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Real Hollywood Stories: Inside the Minds of 22 Celebrities, with one A-list, Brutally-Honest Writer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    A Writer's Writer

    My Lord: This guy can write. And he can think. He is funny and sharp and insightful but at the same time finds pathos in places you don't expect. He actually takes the craft of the profile to higher ground. And he does it on every page. Guess what Dad is getting for Father's Day?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    Five Thumbs Up

    I've been waiting for this collection for...oh...fifteen years, ever since I stumbled on Scott Raab's profile of Kevin Mackey, Cleveland State's disgraced basketball coach, in GQ. I wasn't expecting much--glossy magazine profiles came across as shallow, their truths trite--and besides, I already knew everything I needed to know about about Mackey's fall. CSU was my alma mater. Boy was I wrong. This was a Kevin Mackey--banished to the hustings, crunching diet soda ice from Hardees and spouting twelve-step canticles--I couldn't know. And Raab gave me the real skinny on the second act in a very American life. Since then I've read everything of Raab's I could get my hands on. I couldn't give a damn about Hollywood, or star power, or what passes for charisma. But Raab has always been able to cut to the chase--the itch for power, or art, or happiness--in every subject he's covered. Compared to his portraits, Entertainment Weekly and the tedious New Yorker profiles are cave painting. Which is how I see Raab--inheritor of the mantel of Renaissance portrait painters. 500 years from now folks will look back and judge us bare, forked animals by the content of our obsessions, and not the color of our Palm Pilots. Raab's a big-time chronicler. Think Hans Holbein the Grouchy. Also funny. Real. Buy this book if you savor wit, good-writing, and more chops than a lumberjack convention. Personally I welcome having all these profiles between one set of covers. I think his Larry David piece is in a box in my closet, and a well-thumbed Robert Downey Jr is...well...somewhere. Thanks to someone for making my summer reading a treat, and easier to access. So this doesn't come across as a total chair-massage, I have one complaint. Raab's sportswriting is better.

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