Book: Hollywood Interrupted by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner

Some chuckles, but not particularly interesting

Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner
Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon -- The Case Against Celebrity
John Wiley and Sons, 2004
ISBN: 0-471-45051-0
343 pages (main text)

I picked up Hollywood Interrupted largely because Glenn Reynolds liked it. His dust-jacket blurb says:

    Hollywood is worse than you ever imagined,
    and Hollywood Interrupted pulls no punches.
    It would be depressing, if it weren't so hilarious.

Looking at it now, it seems that his blog entry on the book is less positive than his cover blurb.

I had hoped that the book would be hilarious; I'm not at all above being entertained by reading about celebrities being silly. Alas, there's not very much funny here. There are a few chuckles, as when Courtney Love is sufficiently fogged at a dinner party that she doesn't realize that the woman she's threatening to kill is the woman she's talking to (p. 193). But the large majority of what the celebrities in the book do comes off as being some combination of sad, pathetic, and stupid. When they abuse drugs, join cults, subject themselves to quack medicine, neglect their children, and advocate silly kinds of politics and political correctness, it doesn't seem very funny. It's almost always just dumb.

The authors could have taken a tone that made the book funny or at least funnier. But though most of the book, they maintain a a tone of shock and outrage. As for me, I wasn't shocked by anything I read, and I don't know how anyone could stay shocked past the first 50 pages. If the authors had been making fun of the celebrities they describe, the book would have been much more fun to read. Sustained moral outrage gets wearying.

The authors also don't do themselves any favors in their writing style. The book feels disjointed. It mostly reads as though it's a large number of hastily-written blog posts stuck end-to-end.

The book is also marred by a considerable number of editing mistakes: "née" for "né" (p. 111), an extraneous hyphen in "possible" (p. 131), "attorneys" for "attorneys'" (p. 133), "silicon" for "silicone" (p. 186), an extraneous hyphen in "religious" (p. 224), and "slough" for some entirely different word (p. 309). And the slash in the slashed zero on page 339 goes the wrong way.

The authors have managed to hunt up a bunch of stories that plenty of rich celebrities would no doubt have preferred not be told, but they could have made reading them a lot more fun.

Posted: Sat - April 3, 2004 at 01:06   Main   Category: