Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Book Talk
Reload this Page >

Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Book Talk A Place To Discuss Books and Audiobooks

Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Old 05-29-10, 02:12 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Travis McClain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,247
Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Most celebrities write a book at one point or another. This thread isn't about those memoirs, or diaries from the road or on the set. This is about pure fiction, where a celebrity has decided to spin a story all his or her own (or, at least, partner with a writer willing to settle for a "with" credit). I've read several such works in the last couple of years. You know how once you become aware of something, you're incapable of distinguishing whether it wasn't there before, or you were just oblivious to it? That's where I am with this sub-genre.

I'd like this thread to discuss any interest readers have in such works, as well as consider the merits. I think it's safe to say that most of them contribute less to the world of literature than to the resume of their authors, but in a world where "reality TV" has made stars out of nobodies, what are the implications for somebodies stamping their name on a book? Is it some kind of "celebrity diversification" tactic, like investing in different industries?

I'd also like to see if we can keep a running list of the authors and works that fit this theme. I can't promise to update a master list, but I don't expect a thread in Book Talk to grow too long. I've actually begun to take at face value all the "When did we get a Book Talk?" questions!

To get the ball rolling, here's what I've read:

Richard Belzer with Michael Black - I Am Not a Cop! (followed by I Am Not a Psychic!)

Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn with Bill Fitzhugh - The Adventures of Slim & Howdy

Craig Ferguson - Between the Bridge and the River

Hugh Laurie - The Gun Seller
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 03:10 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Raleighwood
Posts: 6,644
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Steve Martin - Shopgirl
Fist of Doom is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 06:28 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 14,019
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

I've just bought the Fergsuon novel yesterday, and also have the Laurie kicking around here somewhere as well. What was the Brooks & Dunn novel like?

There was a good EW article about this in the last year or two, but the only thing that I could find easily was this CNN article:

10 celebrities who've fiddled with fiction writing
movieking is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 09:37 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 4,293
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

William Shattner wrote a bunch of relative trash, as I recall.
mgbfan is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 01:16 PM
  #5  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 165
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

James Franco had a story in Esquire and has a short story collection coming out.
cornyt is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 04:09 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Reviewer Emeritus
 
FunkDaddy J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 3,197
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Meg Tilly--Singing Songs.

I actually met her at a booksigning, and I had her write my favorite Meg Tilly movie quote along with her signature: "I've always wanted to ride in a limo." (Name that movie!)
FunkDaddy J is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 04:21 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Raleighwood
Posts: 6,644
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by FunkDaddy J View Post
Meg Tilly--Singing Songs.

I actually met her at a booksigning, and I had her write my favorite Meg Tilly movie quote along with her signature: "I've always wanted to ride in a limo." (Name that movie!)
The Big Chill!
Fist of Doom is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 04:23 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Reviewer Emeritus
 
FunkDaddy J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 3,197
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Niiiice.
FunkDaddy J is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 04:35 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Sessa17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: NJ, the place where smiles go to die
Posts: 7,393
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Ethan Hawke has quite a few novels.
Sessa17 is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 04:52 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Raleighwood
Posts: 6,644
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by Sessa17 View Post
Ethan Hawke has quite a few novels.
Would you recommend them?
Fist of Doom is offline  
Old 05-29-10, 06:37 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Travis McClain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,247
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by movieking View Post
What was the Brooks & Dunn novel like?
There are more than 60 chapters in 257 pages, so you can guess that it's structured so that every few pages amounts to a scene. What I thought worked well were the pace and tone of the book; it's very light reading. I'm not terribly big on phonetic spellings of vernacular, and this book is full of them (things like, "Jew see that?"). The tone is very conversational with the reader, which works given that it's mostly an excuse to present a fictionalized version of Brooks & Dunn participating in colorful situations. I placed it in the "Average" part of the spectrum; I liked it, but there's nothing compelling about it that places it on my recommended reading list.

Originally Posted by mgbfan View Post
William Shattner wrote a bunch of relative trash, as I recall.
I've only read his first six Star Trek books (all co-written with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens), so I can't speak to all of his works. I liked the first one, The Ashes of Eden, quite a lot. The rest of them, showing Captain Kirk resurrected and active in the 24th Century, ranged from feeling like contrived fan fiction to surprisingly enjoyable. In any event, given how many things he's written over the years, though, I'm not sure Shatner qualifies as a celebrity not known for being an author.
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 05-30-10, 10:44 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,386
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

I draw a distinction with these books between people who actually write them -- like Hugh Laurie -- and people who just slap their name on it -- like Shatner or Belzer. The latter I'm only interested in reading if the "co-author" is any good.

