Publication Date: August 2009
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What if a man were so shallow that he couldn't believe his life had meaning unless he was loved and desired by millions of people? What if everything he learned from his television, from the movies, from what he heard on the radio, was treated as an absolute and incontrovertible truth? And what, then, if this man was amoral, cunning, and willing to lie, seduce, and kill to save himself from anonymity?
With an army of consultants, a library of "howto" manuals, and an endless variety of product placements at his behest, the hero of "Anonymous Celebrity" sets out to become king of his own little world--which unfortunately turns out to be the same one the rest of us live in. Equal parts Nabokov, "All About Eve," and "Big Brother," this is a bawdy, irreverent indictment of our self-absorbed culture of celebrity, where to be anything less than famous means being something less than human...
Critic-at-large John Powers discusses two new works — one a documentary, another a novel, that blur the lines between public and private lives. More at NPR.org
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