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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  323 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
They were princes...

The royalty of their 1950 high school graduating class--three promising young men who were, without a doubt, most likely to succeed.

And they did succeed.

In films, in journalism and in charismatic religion, they reached that dazzling, dangerous pinnacle called


...only to be haunted by memories of a dark night of violence and a shared secret gui
Paperback, 640 pages
Published February 1st 1984 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1982)
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Lee Anne
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now, when I say this is a four-star book, I don't mean it in the same way that an Edith Wharton book, or say, The Help is a four-star book. This is a four-star book in the category of 80s, mass market, die-cut/metallic-lettered cover, bought at the grocery store books. It has sex, violence, sexy violence, violent sex, drugs, homosexuality, racism, political events, religion, and college football.

I bought this book back in 1984, when it was made into a mini-series starring Ben Masters (late of "
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I watched the mini-series when I was in high school and discovered it was based on the book by Thomas Thompson. I devoured this book! It is incredibly written, with an amazing plot. To this day, I use a quote from this book, to the effect that she is a virgin with each new moon...(great stuff)... and when the movie star has gay male sex for the first time, it definitely made an impact on my impressionable young mind (at the time).

I still have my original paperback copy today, over 20 years later
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to read big ass books!
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra Pawlak
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was one of those books that sat on my bookshelf for more than 30 years--honest! I finally decided to read it after it was brought up in an online reading group that I belong to. Although for the most part, I enjoyed it, I sometimes found it difficult to follow. Lots of characters and lots of side stories were hard to keep track of. The main plot seemed to move rather slowly as it was bogged down with all of this other information. I must say, however, that the twists and turns were the most ...more
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
I saw the mini-series based on this book years ago. I absolutely loved it. Strangely for some reason I never chose to read the book. Boy what a mistake. The book is a thousand times better. I loved the way the characters were so drawn out and developed. I know some people call the little chases of the reporters career based on Thomas Thompson's own experiences as dull or boring because it takes away from the plot. I thought it added so much to the book and my enjoyment of it. I love history and ...more
Naznin Azeez
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Never did I know that a gem such as this one was sitting unread in the TBR part of my book collection, for almost 5 years!. One heck of a story that covers the life of three friends from teenage years to their elderly years.. Author spends too much time building the world even with the tiniest details which was a bit of a drag at times. The protagonists are all fleshed out well. Overall quite interesting!
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I just loved this, when I read this in the 80’s. Read it after I saw the mini series. Both good.
Nancy Hartill
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading the riveting, Serpentine, I was interested in this book. It is a long story, and a lot of jumping around. Not sure if this could have been assembled better, but was difficult to figure out where we were at all times. The story about these 3 popular men in High School who find themselves feeling guilty most of their lives from the day they graduated, wind up being popular even at 43 years old, but maybe not totally happy about it. One becomes a charismatic actor, one becomes a noted ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of trashy novels, Jackie Collins, or Harold Robbins
Celebrity is a juicy and engrossing summertime beach read if you can get past the casual racism, gross misogyny, and overabundance of cringe inducing metaphors and similes (I mean, he compares a house on the hillside to a melting pat of butter!). There's a twist at the end that I didn't see coming but in retrospect is blatantly obvious and, outside of the embarrassing use of those aforementioned metaphors and similes, Thompson's writing is far better than any trashy novel deserves to be.

The prem
Sam Primera
At Their High School Graduation Three Seniors-Mackenzie Crawford,Kleber Cantrell,And T.J. Luther-Commit A Horrific Crime.After The Crime Is Covered Up They Go Their Seperate Ways To Live Extremely Productive And Successful Lives.

Crawford Becomes A Pro Football Player Then Turns To Acting.Kleber Becomes A Highly Successful And Published Journalist,Covering All The Important Events Of His Time.And T.J. Will Try To Cleanse His Soul With Evangelism.

