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Little Known Facts: A Novel by Christine…

Little Known Facts: A Novel

by Christine Sneed

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I have to admit this book was really very good. It is decidely readable and offers a believable insight into a world most of us can but guess at.

Told from the point of view of a few characters, I felt each character had a distinct voice and that's not something you often get in a debut novel.

Simple, open and surprisingly compelling. I'm looking forward to more from Christine.

Full review here ( )
  ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
A well-written take on the perils of celebrity, both to the famous person and to those around him. I had trouble putting it down once I started reading, sort of like one of those magazines full of Hollywood gossip picks up in the waiting room at the dentist's office. Movie star Renn Ivins is at the center of the novel, but we also get parts of the story from his son and daughter, their various romantic interests, Renn's much younger, movie-star girlfriend, and his two ex-wives. This lively cast of characters are almost all utterly detestable, however - I found myself just shaking my head at the complete selfishness of the whole lot of them, with the exception of Ivins' first wife, who comes across as basically the only decent person in the book. Sneed's done an excellent job, though, and her writing makes this tale of celebrity and its consequences a compelling read. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 13, 2013 |
Thought you had read all there was to read about fame? Think again – Little Known Facts takes a look at Hollywood fame, but seen mainly through the eyes of those around the famous person. The star in this book is Renn Ivins, actor and more recently director and writer, who has been in the game for years. Not only is this man talented, he has the looks and longevity that everyone craves in Hollywood. Renn is a star amongst stars. Like most stars, Renn also has a bit of a messy personal life. He divorced his first wife, Lucy when his children (Anna and Will) were growing up. His second marriage to Melinda ended badly – so much so that she’s releasing a tell all autobiography. Now he’s dating Elise, an up and rising star – who Will also has his eye on.

Written in long chapters – almost a short story format – each section covers someone close to Renn and how his stardom has affected their lives. His daughter Anna tries to have a ‘normal’ life by becoming a doctor – but her personal life more closely mirrors her father’s. Will doesn’t know what he wants in life and aimlessly moves from one thing to the next. His girlfriend Danielle admits that she is attracted to Renn, but will she take it further? Elise is having a good time with Renn, but she is increasingly aware of the age gap – and Will. Lucy reflects on her marriage to Renn and tries to move on, while Melinda needs to edit her book severely to tone down Renn’s secrets. And who is stealing random items of Renn’s?

It sounds complex, but it’s not. Sneed has created a beautiful jigsaw where everything falls into just the right place at the last moment. It is a perfectly structured book. This is a book to be savoured, reading each word carefully to extract all the competing emotions. Sneed also convinces me that it just may not be worthwhile to be related to a movie star! All the characters have been affected by Renn’s fame and generally not for the better (with the exception of Elise). This books shows the motivations of human nature – for example, Will is not motivated to work for money (he has plenty) and so can’t settle. Anna becomes more like her amoral father in her choice of affairs. Melinda starts off incredibly bitter, but appears to accept her time with Renn better than Lucy, who ruminates over her failed marriage for most of the book.

These characters absorbed me, followed me around as I stopped reading to work and study and wouldn’t let me rest until I found what became of them all. That’s how powerful Sneed’s creations were – I found myself a little in love with Renn and admiring Elise and Anna’s work ethic. Will was a funny character – he does stupid stuff and lacks motivation, but he was still likeable, particularly in the latter half of the book. I’d love to read Melinda’s book – it was wonderfully witty and divulging!

This is a book that opens in an understated way but has you bewitched by the end.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Sydney for my copy.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Apr 28, 2013 |
As is usual, I received this book because my fiancee won the title in a drawing and was kind enough to pass it along to me after her own perusal. Despite the book's low-low price of nothing, I will provide my candid opinion below.

I tend to try to start out the review of any book with a bit of a teaser or summary of the beginning seed of the plot. That goal becomes difficult in this case simply because there isn't really a plot to speak of. Sneed's novel has plenty to say but it doesn't rely on any silly conventions like evolving story lines to draw the reader along. Instead, Little Known Facts provides us with an insightful snapshot of four very unhappy people who by the standards of society should abundantly grateful for their positions of wealth and fame.

When my fiancee passed this along to me she did it with a bit of reticence suspecting that I would dislike it. I'm not a typical "guy" reader who needs lots of drama and action but I do like to feel at the end of the novel that I've learned something and Sneed's latest doesn't fail at that. She paints a lucid picture of the darker aspects of life as one of Hollywood's monied elite. Her narrative revolves in viewpoint from one character to the next as we hear not only how it feels to be the famous and renowned actor but also how it feels to be his son, his daughter, his wife, his ex-wife and everyone in between. Seldom is a single aspect of human existence put on display for us with such completeness and rendered with such skill.

In summary, Little Known Facts does have an important message to share and it is written in a wonderfully readable style. It falls short for me only because the topic in question is a bit outside my immediate realm of interest. I can name about 5 movie stars and I have no clue what they're doing when they're not on the screen. Those who desire more insight into their personal lives will be well served to peruse this novel. If nothing else, it will quench any vestiges of green-eyed envy one might have about life as a movie star. ( )
  slavenrm | Mar 7, 2013 |
The concept for Little Known Facts by award-winning author Christine Sneed sounded like an interesting one to me, given our society’s love affair with all things celebrity. Many of us who live in Southern California feel like celebrities are just like everyone else to some extent, but with outlandish paychecks and perks and absolutely no privacy. We see them grocery shopping in the local market, walking or driving down the street, eating at the local deli, etc. If you want to know what it’s really like to live within or on the sidelines of that world, this novel could be a real eye opener. Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=5433. ( )
  PopcornReads | Feb 13, 2013 |
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The people who orbit around actor Renn Ivins long to experience the glow of his flame. His children are both drawn to and repelled by the man who overshadows every part of them. This novel offers a clear-eyed story of the fallout of fame and fortune on family members and others who can neither fully embrace nor ignore the superstar in their midst.… (more)

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