Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (Faber and Faber)

Prior to Starstruck, I think it’s safe to assume there had never been so much in depth research put into why Paris Hilton managed to become frighteningly famous when Tara Reed didn’t. On the surface they could almost be doppelgangers: blonde-haired party girls with extremely questionable talent, both thrust into the spotlight. But while Hilton has managed to thrive, building a mini-empire of realty shows and perfume, Reed has become a punch line and a straight-to-video cautionary tale.

With educator’s eye and plenty of strong wit, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett manages to turn a potentially low brow topic (celebrity) into a far more fascinating read. Don’t expect simple rehashing of tabloid fodder, though. The author digs deep to highlight the real reasons why the public continues to tune in (or log on) to get the latest on celebrity happenings – even if it’s just shots of Jennifer Anniston stopping off at Starbucks. Among the eye-opening research laid out is the amount of money that is being generated by simply tailing these celebs and snapping photos.

Tackling both the Hollywood and Bollywood variety of celebs, she also draws digs into the story behind why your Facebook friend who also seems to have a slew of followers. With millions made annually on celebrities, someone has to buying all those tabloids, even if you don’t want to admit it.

Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett/Faber and Faber/2010/Hardcover/320 pages

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