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Fame: The Hijacking of Reality by Justine…

Fame: The Hijacking of Reality

by Justine Bateman

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Seemed to mostly be a rant about how unfair it is that she could not maintain her "fame". Occasionally she would talk with some enthusiasm about the things she's been doing since her fame went away, but overall I think she just wants to be back on top. ( )
  suzieqmckernan | Feb 18, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I could not relate to this book at all. Bateman seems like an angry person. She ranted on and on and it just didn't keep my attention at all. ( )
  madhatter73 | Jan 27, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I quit reading this book after 100 pages. Instead of an insightful analysis of the consequences of "fame" to me it was a childish rant. The anger flew off of the pages and examples of insults, slights, etc. just didn't measure up to Bateman's tirade. People who become obsessed with celebrities such as the Kardashians might learn something from reading this book but as I have a real life this topic was not one that I could relate to at all. ( )
  dlong810 | Nov 19, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Fame: The Hijacking of Reality from Justine Bateman both was and was not what I was expecting. I knew it was not simply a tell-all memoir, every blurb made that clear. Yet there were plenty of memoir-ish elements to give it a bit of a memoir feel. I was expecting a fairly straightforward discussion of what fame is and, as the sub-title implies, how it hijacks reality for both the famous and those caught up in worshiping fame from the outside. I did get some of that but it was supplemented by the specifics of how fame affected Bateman. The book took some getting used to and while it could easily have been just a couple hour read I spread it out over a couple days to give it a chance to sink in. Reading a book quickly, especially one that is nonfiction and thus is not simply a story to be gotten through, is not always a positive.

My impression of the book is far more positive than negative. I took her profanity and expressions of how things felt for her to be a glimpse into the personal side of the more negative aspects of fame. During the part of the book where she expressed her emotions openly she generally followed it with how a theorist has or might view the dynamic she had just described. Once I began to look at it within that structure I started to get more from the book. Because of how I think I would have liked a little more theorizing (either her own or others, or both) but I would not have eliminated the open expression of what it felt, and sometimes still feels, like. The combination showed the dynamic between the imposed fame and those affected by it, from fans and acquaintances to those being sprayed with the fame. Were there rants? I don't know that I would call them that, rants usually imply venting with no discernible purpose beyond the pressure relief of venting. Whether the style worked for you or not it did have and served a purpose, so as commonly understood no, I don't consider them rants.

Toward the end of the book there are fewer of the more forceful emotional discussions because in the flow of the overall book we had moved past the chaotic aspect of full blown fame and were dealing with perceiving the differences between fame and accomplishment, between putting the fame away (which is significantly different from having fame taken away, putting it away is more like finishing a book and putting it back on the shelf with only some recollection of what you liked or disliked about it) and dealing with it being constantly measured and reflected back. I did tend to prefer this part of the book but I also think it is because she made the pain and confusion of the chaos of fame so personal that I was happy to be out of the chaos myself.

I would recommend this to readers who are curious about fame beyond just the gossip and headlines. Fame and the culture of fame does not just affect those who are considered famous. Bateman touches on what it does to and says about society as a whole, though the focus is largely on the part with which she is intimately familiar, namely the sudden and all-encompassing fame. While fans of her work will likely enjoy the book I think some may be disappointed that it isn't an actual memoir.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers. ( )
  pomo58 | Oct 25, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Raise your hand if you LOVED Family Ties as a kid! And had a crush on Alex P. Keaton? And wanted TO BE Mallory!?! Justine Bateman was an idol of mine in the 80's. If I could be like her, or look like her, I pressed my parents to give me a sister just like her! But I got stuck with a brother. Boo!

It's funny, because when I first heard about this book, I said first thing, "Whatever happened to her?" in that snarky, snide voice - like oh, she was has-been, she didn't do anything after Family Ties, she's a one-hit wonder.... And THAT is exactly the type of attitude Justine addresses in this book. (I'm totally sorry for what I said btw Justine and I still love you!)

If you're looking for the behind the scenes secrets and juicy scandal of the beloved sitcom - this is not the book. If you want the scoop on MJ Fox and hanging with child stars of the 80's - nope, not that book either. In fact, one of the first chapters in the book fully explains this - the book is NOT a memoir. It's an exploration of fame. Justine dissects everything from childhood fame in the 80's, to reality star "fame" of today, as well as both the construction AND destruction of fame that social media can make happen. I was fascinated by her take on all things fame. I felt for her - being an actress on a hit TV show, and only being seen for THAT. That her education, and directing, and successes in business mean nothing - cause the "whatever happened to her" mentality translates to - well, if we haven't seen her on TV anymore - she must be a failure in life.

I loved reading this - she's frantic, and passionate, and, OK I'll say it- a bit crazy, yes - but do you blame her? Imagine people saying about you "Boy, she sure has let herself go" on a public forum, on google searches, on Twitter. Just cause the last time they saw her she was 21 - and now she's 50. Well, clearly she's aged - duh. Obviously she doesn't LOOK the same!

I gobbled up every chapter and loved her take on how crazy it is to be famous, but how much crazier it is today. Sure, there's some namedropping, some mentions of Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and more - and there's even a bunch of color photos in the book that she talks about and references throughout the book, which I loved. I didn't need the juicy gossip, as I felt like it made me understand celebrities more and totally got me out of that mentality of "Oh, they wanted to be in the spotlight, so they are just automatically targets." No. I feel terrible now for ever ragging on a celeb in the spotlight - especially the young ones out there.

But I'm still not laying off the reality "stars" ;) haha. ( )
  Bookapotamus | Oct 23, 2018 |
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Mining decades of experience, writer, director, producer, and actress Justine Bateman writes a visceral, intimate look at the experience of fame. Combining the internal reality-shift of the famous, theories on the public's behavior at each stage of a famous person's career, and the experiences of other famous performers, Bateman takes the reader inside and outside the emotions of fame.… (more)

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