Fame Junkies by Jake Halpern was a book I had read a review about and was interested enough to put it on hold at the library. Just read it this week (it’s a short and quick read) and would recommend it.
Halpern uses lots of statistics and results of studies to back up his points and it’s those I found most interesting. It’s not like any of the studies were groundbreaking or surprising, just interesting!
Halpern’s most interesting chapter focuses on parents who spend thousands to enter their kids in “talent competitions” in the hopes that an agent from Hollywood will spy their kid and start them on their way to fame. He spends time interviewing residents of Oakwood Toluca Hills, an apartment complex filled with moms and children hoping to break into the business. It’s an informative look into their hopes and what they’ll sacrifice.
The statistics are too many to write here – that’s why he wrote the book! – but I did find them intriguing. And if you’re writing for teens or writing a paper on fame, this would be a great book to quote from 🙂 Many studies show that those who are seeking fame, do not have attention at home or school. Other studies show that narcissism, extroversion and self-esteem are on the rise in today’s society. One interesting report was on monkeys who gave up the chance to get treats so they could continue to stare at the attractive, “star” monkeys in their groups!
My one complaint is that Halpern brings the desire for fame to an evolutionary basis, which I do not agree with. When I look at fame and the desire for fame, it actually backs up the Bible’s view of creation and Adam and Eve. Was it not their desire to be gods what got them in “trouble?” All through history, we see the struggle of man wanting to be bigger than God – this backs up his studies and makes more sense than suggesting evolution is the answer/basis.