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
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.
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!
I would not listen to the story again because I typically don't read/listen to a book or watch a movie or television show more than once.
The plot definitely kept my interest throughout the book. There was the plot itself but there was also the connection to society on a whole. I was constantly thinking on one level or another as I listened to the book.
I have not listened to any of Kathleen Mary Carthy's other performances before. I did enjoy this more than other books I have listened to before. As a narrator I found Ms. Carthy to be more expressive and interpretive of the story.
I did not have any extreme reactions to this book however I would describe it as thought provoking.
It had a lot of specific details about the events that occurred.
She humanized the characters. I could really see these kids distinctly.
How did kids get so crazy?
Wild - Insightful - Bold
I really liked the narrator. I thought all her characters were clear and distinct.
Yes - It was shocking to hear how extreme some teens behave. It made me question pop culture.
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.
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.
Not at all.
The narrator was monotone and it made me sleepy! It was hard to listen to for more than ten minutes at a time.
I am glad I know the back story and I hope to see the movie soon, so yes.
I think I would have liked this better if it had been a different narrator.
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.
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.
She's a good narrator. There's not much she can do to save the book.
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.
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.
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