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Stars, Cars and Crystal Meth
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July 2016: Biography Memoir > Stars, Cars and Crystal Meth - 4 stars

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Megalion | 484 comments Talk about a title that delivers exactly what it promises.

Jack worked as a PA and a chauffeur, which is where we get the stars. If you're a fan of Michael Stipe, RuPaul and or Mickey Rourke, you'll love this perspective of one of their inside people. There's also many other names that appear. He does avoid from doing any tattling about celebs behaving badly. At least any specific ones.

Interesting takeaway for me, from his chauffeuring days. Generally, drivers are not to talk to their passengers. Unless they want conversation. He listed three names as being the best conversationalists that he looked forward to driving for. I forget the first one but 2nd was Ryan Seacrest... and the 3rd, Britney Spears! I was delighted about Britney because I have never felt that she's as dumb or scatter brained as people make her out to be.

Cars, there's a LOT of them when you work for limosusine companies as sales and operations. If you're not a car enthusiast, don't worry. I'm not either. He lovingly names the car models as it comes relevant to the story but never gets hung up on rhapsodizing about the inner workings.

I found that part of the memoir interesting for the business perspective. I was a business major in college so I have a fondness for hearing stories about companies started from nothing, how they grow, stay competitive, etc. As biased as I am, I'll take the chance and say that the amount of business chatter doesn't exceed what the average reader's patience might be.

Meth. He's very detailed and honest about his descents into madness. And that's plural. When you think he's hit bottom, turns out not yet.

It's also a look at how addicts who do want to get better, struggle with trying to attain and maintain sobriety. Not really a spoiler because it'd be difficult to write this memoir if not sober, but at the time of the writing, Jack was in his longest period of sobriety to date and the outlook was promising that this time it'll stick for good.

What makes this aspect particularly interesting about the memoir, his father John helped him write it. John sat with Jack and listened to all the sordid details. I'll steal a quote from John's afterward: (paraphased from memory) I liked him a little less but loved him more.

His father is a professor of English which I think is why this memoir is so readable given the obvious mental mess Jack made of himself.

Throughout the book, it's obvious that it was co-written to make it flow. At the end, there's a couple sections where it's unadulterated Jack. I felt that it showed how well John maintained Jack's voice despite writing his memories down for him.

Last thing, not in the title. There's also an interesting look at the life of a young gay man in Hollywood in the 90s. Particularly, one with a high income and flashy cars to drive.

I'll be honest. This memoir is more for those who enjoy Hollywood in any form. Definitely for anyone who is a fan of those three celebrities. If limos and flashy cars are your thing, you may like it for that. All three themes are present throughout the book and not just restricted to a section.

Those would be the reasons to read this book. I enjoyed it because of the Hollywood factor. I did live right across the 101 from the Bowl for a bunch of years after all. A personal fondness.

I wish Jack all the best in his sobriety.

Thank you to the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments Ok, this review is great, and honestly, I also love "inside business" type stories. The title isn't one that would grab me, but your review totally did - - and I like a little Hollywood gossip. Onto the TBR it goes.

Megalion | 484 comments Awww thanks!

It really was fun through the RuPaul and Stipe parts. Rourke was interesting too because of the patience and compassion on the his and his girlfriend's part as Jack was in his spiral by then.

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