I have a secret: I love a bit of gossip. At certain times of the day I can be found perusing a certain ‘news’ website and reading the stories and rumours about the celebrities of the moment. So when the chance came to learn a bit behind the scenes with this book, I leapt at the chance.
The chapters’ titles are enticing, with names of stars dotting them. The novel is littered with big names such as Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, and Cameron Diaz, as well as some unnamed celebrities, but then their stories aren’t quite so nice.
The opening chapter takes the reader straight into Holly’s life, from her longings to be a reporter as a child to actually being behind the microphone. She describes what it’s like to be part of the press pack, cold and shivering, waiting for hours in the cold in a glamorous dress to get a few seconds with a celebrity before they move on to the next press person.
Then there’s the press junkets where a celebrity and their PR team are holed up in a hotel and journalists visit them to talk about their latest film under close scrutiny. There’s a list of questions that can’t be asked, given moments before an interview, which can lead to a useless interview after hours of waiting for your four minutes’ time with them. A terrible interview means it can’t be used, which can mean no money for Holly.
Lots of people live and work on the edge of celebrities, making sure their star burns brightly and that everything goes accordingly to plan. But then, there are those who have access to titbits of information that isn’t necessarily what the PR people want to put out. These are the people that pay Holly’s wages, by giving her the stories that other people don’t have and that she can sell on to websites and magazines.
It’s all about relationships in this game and Holly is good at making them and keeping them. She spills the beans on where and how she finds her sources, and it’s certainly makes good reading.
The writing is engaging and clear, and the stories about survival in this horrible industry are interesting. There were a few chapters where I wanted more detail, where I felt Holly had only just started to give us the story when it ended. This happened a few times and I grew increasingly frustrated with the book because I need to know more!
Any Cop?: A good read for people who want to learn about the fickleness of show businesses or a few hours’ escape from the real world.