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The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World | [Nancy Jo Sales]

The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World

Over the course of a year, the members of the now infamous Bling Ring allegedly burglarized some of the biggest names in young Hollywood. Driven by celebrity worship, vanity, and the desire to look and dress like the rich and famous, these seven teenagers made headlines for using Google maps, Facebook, and TMZ to track the comings and goings of their targets. Many of the houses were unlocked. Alarms disabled. A "perfect" crime - celebrities already had so much, why shouldn't the Bling Ring take their share?
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Publisher's Summary

The true story that inspired the Sofia Coppola film.

Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson: robbed. More than $3 million in stolen clothing, jewelry, shoes, and handbags reported missing. Who is behind one of the most brazen string of crimes in recent Hollywood history? Meet the Bling Ring: a band of club-hopping teenagers from the Valley with everything to lose.

Over the course of a year, the members of the now infamous Bling Ring allegedly burglarized some of the biggest names in young Hollywood. Driven by celebrity worship, vanity, and the desire to look and dress like the rich and famous, these seven teenagers made headlines for using Google maps, Facebook, and TMZ to track the comings and goings of their targets. Many of the houses were unlocked. Alarms disabled. A "perfect" crime - celebrities already had so much, why shouldn't the Bling Ring take their share?

As the unprecedented case unfolded in the news, the world asked: How did our obsession with celebrities get so out of hand? Why would a group of teens who already had so much, take such a risk?

Acclaimed Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales found the answer: they did it because each stolen T-shirt or watch brought them closer to living the Hollywood dream... and because it was terrifyingly easy. For the Bling Ring the motivation was something deeper than money - they were compelled by a compulsion to be famous. Gaining unprecedented access to the group of teens, Sales traces the crimes minute by minute and details the key players' stories in a shocking look at the seedy, and troubling, world of the real young Hollywood.

©2013 Nancy Jo Sales (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (59 )
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3.6 (49 )
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3.8 (51 )
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Performance
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  •  
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 06-27-13
    karyn richmond, VA, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating listen"

    Even if you have been over saturated by this "made for tv" real life drama about a group of kids from the Valley burglarizing some of Hollywood's elite, there is something for you in this book. Instead of regurgitating everything that's already known about this case, the author goes deeper and backs up the facts with a psychological study about narcissism in today's society, and does it in a way that's entertaining and engaging. I highly recommend this one!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deanna Scottsdale, AZ 06-18-13
    Deanna Scottsdale, AZ 06-18-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    Good book, author's east coast accent tends to be somewhat distracting at times, but otherwise good listen

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Stewart Seattle 12-14-13
    L. Stewart Seattle 12-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator is distractingly bad, story good"
    What did you like best about The Bling Ring? What did you like least?

    The story was interesting, but the pseudo-sociology about why the kids did what they did was overwrought. The narrator has this weird accent, sort of north eastern, and can't pronounce Hermès, which is something that should have been caught.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi oxenreider Bend, OR 08-09-13
    Jodi oxenreider Bend, OR 08-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Literary Girl

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    "Sad story of our celebrity obsessed culture"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story but found that it jumped around a lot. I had a hard time following. It seemed out of order and I couldn't keep the characters straight.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not at all.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was monotone and it made me sleepy! It was hard to listen to for more than ten minutes at a time.


    Was The Bling Ring worth the listening time?

    I am glad I know the back story and I hope to see the movie soon, so yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I think I would have liked this better if it had been a different narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Australia 07-17-13
    Melissa Australia 07-17-13 Member Since 2012

    American mwf living in Australia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Difficult to follow"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I did not stay interested, my mind wandered while listening to it.


    What was most disappointing about Nancy Jo Sales’s story?

    It seemed to repeat the same information over and over again.


    What didn’t you like about Kathleen Mary Carthy’s performance?

    She had the same voice for every character, I could not keep them straight.


    What character would you cut from The Bling Ring?

    I still can't keep them straight.


    Any additional comments?

    This may be a book you need to read instead of listening to, as I found it confusing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Yorba Linda, CA, United States 07-14-13
    Larry Yorba Linda, CA, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2009

    No matter where you go... there you are!

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    "Facinating Account of American Culture Gone Wrong"
    Any additional comments?

    Mrs Sales did an outstanding job of exposing a twisted, American sub-culture. I was expecting the book to be a superficial account of ditwits and their antics. However, it proved to be an in-depth account of ditwits and their antics. It was a absolutely facinating read, full of insights and examples of how our society helped create these lost souls.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    readergal 05-30-14
    readergal 05-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "great narration"
    Would you listen to The Bling Ring again? Why?

    I enjoyed the narrator's performance more than I enjoyed the story. Kathleen Carthy brought more life to the book than I would have experienced by just reading it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond Manhattan, NY 03-07-14
    Raymond Manhattan, NY 03-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "Wild Story About Teens - Really Good Narration"
    If you could sum up The Bling Ring in three words, what would they be?

    Wild - Insightful - Bold


    Which character – as performed by Kathleen Mary Carthy – was your favorite?

    I really liked the narrator. I thought all her characters were clear and distinct.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - It was shocking to hear how extreme some teens behave. It made me question pop culture.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi Tacoma, WA, United States 02-05-14
    Heidi Tacoma, WA, United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Badly written, badly narrated."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Huge distraction. Had clearly not pre-read the book. Frequent pronunciation errors, stumbles and zero flow to the reading.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Interesting story, but written with all the style and much of the content of a high school term paper. Incessant citation and date inserts nuked any narrative flow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah MANHATTAN, KS, United States 09-16-13
    Sarah MANHATTAN, KS, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Boring and preachy, "Kids These Days" ad infinitum"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This was clearly slapped together in anticipation of a movie based on the original Vanity Fair story. To make it a full-length book, the author added a lot of sanctimony and pseudo-introspection. Example: instead of saying "Sofia Coppola's films have all treated the questions of fame and pathos, in different contexts" the author first reports ignorance of Coppola's work, spends a lot of time explaining said work, giving the Coppola's background, providing a ridiculously detailed description of the director and her family, and then says "I guess it makes sense that she'd want to option my Vanity Fair article." The book is bloated with inexpert and rambling musings on adolescent materialism and celebrities, making it much more about the author's opinions and reflections on The Bling Ring rather than, actually being ABOUT the Bling Ring. I had to go online and do my own reading to actually learn the story about what happened, since this book is mostly a hugely pedestrian account of how "kids these days" and "get off America's lawn you entitled brats" and blah blah blah.


    What was most disappointing about Nancy Jo Sales’s story?

    Everything.


    What does Kathleen Mary Carthy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She's a good narrator. There's not much she can do to save the book.


    Was The Bling Ring worth the listening time?

    Nope. I got about halfway through and it became a tedious chore to get through the last half, I only gamely attempted it because I thought it might get interesting at the end. No such luck.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a subject that deserves a more well-told story; after the trials are over and the participants can become the actual subjects of a story about their crimes (this book is really more about Nancy Jo Sales' opinions on society and youth at large) someone will write a book about what happened which focuses at greater length on the social dynamics within the group itself and a more detailed view of the crime spree from the perspective of those who engaged in it. I am looking forward to the movie, because I'm certain that Coppola will do more justice to the texture and context of the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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