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Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell

– tekijä: Tom Bower

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
362550,482 (2.75)-
Simon Cowell has made an international name for himself as the no-holds-barred judge on the television phenomenon American Idol. He's been called mean, arrogant, brash, and unapologetic, but his stinging barbs and smug personality have also earned him cheers from fans, as well as millions of dollars, a string of exotic beauties, and industry clout to develop his own projects. But Cowell's true reward is revenge. Sweet Revenge is the ultimate insider's account of Simon Cowell's rise to fame--even as others plotted his downfall--from his cheeky exploits as a British school lad to his failures as a frustrated young music exec in London to his explosive rivalry with Simon Fuller over the genesis of the Idol franchise to the PR disaster that nearly sunk his wildly successful show The X Factor. Conducting more than 150 interviews with industry power players, Cowell's inner circle, and Cowell himself on a private jet, chartered yacht, at his L.A. home, and on the studio lot, Tom Bower pulls back the curtain on a man who is at once insecure, ambitious, easily bored, vain, needy, and driven, a man who will go to any limit to secure his success. Cowell is also revealed as a loyal friend and loving son. His father, to whom Cowell was particularly close, became his most trusted adviser and mentor. Packed with juicy details, exclusive interviews, and never-before-revealed facts, Sweet Revenge presents a complete picture of Simon Cowell that few have ever seen.--Publisher description.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 2/2
Tom Bower is a really good writer - I have another of his books, Broken Dreams, about corruption in Football, which i really enjoyed. I saw this book in a charity shop for a pound, saw it was written by Bower and thought "I bet that might be worth reading".

And it is. At the same time, its quite an annoying book. Why? The subject slightly, but more the egotistical, self absorbed and vain people that inhabit his world. Few (well, none, actually) come across with any redeeming features. Cheryl Cole, Paula Abdul, Will.I.Am, Louis Walsh (actually he's not quite as bad as some), Sinitta and his other exes that he keeps as friends by seemingly giving them houses, cars and holidays. All pretty unpleasant people more concerned with their own "status" and place in their gilded world. Even David Walliams in a brief cameo comes across as clingy and insecure and desperate for approval; Sometimes I just had to stop reading as some of the characters were coming across so badly.

Cowell is incredibly vain and insecure; also far too bothered about money than is healthy for anyone. Would I want even a small percentage of his money? Of course. Would I want to be that kind of person to get it, loaded with his vanity and insecurity? No... To be driven so much by the desire to make money and get revenge on business partners he felt had cheated him in some way, is ultimately pretty unhealthy. Success was not enough. Achievements were never enough - its always working on the next thing that interested him.

In his favour, he clearly works extremely hard at what he does and is very focused. He also likes dogs and supports many charities, so clearly he's not a "bad person". Does he give a tinker's cuss for anyone else? Not many people no. 1 example: he spent millions changing a multimillion dollar mansion in LA, upsetting his neighbours with months of disruption (while he lived elsewhere) and he's quoted as calling THEM the neighbours from hell because they dared to complain.

He seemingly has very few friends, preferring to confide in a small network of trusted exes and fellow rich people. Clearly he's very good at what he does - developing those talent shows - and at least for many years found it hard to delegate, so ended up working long long days. But he's also a master manipulator - constantly feeding nonsense stories to the press to improve ratings, while bending his press chums ears to keep out any unsavoury stories about him (bad publicity is only welcome if its on someone else, clearly) - at least until this book was originally published and serialised in the press. He also constantly seemed to engineer tension between the judges on his shows, as it makes "better tv". So while its not all fixed and scripted, its definitely engineered that way - the animosity is real.

Bower has gone to great lengths in his research - Cowell (to his credit) was well aware of the book and met with Bower several times to answer questions and agreed not to have any editorial say over the book at all - so fair play to him for that.

If you like X Factor or any of the *insert countryname*'s Got Talent shows, this is a great read on what goes on to put those shows together. They don't rely on people coming for auditions - they have teams scouring the country for likely possible people, who are then persuaded to come along for audition. They don't just rely on getting awful people in front of the camera - they work very hard to find people with the possible star quality as ultimately that gets the ratings up - and makes him far more money.

X Factor is a machine designed to find talent, that he and his companies can then sell to make millions. He doesn't have much to do with the winners - they're ultimately product and when they stop selling he doesn't give them a second thought. They make money too - but ultimately he and his companies make far more from them.

Fascinating book, well written and excruciatingly well researched. An eye opener into how shows like that are created - not just his but The Voice and other shows; all fake and manufactured, with contestants and audiences manipulated for maximum effect. And just how vain (and awful) tv people can be, however you see them come across in interviews. And how people with that much money live. And about Cowell himself.
  Flip_Martian | Nov 20, 2016 |
My niece leant me this book, knowing that I watched American Idol and X Factor. I was not surprised that Simon Cowell's sole interests are himself and making money. What did surprise me was that he had modelled his ascerbic and "honest" feedback on another British host who had become famous through his blunt feedback to particpants on a tv show called Popstars; and that he had had little knowledge of interest in either pop or rock music (listens to Frank Sinatra) and based his limited success in the recording industry on manipulating tv stars and tv show popularity into the production of records. Self serving, narcissistic shallow kind of guy. Some good information about the recording industry. ( )
  CarterPJ | Nov 5, 2012 |
näyttää 2/2
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

Simon Cowell has made an international name for himself as the no-holds-barred judge on the television phenomenon American Idol. He's been called mean, arrogant, brash, and unapologetic, but his stinging barbs and smug personality have also earned him cheers from fans, as well as millions of dollars, a string of exotic beauties, and industry clout to develop his own projects. But Cowell's true reward is revenge. Sweet Revenge is the ultimate insider's account of Simon Cowell's rise to fame--even as others plotted his downfall--from his cheeky exploits as a British school lad to his failures as a frustrated young music exec in London to his explosive rivalry with Simon Fuller over the genesis of the Idol franchise to the PR disaster that nearly sunk his wildly successful show The X Factor. Conducting more than 150 interviews with industry power players, Cowell's inner circle, and Cowell himself on a private jet, chartered yacht, at his L.A. home, and on the studio lot, Tom Bower pulls back the curtain on a man who is at once insecure, ambitious, easily bored, vain, needy, and driven, a man who will go to any limit to secure his success. Cowell is also revealed as a loyal friend and loving son. His father, to whom Cowell was particularly close, became his most trusted adviser and mentor. Packed with juicy details, exclusive interviews, and never-before-revealed facts, Sweet Revenge presents a complete picture of Simon Cowell that few have ever seen.--Publisher description.

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