In review: Dead Famous by Greg Jenner
Welcome to my first ever book review post on the blog! Today I am going to be reviewing Dead Famous by Greg Jenner and spoiler alert: I loved it. If you want to get your own copy click here or if you are like me and love audiobooks, click here for a free two book audible trial!
Title: Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen
Author: Greg Jenner
Published: 19th March 2020
Why I chose this book:
I am going to be completely honest at first the book didn't appeal to me. I just personally am not that interested in modern celebrity culture and I blatantly presumed that the history of celebrity isn't even 50 years old (I have since learnt it is not). However, after falling in love with Greg's You're Dead to Me podcast and listening to a brilliant interview on Radio 6, I decided to treat myself and I am so glad I did.
Praises and Critique:
Firstly, I loved how this book was structured! I expected the book to just act sort of like a timeline going from when celebrity first started until now. I was absolutely thrilled when I realised the book was split thematically rather than chronologically. I found this made the book really engaging and easier to follow along as every chapter linked with a previous and a future one.
Another thing I loved was how many celebrities there were in the book, a whopping 125, and how they popped up all throughout. This made the celebrities stick into my memory a lot more as you learn about them from lots of different perspectives, not just in one chapter and never again.
It was also super funny! I have found in the past many history books to be a bit dry and that left me a bit bored, but definitely not this book. I got the audiobook version of Dead Famous due to, as I said earlier, loving Greg's podcast and his narration made this book even more entertaining. It was filled with funny anecdotes, puns and wordplay (my favourite being "William Fakespeare") while also being super educational. I feel the use of humour kept me hooked throughout the entire book.
My only minor critique would be some of the chapters are a bit long, but I can get over that as they are jam-packed with information.
So, do I recommend it?
DEFINITELY! If you are reading this and aren't too sure if you will like it as, like me, you aren't really into modern celebrity culture, DONT LET THAT STOP YOU! I was shocked to discover that the history of celebrity is over 200 years old and that celebrities can come in all shapes and sizes from Clara the Rhino (an actual Rhino) to Dr Henry Sacheverelle (a churchman) to Shirley Temple. This book will make you appreciate modern-day celebrity and keep you entertained the entire time reading it. It will also give you so many facts to tell your friends and family.