In March 2011, HarperCollins Canada released Neil Strauss’ titled, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness. For those of you who don’t know, Neil Strauss is a well-known entertainment writer. In this book, he chronicles many of his interviews that never got the chance to see the light of day, but are still worth reading.
In this book, Neil Strauss shares touching interviews with many of today’s well-known celebrities, both alive and passed. The table of contents isn’t sorted by artist, but by themes such as drugs or horrible interviews. My husband and I wrote our own reviews without talking to or reading each other.
Neil Strauss begins his interviews by setting a tone. Whether it is in a quiet bar, or backstage, he sets the tone nicely by describing the location, the attitude and such things as what the artist was wearing, or the car they drove. This adds to the story and pulls you in to the interview itself.
I would have preferred the book to be set up by artist instead of interview theme so I could have easily flipped to the artists I liked. In this instance I found myself flipping pages to get to the next artist I wanted to read about. I will go back through and read the other interviews, but to get the most out of the book quickly, I would rather have been able to jump to the next artist and seen the full interview.
With the type of current set up, some interviews were cut up and split amongst a few chapters. So if I wanted to read the entire interview, I had to read, then flip through to find the next part of the interview. The index at the back was set up by topic and no artists were mentioned. There was a selected visual index at the very back that showed a picture of some of the artists and listed one page that they were on, but it is clear that this book is set up to focus on subject matter instead of individual artist.
Neil also adds in some side stories like an interview with a music lawyer (page 293) that had me laughing and was a great insight in to entertainment law.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and reading about celebrity stories that, if not shared, would just have been lost in time.
My Husband’s Review
I first became aware of Neil Strauss’ work years ago, when I read The Dirt – Motley Crue’s autobiography. Strauss was listed as a co-author, though undoubtedly, he did the bulk of the work. I loved this book, so I had high expectations when I picked up his latest release, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead.
Perhaps my expectations were too high…?
As you may have guessed, Strauss is no slouch in the world of rock journalism. This is a fact I didn’t fully appreciate until I started reading Everyone Loves You When you’re Dead. As the author himself points out, he’s “shot guns with Ludacris, been kidnapped by Courtney Love, made Lady Gaga cry, shopped for Pampers with Snoop Dog… soaked in a hot tub with Marilyn Manson, been told off by Prince and tucked Christina Aguilera into bed.” Impressive, indeed.
The whole concept behind this book is to provide one-minute snippets of interviews with rock royalty, including the above-mentioned. As stated on the back of the book: “you can tell a lot about somebody in a minute. If you choose the right minute. Here are 228 of them.”
The concept works on a certain level, particularly for those who don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read in a single session. You can enjoy Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead in small snippets. On the other hand, I found the format at times to be overly disjointed. Strauss can jump, for example, from a sound bite with Prince to another with Jackie Chan, then back to the same Prince interview pages later.
The bottom line? This book is entertaining. It gives the reader an amusing peek into the lives of the various celebrities Strauss has interviewed. He also has to be given credit for taking a unique approach to telling these tales, it just takes some getting used to.
This book is available on Amazon.ca for $13.71 right now.
* We received a copy of this books for free to complete our review. The opinions expressed in this post are ours only and are in no way influenced by any outside factors.