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Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,156 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Neil Strauss can uncover the naked truth like nobody else. With his groundbreaking book The Game, Strauss penetrated the secret society of pickup artists; now, in Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead, his candid, surprising, and often hysterical interviews reveal the hidden sides of 120 of the world’s biggest celebrities, from Hugh Heffner to Johnny Cash to Snoop Dogg and ...more
Paperback, 500 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by It Books (first published March 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  2,156 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Theresa Alan
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I overestimated my interest in celebrities. One of the magazines Strauss writes for is Rolling Stone, which is a magazine I like a lot and have read for years. I like reading about people who overcome dark things and end up successful—an abusive childhood or getting clean and sober, stuff like that. Some of these famous people—some comedians, but lots of musicians—are just out of their minds. I read several other books while reading this because reading interview after interview gets ...more
Neil Strauss has interviewed thousands of people, many of them extremely famous. Rather than reprinting some of his best-known pieces, he decided to go back to his original recordings and transcripts and collect only the parts that he felt had the ring of truth about them. Instead of blah-blah designed to promote a project, this book is full of odd, funny, affecting, sometimes embarrassing exchanges.

Here are a few of the more interesting questions he asked.

To Bruce Springsteen: "I hadn't planned
Oct 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Really interesting collection of interviews. Strauss has nicely compiled some of the most revealing and bizarre interviews from musicians, celebrities, and entertainers. Some of the most interesting moments of the book are also some of the most unexpected; like when he interviews David Koresh's former girlfriend (before Waco) and when he accompanies an Icelandic country band called the Funerals on a bleak winter tour of the country.

The book will only be really interesting if you are reading
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's a good thing Neil Strauss had to research all of those survival skills he wrote about in his last book, "Emergency", because some of the things he gets celebrities to reveal about themselves in ELYWYD might force him into hiding for a while. There's more good shit in the first 5 pages of this book than Snoop Dogg has rolled into a fistful of blunts. In ELYWYD, Strauss has basically busted through the veneer of every reconstructed tooth, punctured a hole in every famous breast implant and ...more
Shaun Westphal
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put it down, and I'll probably read the whole thing again soon. ELYWYD isn't just a compilation of interviews Neil has done over the years, it's bits and pieces (the important bits and pieces) that let you really get inside of the interviewees. The fact that they're all famous almost becomes an afterthought in a lot of cases. It's also cool to see Neil run Game on these people (and a lot of these interviews are from before the Game even existed). It's pretty amazing (this happens ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead is nothing like Neil Strauss’ previous works. When you take the time to understand the real intention of this book, you realize that celebrities, no matter how famous, all have their foibles. Strauss doesn’t attempt to glamorize any of the people’s lifestyles he interviews, nor does he vilify them. He simply gives the reader a chance to look at each person as they truly are. Whether it’s beautiful or grotesque is left to the reader’s opinion. The interviews ...more
Allison Floyd
This fine volume was brought to us by the same champ who brought us The Game, and while I will always find him repugnant for that, he can write, and this book (which I skimmed), like The Game, was highly entertaining and deeply twisted. Oh, celebrities! Oh, culture and human nature that make them possible! Good, frothy fun, with occasional bursts of profundity, and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, as in the copyeditor section, wherein we learn why "scumbags" and the specifics of the sounds that ...more
Molly Mirren
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
At first I didn’t like how this book was organized, but once I got used to it, it was hard to put down. My only real criticism is that, most of the time, you couldn’t tell what years the interviews took place. I wish Strauss had made that clearer.

Aside from that, if you have a love of rock stars and celebrities, you should definitely check this out.
Traci Styner
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t put it down

Engaging, witty, sad, entertaining, and profound. This book of portions of interviews by journalist Neil Strauss is all of those things. Traveling through these interviews through the lives of legends and the lives of people I knew nothing about captivated me. He brings it all together with the lessons he learned from the lives of those he interviewed.

The book is long and worth every moment spent reading it.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Neil Strauss has spent the bulk of his life interviewing musicians and performers for newspapers and magazines like The New York Times and Rolling Stone. He's also written a number of bestselling books, most notably The Dirt, which is about the willfully destructive mayhem machine that is Motley Crue. At first, I thought Everybody Loves You When You're Dead was an anthology of Strauss' best interviews, but its something far more complex than that. It isn't a book of interviews so much as a ...more
Aaron Arnold
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who's the real focus of an interview? The subject, who presumably has something interesting to say to the world? The interviewer, with their mission of drawing that out? What about the audience, the true reason for the interview taking place, who's expecting entertainment, connection, and insight? When it's done right, all three get a chance to shine. Neil Strauss, of The Game fame, went through some of his unpublished notes and transcripts for his interviews from his stints as a journalist and ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Having been familiar with Strauss' previous works, through many of his music articles for Rolling Stone as well as the books he co-wrote with Marilyn Manson, Dave Navarro, and Mötley Crüe, picking up his latest book was a no brainer.

Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness is a book of life lessons learned through other people. Strauss returns to the notes and recordings of interviews he's been granted through the course of his career and weaves this book together from
Bruce Levine
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books every by one of my favorite authors of all-time. I don't know how he does it but it seems he can compact a ton of information into small enough doses that you can read it for just a few pages and come back to it with no problems hours later. In addition he presents the celebrities and their own personal dilemmas in a high class fashion which does the book justice compared to what other publications like US Weekly, TMZ, and the other gossip outlets do. Within the book ...more
Stacy Fetters
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Found this book at a local dollar store and when I opened it up it was signed by Neil. It was well worth what I paid for it.

