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Fame and Obscurity

4.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  242 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
"Fascinating . . . Poignant." The Wall Street Journal

In this extraordinary work of insight and interviews, bestselling author Gay Talese shares with us the lives of those we don't know and those we might wish we did: Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Manhattan mobsters, Bowery bums, and many others -- fascinating men and women who define our country's spirit and lead us to an u
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Ivy Books (first published 1970)
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Manik Sukoco
Dec 30, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it
Born to an immigrant Italian couple in the island town of Ocean City (he said his mother, a boutique owner, was an inspiration to his reporting in the way she could listen to people, gain their trust and most private confidences), Talese was always a set of contradictions. He was "a year-round resident of a summer resort; an Italian kid in an Irish town; a New Jersey kid at the University of Alabama, smart with bad marks; a chronicler of the rules who couldn't play by them," according to Henry A ...more
May 16, 2007 Silvia rated it it was amazing
Na faculdade de Jornalismo tive a grande sorte de ter tido aula com Marcos Faerman, autor de um dos melhores textos já publicados na imprensa brasileira. Confesso que foram as aulas mais anárquicas da Cásper Líbero, mas sempre marcadas por grandes indicações de livros. "Aos Olhos da Multidão" (título em português) foi um deles. Na época era um livro raro, somente encontrado em sebos ou distribuído obscuramente em fotocópias. Felizmente a publicação foi reeditada no Brasil com outro nome, "Fama e ...more
Harris Reiss
Apr 26, 2015 Harris Reiss rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a kid and couldn't stop reading it. Growing up in Bklyn, I was able to put myself in all the places mentioned. The NYC stories put me in places with my dad. I met Talese a few times on the streets of NY. Told him how my journalism teacher clipped my copy of "The Kingdom & The Power." He sent me an autographed copy. Damn nice of him.
Jan 28, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing
This collection was as great as I hoped it would be. I had only read "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" before this, and while his portrait essays are great, I *really* loved The Bridge section, about the building of the Verrazano bridge. It had what I love about Studs Terkel combined with Talese's new journalism style. I've had a fascination with bridge building for ages (that I haven't exactly dug super deep into), and Talese's writing about it hit all the stuff I was interested in. I can't recommend ...more
May 04, 2013 Rodrigo rated it really liked it
Excelent book. An original view about the big city, talking about the anonymous, the unknown, the ones that live right under the surface. A Masterpiece!
Jim Lane
Feb 24, 2014 Jim Lane rated it really liked it
Fame and Obscurity is made up a three parts; the first 2 are comprised of Talese's first two books, New York: A Serendipiter's Journey and The Bridge, and the 3rd part is a collection of articles he wrote for Esquire magazine which are also collected in The Gay Talese Reader (with the exception of The Ethics of Frank Costello, which is published exclusively in this volume, as far as I know). This is a great book for getting acquainted with early Talese and also becoming familiar with some of the ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Bruno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jornalismo
O livro é ótimo, muito bem escrito. Uma aula de jornalismo.

A edição brasileira, no entanto, poderia ter trabalhado melhor a tradução. Às vezes o texto não flui porque está escrito numa forma americana demais — por exemplo, repete palavras à exaustão e usa uma pontuação estranha ao português.

Ainda assim, leitura recomendadíssima. A primeira parte, sobre os anônimos de Nova York, guarda semelhança com a obra-prima dos quadrinhos Nova York: A vida na grande cidade, de Will Eisner.
Annelise Lestrange
Best journalism book EVER. Gay Talese is a genius and makes his 535 pages looks like they're only 100.

My faovrite part was Frank Sinatra's profile. I couldn't imagine that he was like that... I mean, it's not because he could that he should had... Anyway.

The weird new york profissions were funny to know. I laughed a lot in this part.
As I thought the brigde stories were the deepest part. Somwehow, that workers stories just touched me a lot.

I highly recommend it! :D
Michael Lipsey
Apr 22, 2008 Michael Lipsey rated it liked it
Gay on celebrities is not that interesting, but the chapters on the ironworkers are fascinating. Especially when he hangs with the Indians, daring, drinking, going back to the res every weekend even though it is a six hour drive, just to spend a few hours with their families. And the tragic accidents that are part of their lives. And the boomers who go all over the country to put up high steel. Definitely a good read.
Mar 27, 2008 Sonia rated it it was amazing
My favorite professor in college made us read this book of short fictional tales if you will. He was in his younger brasher days a writer for Rolling Stone and interviewed Jimmy friggin' Hendrix. And he told me that 'I had the stuff kid.' He, and this book, changed my life forever.
Chris Brock
Feb 18, 2012 Chris Brock rated it really liked it
Pretty dang good stuff. The first half of the book is about real people. The second half of the book is about celebrities--people who are non real. The last chapter in the book about the obituary writer is so good.
Apr 17, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book for my literary journalism class in college. I revisit it every year. The stories are tremendous. I aspire to be the kind of writer Talese is.
May 03, 2007 Joshua rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: new yorkers
Shelves: journalism, nyc
this guy could make the phone book interesting. to prove it, he has written a fascinating essay about the phone book.
Jun 28, 2007 Ira rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lots of People
This book rocks. Portraits of Sinatra, NYC Doormen, and the crazy fucks that assembled the Verazano Bridge.
Gabriela Loureiro
Sep 06, 2012 Gabriela Loureiro rated it it was amazing
Very important one for journalists.
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Gay Talese is an American author. He wrote for The New York Times in the early 1960s and helped to define literary journalism or "new nonfiction reportage", also known as New Journalism. His most famous articles are about Joe DiMaggio, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
More about Gay Talese...

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