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Little Known Facts

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3.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,321 ratings  ·  200 reviews
The people who orbit around Renn Ivins, an actor of Harrison Ford-like stature--his girlfriends, his children, his ex-wives, those on the periphery--long to experience the glow of his flame. Anna and Will are Renn's grown children, struggling to be authentic versions of themselves in a world where they are seen as less important extensions of their father. They are both dr ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published January 17th 2013)
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Christine
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-own-book
Some background on what inspired this book: I've written a number of short stories with characters working in the Hollywood film industry, and Little Known Facts is a longer meditation, with several different point-of-view characters, on fame and the myths we're often very willing to buy wholesale about the celebrities we admire most. It has seemed apparent to me for a while though that fame is not a shortcut to lasting happiness, in particular for those most closely involved with a famous perso ...more
Jill
Aug 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Little Known Secrets begins with an intriguing premise: how do those family members – the lesser planets – fare when they are “forced to orbit the famous, greedily glowing sun in their midst.”

That “sun” is Renn Ivins, an instantly recognizable actor who calls to mind someone of Harrison Ford’s stature. And the “lesser planets” are his first ex-wife, a physician who has worked hard to reclaim her identity, and their two shared adult children, Will/Billy and Anna.

The story soars when it displays
...more
Beth Browne
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I didn't want to like this book. I have a to-read shelf that is overwhelmingly full and if something doesn't grab me in the first twenty pages, I'll put it down. I almost put this one down when I found a few sentences that were awkwardly constructed, enough that I had to re-read them several times to get the meaning. But, fortunately, by this time, I was totally hooked on these characters. The book is narrated from the perspectives of various characters surrounding the obscenely successful and f ...more
Dirk
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
The flatness of fame

This novel is about the effect of the fame of a well-know actor on the people around him. He is a very well-established Hollywood figure, on a level with Clint Eastwood or Paul Newman. The effects are reported in separate chapters from the points of view of his children, girlfriend, his ex wives, and a couple of background characters, some narrated in first person, some in omniscient third person. The chapters are arranged sequentially in story time so that the reader is enga
...more
Joseph Pfeffer
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant first novel that often doesn't read as a novel at all. It's really a book about contemporary celebrity culture and how it affects everyone who comes in contact with it. Told from, I think, nine different points of view, Little Known Facts is about how each person in the orbit of world famous superstar actor Renn Ivins are dominated by his presence in their lives. There's his son and daughter, his two ex-wives, two girlfriends, a couple of others. Christine inhabits each of these peop ...more
eb
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Reflections on a movie star, from himself and the people close to him--his ex-wife, son, daughter, etc. There are some interesting observations on fame here, but there's not much story, and the diction doesn't vary from narrator to narrator; every voice is laconic and flat.
Angela
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting book. a look into the life of a fictional famous celebrity and his family and co-workers
Patty
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Little Known Facts
by
Christine Sneed

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Famous father...dysfunctional children...success and relationships and what they might do to a family.

My thoughts after reading this book...

The story is told by people who are involved with Renn...famous actor father...the man everyone loves except perhaps his ex wives and son. Renn has led a rather charmed life...women, career, money...he has everything that he has ever wanted. His children...Anna and Will...are not clearly dysfun
...more
Naomi V
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction
Renn Ivins is a big, big star – an actor, a screenwriter, and a director; nominated for and winner of many prestigious prizes. But like many people who achieve the fame and fortune that they dream of, his life is less than perfect. He’s twice divorced, his relationships with his adult children are sometimes strained, and like all actors, he worries about his career, his appeal…and his girlfriend, who is younger than his children.

Each chapter is told from a different point of view: Renn’s first e
...more
Paul Wilner
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent work from Christine Sneed; a quantum leap from her (also excellent) debut short story collection, Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry. This understated but ambitious novel is not about "Hollywood,'' although it deals with the tangled psychological and sexual complications of a famed actor but about the equally complicated machinations of family, made even more complicated by the mixed blessing of "fame.'' Sons and daughters, husbands and wives come together, trying to be bet ...more
Elaine
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to admit this book was really very good. It is decidely readable and offers a believable insight into a world most of us can but guess at.

Told from the point of view of a few characters, I felt each character had a distinct voice and that's not something you often get in a debut novel.

Simple, open and surprisingly compelling. I'm looking forward to more from Christine.

Full review here
Kathleen
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A smart meditation on jealousy and happiness and the inevitable comparisons people find themselves making to other people.
Eliza
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Character-driven fiction is my jam. I love plot but if the characters grab me and never let go, I will follow the author to the end - until they write their last word. This is what made me read LKF in less than 3 days.

It tells the story of an Oscar-winning, scene (and girl!) stealing, self absorbed actor named Renn. His mess has touched everyone in his life: his 2 ex wives, his 2 adult children, and a cast of personalities woven into this spectacular read. If you have an interest in celeb drama
...more
Michelle
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Well this was a suprise. I am not even entirely sure how I ended up reading it - when I went to the library it was there amongst my pile of reservations (I keep the fabulous folk in my local library very busy, not least to deter the government from closing it). I never turn down a book in need of a home, even a temporary one, so I gave it a go ... I loved it. Each point of view was very well written and believable, and the character sketches were the best I've read in a long while. Hollywood is ...more
Melissa
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is the second or third book I've read recently where the story is told from multiple characters' viewpoints in alternating chapters. It's almost more like reading a book of interconnected short stories (but not exactly). Despite not feeling like there was really anyone to root for in this book, I enjoyed it. Up until the abrupt ending, which knocked off a star for me.
Iowa City Public Library
From Meredith: "I don’t watch a lot of TV or go to a lot of movies, but celebrity gossip blogs are my guilty pleasure. I may not always known who the stars are being discussed in these blogs, but that doesn’t make them less enjoyable.little-known-facts

Christine Sneed’s Little Known Facts is like reading a particularly juicy tidbit on BlindGossip.

