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Book review: Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead

Neil Strauss’ latest culls truth from celebrities


Neil Strauss will probably never write a book as good as The Game, but that hasn’t slowed him down. He’s quietly mounted a serious challenge to Chuck Klosterman’s status as the nation’s premier Trendy Music Writer Who Gets Personally Involved With His Stories. And Strauss just released a compilation of his best interviews, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead. Strauss talks with Gaga, Snoop, Bowie and many more, and with non-musical celebrities like Jackie Chan, Tom Cruise and Mike Tyson.

The Details

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead
By Neil Strauss, $17.
three stars

Strauss writes that he “selected the best moments from the three-thousand-something articles I’ve written over the years … I searched for the truth or essence behind each person, story or experience.” And he found it; the book spills with truth, though none of that truth really connects. The epilogue ties nothing together, try as it might.

So read Everyone for the individual moments and the gossip. Because Strauss talked with many of these celebrities before they got really big, he got them to say some pretty revealing things. According to Strauss, an 18-year-old Paris Hilton told him, “I can’t stand black guys. I would never touch one. It’s gross.” (A Hilton spokesperson has called the quote “untrue and ridiculous.”)

With big, bold personalities on each page, Strauss’s quiet, thoughtful character shines. He’s become a celebrity in his own right, The Guy Who Gets the Interviews and Asks the Thoughtful Questions.

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