Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: Elimination Night

This book is an insider's look at American Idol, though purported to be fiction for legal reasons. If you've never watched the show, then I can't imagine this book would be at all interesting. All of the notable Idol stars show up in the book, from Simon Cowell to Jennifer Lopez. There's some thinly veiled anonymity, but it's VERY thinly veiled. Anyone who's seen the show will have no problem deducing who is who.

As for the story itself, there isn't much of one. Most of the book is an expose of the extremes and abuses of the show. Star judges fight with one another for better contracts. Staff are treated like dirt. The protagonist, Sasha King, is called "Bill" by cast and crew alike. Bill was her predecessor's name, and no one can be bothered to learn a new one. Just in case anyone didn't already think so, this book will make it clear that Idol is full of egotism and excess.

As mentioned, there's no real story. There's a sort of continuing theme surrounding Sasha's long-distance boyfriend, but it isn't very interesting. I can't figure out who the audience for this book is supposed to be. Anyone who's at all critical of reality show culture probably suspected most of this, and die-hard super fans are probably not going to believe it. The shock and awe could have been accomplished by an essay- a novel is simply too extended a format for the material available.

Anonymous, Elimination Night (New Harvest, 2013) ISBN: 0547942079 

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