Little Known Facts is a fictional look at the celebrity lifestyle through Renn Ivins. He’s in his 50s, has two kids in their 20s and two ex-wives, but H
...more
Meredith
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I don't watch a lot of TV or go to a lot of movies, but celebrity gossip blogs are like crack to me. I may not always known who the stars are in these blogs, but that doesn't matter when the dirt is good. :) This book was like reading a particularly juicy tidbit on BlindGossip.

Little Known Facts is a fictional look at the celebrity lifestyle through Renn Ivins. He's in his 50s, has two kids in their 20s and two ex-wives, but Hollywood still loves him. That's great for his career, but what about
...more
Kate
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
See my full review here: http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wor...

Slick, fast-paced and with that ‘I-know-it’s-sleazy-but-I-can’t-stop-watching’ element of Entourage, Little Known Facts, the debut novel by Christine Sneed is a brilliant read.

It’s the story of Hollywood movie star, Ren Ivins, and is told from the perspective of the various people around him from his children (Will and Anna) and ex-wives to the kid who looks after props on the set of one of his films. In many ways, Ren is exactly l
...more
V
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a read! Christine Sneed's writing is interesting and admirable. The book is split into different POV's of the central character, Renn Ivins, the global movie star, and how he affects the people in his life. What I like most is her subtlties. Her characters have depth, even when they're not meant to. I would not say they are caricatures of the Hollywood life which is refreshing. Yes, they have money, but it isn't glamorously written a la Gossip Girl.

Everything about the chapters felt r
...more
David
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A definition of insanity is being out of touch with reality. By that designation every modern-day celebrity and their entourages are psychiatrically disordered. If you have any interest in the subtle intricacies of the madness affecting those surrounding the current royalty, receiving coronation by the media and fan culture, read this book. By following the lives of people who are sucked into orbit by the gravitational pull of a Hollywood A-list movie star this work investigates the Icarus-like ...more
Megan
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randy Richardson
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The title of Christine Sneed’s stunning debut novel, "Little Known Facts," is deceptively telling. The book is about celebrity culture and how we, the adoring public, ravenously devour every last bite of juicy gossip about the celebrities we worship, to the point where we think we know every little detail about our idols, when in fact we know very little at all. Through a collection of monologues, told in documentary style by the characters that inhabit a fictional Hollywood family, Sneed puts a ...more
Kasa Cotugno
We all love to read the tabloids. We have read again and again about how the perks of fame just ain't what they're cracked up to be. Nothing new here. This novel attempts to pursue this logic once again, but also attacks from the point of view of those surrounding Renn Irvins, the megastar at its center. Although many of these interlocking stories are told in first person, there is not much variation in the tone or material contained therein. The voices melt into one another.

The reader is expec
...more
Aleksa
Apr 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bloomsbury-books
Love this book! I work for the publisher so was able to read it when we acquired it and I think it's a beautiful exploration of the effects of fame and fortune on the people related to the famous and fortunate.
Renn Ivins is a huge movie star, I pictured him as George Clooney or Robert Redford, with a great career and a complicated family life including adult children struggling to find themselves outside of their famous dad and several ex wives. All of these people orbit around him and are obse
...more
Anita Gewurz
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Memo to readers: Check out the title of the book and its chapters — it's not a Hollywood expose, but a serious, probing, thoughtful and thought-provoking first novel by an incredibly perceptive writer of little known facts. Ms. Sneed refracts the lives of the various Ivins (and ex-Ivins) family members who could be celebrities in any field — or you or I. As in her short story collection, "Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry," in this book too Ms. Sneed elevates the mundane into art. S ...more
Kevin
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Christine has written a surprising, thoughtful, hard-to-put down, morally nuanced look at celebrity and Hollywood. This is what novels are for: looking at the bits of life that make celebrities human and ordinary people--in this case, the people who surround a famous movie star—special. I love the book's structure--we look at a new point of view in almost every chapter, with returns to a few favorite characters. It's always interesting to see how each new perspective sheds new light on this worl ...more
Jason Klein
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great debut novel by my long time friend, Christine Sneed. Well developed characters, and written from multiple points of view. The book centers on an ultra famous movie star, his family, and all the baggage that goes along with fame. Very well executed, and it kept me interested all the way through.
Lauren
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, an insider's look at fame - it was such a treat to read, I never wanted it to end! Even if you aren't the sort of person who compulsively reads People magazine, US Weekly, etc., you should still enjoy this look at what a culture that deifies actors does to everyone involved. A fantastic and engrossing read!
Dorothy
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was kind of nice to know that celebrities don't have it all that easy. Sorry, can't help but not understand how someone with so much money and people constantly going out their way just to make them happy have such a tough life. Yeah maybe I shouldn't say that, but ....
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187 followers
Christine Sneed's fourth book, the short story collection The Virginity of Famous Men, was published in September 2016 and was a finalist for the 2016 Chicago Review of Books Award for best fiction. Her third book, the novel Paris, He Said, an Illinois Reads selection for 2016, was published in 5/2015 by Bloomsbury USA, and it is set in contemporary Paris and New York. The main character, Jayne Ma ...more
“It is hard to dispute the evidence that we are a race defined to a significant degree by our pettiness, by how vicious our desire is to keep track, to compare, to win.” 1 likes
“We are a cheating species, both male and female, whether or not we are famous. Why, I would really like to know, does this fact continue to surprise and scandalize so many people?” 0 likes
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