or so ago), and they sure don't interest me now.

But then I have my own perhaps quixotic distinction between "stars" and "celebrities." Celebrities as such are just embarrassing, and as evidenced by many of the names in this book, extremely fleeting. Stars can be fascinating, because there is something special about them, and their world is surely different, and people respond to them differently. This book doesn't penetrate or even deal much with those mysteries. It's an academic work with an economic emphasis. So as it turns out I'm just not that interested in these facts or these insights. Doesn't mean you won't be fascinated, though. The author is a professor with a Ph.D in urban planning, whose previous book on celebrity was The Warhol Economy.

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