Speaking of Laurie, I haven't read his book, but I'd like to. I've heard good things about it. He's an amazingly talented guy.
djmont is offline  
Old 05-30-10, 12:54 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 4,293
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
In any event, given how many things he's written over the years, though, I'm not sure Shatner qualifies as a celebrity not known for being an author.
Disagreed.
mgbfan is offline  
Old 05-30-10, 03:40 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
Thread Starter
 
Travis McClain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,247
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by djmont View Post
I draw a distinction with these books between people who actually write them -- like Hugh Laurie -- and people who just slap their name on it -- like Shatner or Belzer. The latter I'm only interested in reading if the "co-author" is any good.
Belzer has four books under his belt so far, two works of non-fiction and two adventures of a fictionalized version of himself. I can't say how much of the writing he's done himself on three of the books, but he was credited as the sole author of UFO's, JFK & Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe. I recognize his writing voice in the other two of his that I've read. It could be he "just slap[ped]" his name on the books, but having read them, I'm not convinced of it.

Speaking of Laurie, I haven't read his book, but I'd like to. I've heard good things about it. He's an amazingly talented guy.
It's been said countless times, but it bears repeating:
P.G. Wodehouse + Ian Fleming = Hugh Laurie

And Laurie clearly had himself and Steven Fry in mind for two of the main characters, which at one point or another was rumored to be optioned for a screen version. A sequel was supposed to have been published last Fall, but that didn't happen and I haven't heard anything to indicate that it will materialize any time soon.

Originally Posted by mgbfan View Post
Disagreed.
I'm sure the public at large still considers him to be Captain Kirk, but I think anyone with even a passing interest in his career is aware of how many books he's authored. In any event, it's not as though this thread is some kind of literary authority so if we want to count him, that's cool with me.
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 05-30-10, 06:57 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,386
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Hasn't Shatner admitted that he didn't write the novels with his name on them? I read the first couple Tek books many years ago. They were about what you'd expect; readable but nothing more than that.

As for Belzer -- I can't speak to his non-fiction, but he didn't write "his" detective novels. I will give him credit, though, for giving decent billing to his (co-)writer. That's more than a lot of people do. (See, for example, Robert Tanenbaum.)
djmont is offline  
Old 05-31-10, 05:19 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 14,019
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

I've had an EW subscription for a number of years now, and usually have a bunch of them lying around the house, waiting to be thrown out every little while. When I was cleaning up over the weekend, I picked up an old copy, and voila! - it was the one that I had mentioned above. This was their list of celebrity authors, as well as their grades:

Hugh Laurie - The Gun Seller B+
Steve Martin - Shopgirl B
Blair Underwood - Casanegra B
Jimmy Buffett - Swine Not? C+
Macauley Culkin - Junior C-
Ethan Hawke - The Hottest State D+
Marlon Brando - Fan-Tan D
Pamela Anderson - Star D
Joan Collins - Infamous F
movieking is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 09:20 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,386
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Admit it -- you want to read Macaulay Culkin's book.
djmont is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 09:53 AM
  #18  
Mod Emeritus
 
benedict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Outside of the U.S.A.
Posts: 10,674
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
Most celebrities write a book at one point or another. This thread isn't about those memoirs, or diaries from the road or on the set. This is about pure fiction, where a celebrity has decided to spin a story all his or her own (or, at least, partner with a writer willing to settle for a "with" credit). [....]
Craig Ferguson - Between the Bridge and the River

Hugh Laurie - The Gun Seller
Although arguable as to whether some/all would qualify as "celebrities" across the pond, a goodly number of British comedians have written novels. One of the first to do this in a big way was Ben Elton. The couple of his I read definitely were done in his tone of voice which can occasionally grate in written form.

Among those that come to mind with not too much effort:
Rob Newman
Stewart Lee
Stephen Fry
Sean Hughes
Originally Posted by djmont View Post
Hasn't Shatner admitted that he didn't write the novels with his name on them? I read the first couple Tek books many years ago. They were about what you'd expect; readable but nothing more than that.

As for Belzer -- I can't speak to his non-fiction, but he didn't write "his" detective novels. I will give him credit, though, for giving decent billing to his (co-)writer. That's more than a lot of people do. (See, for example, Robert Tanenbaum.)
As alluded to some years ago, Shatner's Tek books are deemed to have been ghosted by Ron Goulart. RG certainly gets credit for the comicbooks
benedict is offline  
Old 06-01-10, 10:51 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 14,019
Re: Fiction by Celebrities (Not Known for Being Authors)

Originally Posted by djmont View Post
Admit it -- you want to read Macaulay Culkin's book.
I'll wait for your review first
movieking is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.