But The Horrible Secret Won't Stay Dead.With Guilt,
Cassius Shuman
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was an engrossing story about three men who reach the status of celebrity while struggling to forget a dark secret that binds them together. Author Thomas Thompson does a great job of interweaving three separate story-lines which intersect at different points in the story. Thompson when to school and started as a journalist in Texas. He worked at Life Magazine in 1961 and later became an editor and staff writer. While working at Life he covered the JFK assassination and was the first writer ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For about 10 years, in my teens, I would read this book every summer. It's trashy enough to qualify as a great summer read. I picked it up again, because I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered. It is. As a matter of fact, now that I'm older, I can appreciate the great writing, the intricate plotting, the great way in which the story is told and the characters. SO glad I came back to visit this one.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book when it was first published back in 1982. I remembered the fascinating characters and the sweeping roller coaster plot. I didn't remember how well written it was/is. I love that Thompson uses the word "celebrity" in some way in each chapter. It's a great summer escape read. Caution: language and some scenes are pretty rough.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this as a teenager after the mini-series (god, I miss mini-series), and I obsessed over it for years. I wish I still owned my original dog-eared paperback copy, but it's long gone.

Without giving too much away, the moment the acid on the wall of the cell reveals the face to TJ is tattooed on my soul.

Wonderful haunting, sprawling Southern story with glamor and sex and scandal.
Connie Courtney
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I remember watching this in the 80's as a pre-teen. It was a miniseries that captivated me. The book, all these years later, not so much.
Standard soap opera style fare. Not too deep, not too well written, but good company to pass a beach day or laundry day
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Too bad there are not many authors like Thomas Thompson around any more; part true crime with deep characters and a surprise ending. If anyone knows of a similar author, please let me know!
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I liked the book. The story follows 3 young men from high school into adulthood. The author does a great job of tying the past and present. Sins of the past are carried forward and continue to haunt the three young men. The ending is a little unexpected but very plausible.
Patricia Oak
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is from the late 70's in a time where cell phones and the internet did not exisited The world was coming out of WWII and going into the 60's and 70's. It also looks at the pluses and minus of being well known.
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you want to read a book that completely absorbs you, this is the one. Somehow it's gossipy and salacious and poignant and insightful all at the same time. I read it for the first time over 20 years ago and I still count it as one of my favorite books.
Marwan Asmar
Great Book not because of its Hollywood celebrity style but because of the way it is weaved by a well-known journalist who was one of the editors of Life magazine. A great deal of his journalism goes into the story-line which lead some to say it has the bit of biographical
Robert Grant
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot. The plot was well developed and the characters were well drawn and all had interesting subplots and inner conflicts that they were dealing with. Another book that reminds me of the big budget TV mini-series of the 70's and 80's. A good read for sure.
Katherine Coble
Definite escapism.

Interesting to see how 25 years have changed for acceptability in Popular Fiction.

May 05, 2012 rated it liked it
superb read
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Big, brash, cheesy, gaudy - a typical 80s read, but it's also about male friendships, bonds that last for years and I like that kind of thing.

Plus I enjoyed the mini-series.
Dec 17, 2013 added it
I first read this when it came out in the early 1980s and found it a rivetting read.

02/03/14: It still is.
Jim Swike
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great read, became a mini-series
Dec 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good book. They made this into a very cheesy mini series in the early 80's.
Mary Wilder
A Thomas Thompson book, enough said. It was great.
Julie Foy
May 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Couldn't finish it - literary equivelant of a soap opera.
Ali Franke
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Couldn't even finish it - too trashy and I don't consider myself a prude but the language is atrocious.
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Celebritys 2 5 Mar 26, 2014 08:59AM  
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He was born in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas in 1955. He then worked as a reporter and editor at the Houston Press.

Thompson joined Life Magazine in 1961 and became an editor and staff writer. While at Life he covered the JFK assassination and was the first writer to locate Lee Harvey Oswald's home and wife. Among his stories were coverage of the making of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely He
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