It's really interesting at what some people of fame really have to say and think. He digs deeper into the psyche of these people and they all let loose for him. If you're really hurt by what artists say about life, then you need to skip ahead. Some of these interviews will make you strongly dislike a person to where you are completely done with their career.
This will shed
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
You owe it to yourself to read this if you love music. Strauss is a master of taking you backstage where you can observe celebrities in their natural environment. It's like a pop culture zoo.

This book is effectively a collection of interweaving outtakes from his many years as a music writer. You'll read about musicians you listen to every day, or people you have never heard of and will now go look up. He looks at music from every angle: the people who make it, the people who write about it, the
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It’s not about celebrities. It’s about the humanness behind the mask of the celebrity and the lessons they learn about life right along with us, (non-celebrities).
The author, Neil Straus, examines decades of all the interviews and extracts from them lessons on how we can learn from them to live a happy, true, fulfilling life. Strauss has met a lot of people, over 3,000 up-close and personal interviews of celebrities and persons of interest. This was such an unusual book of
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-90s, true-story, xy
Neil Strauss has interviewed a lot of actors and musicians, and he’s compiled the best, most interesting, most salacious bits of those interviews into this mammoth book-length montage on fame. Every interview leads into the next. He jump cuts from Snoop to Madonna to Johnny Cash in the span of five pages. Julian Casablancas acts like a total fucking psycho then Tom Cruise acts like a total fucking psycho then Prince acts like a total fucking psycho. In the end, Russell Brand steals the show when ...more
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love, Love, LOVE this book. Clocking in at just over 500 pages, Everybody Loves You When You're Dead is the most provocative and entertaining anthology you're likely to read this year. Actually, it reimagines what an anthology should be, since instead of simply selecting his best published pieces over the last 20 years, Strauss re-edits and reselects, often choosing never before published interviews and insights. From testing psychic powers with the CIA to shopping for Pampers with Snoop Dogg, ...more
Jeffrey Bumiller
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. Proof that a good journalist can make any subject interesting. I found myself racing through interviews with people I otherwise could care less about, or actively dislike (The Strokes, Russell Brand, Kenny G!!). This is an incredible collection of interviews. Where else are you going to find interviews with Cher, Zac Efron and Britney Spears and just a few pages later Henry Grimes, Charles Gayle and Raymond Scott? Thank you Neil Stauss, ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'd vaguely heard of Neil Strauss but didn't know much of his work. I'd read a couple of his interviews before, but most of this book was new to me. A collection of interviews could so easily come across as slapdash and thrown together, but there was clearly a lot of care taken here. Interviews are linked by subject, theme, previous conversations and interspersed throughout the book. It's a great read, I really recommend you give it a go.
Rena Sherwood
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best books I've ever read. It's not just a book of interviews with the famous, the not-so-famous and the infamous. It's a look at how to get through the very bizarre and ultimately futile maze called life. It also has great illustrations in the vein of The Who Sells Out album photos. It's also full of practical tips like never lend Courtney Love money.
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Epic, entertaining, and inspiring collection of interviews and snippets of interviews. It took me nearly two years to finish reading this, but I'm glad I didn't give up on it. The format makes it a difficult book to read straight through, but it's worth sticking with!
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: trashy-memoirs
Often poignant, sometimes hilarious, occasionally downright weird. I was compelled to keep reading, even when the interview subjects were people I'd never heard of or cared about.
Maca Hansen
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lo amo
Jessica Hawley (Moon)
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Pretty interesting interviews with an assortment of people.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popsugar-2019
One of the descriptions on the back cover of this book is:

"You can tell a lot about somebody in a minute. If you choose the right minute. Here are 228 of them."

The glimpses into the lives and minds of these famous musicians/actors/writers was like eating popcorn. Once I started I couldn't quit. And I found that, mostly, I was sad for these people. So many seem to be psychologically broken. Does creativity take so much out of a person that the person breaks? Or does the fame break them?

Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this book over the course of two years, which is probably not the best way to do it . But the format -- a 500-page tome broken up into bursts of a page or two that are only loosely connected thematically -- lends itself to that. It's also the book's weakness. The author includes no dates and no more context than necessary to connect each of these interviews, so you find yourself wondering how he can derive the "essence" of a person when it's not always clear if the interviewee is ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Neil Strauss obviously has a rather overinflated view of himself as a sort of interviewer prodigy: the back cover is laden with praise from celebrities, and the edited interviews in the book often make sure to include flattering statements from the subjects about him. Also, the book is edited very strangely, and one might say pretentiously: it is divided into 10 sections, each of which contains a few dozen interview fragments, edited down to the most interesting parts, with frequent cross-cuts ...more
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Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Game, Rules of the Game, Emergency, and Everyone Loves You When You're Dead. He is also the coauthor of four other bestsellers--Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, and Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, and Dave Navarro's Don't Try This at Home. He can be found at ...more
“I haven't heard anything new that I've liked on the show. A lot of the bands we play with are just bad, especially those alternative rock bands. They can do it in the studio but they can't play live... I see the audience applauding while they're playing, and I wonder if it's just because they're fans of the band and don't care, or out of spite. Because it certainly isn't because they sound good.

Branford Marsalis on the musical acts booked on The Tonight Show.”
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