Life The Movie How Entertainment Conquered Reality A thoughtful in places chilling account of the way entertainment values have hollowed out American life The New York Times Book ReviewFrom one of America s most original cultural critics and the aut

  • Title: Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality
  • Author: Neal Gabler
  • ISBN: 9780375706530
  • Page: 300
  • Format: Paperback
  • A thoughtful, in places chilling, account of the way entertainment values have hollowed out American life The New York Times Book ReviewFrom one of America s most original cultural critics and the author of Winchell, the story of how our bottomless appetite for novelty, gossip, glamour, and melodrama has turned everything of importance from news and politics to religi A thoughtful, in places chilling, account of the way entertainment values have hollowed out American life The New York Times Book ReviewFrom one of America s most original cultural critics and the author of Winchell, the story of how our bottomless appetite for novelty, gossip, glamour, and melodrama has turned everything of importance from news and politics to religion and high culture into one vast public entertainment.Neal Gabler calls them lifies, those blockbusters written in the medium of life that dominate the media and the national conversation for weeks, months, even years the death of Princess Diana, the trial of O.J Simpson, Kenneth Starr vs William Jefferson Clinton Real Life as Entertainment is hardly a new phenomenon, but the movies, and now the new information technologies, have so accelerated it that it is now the reigning popular art form How this came to pass, and just what it means for our culture and our personal lives, is the subject of this witty, concerned, and sometimes eye opening book.

    • [PDF] ✓ Free Read ✓ Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality : by Neal Gabler ↠
      300 Neal Gabler
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] ✓ Free Read ✓ Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality : by Neal Gabler ↠
      Posted by:Neal Gabler
      Published :2019-03-26T03:16:24+00:00

    One thought on “Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality”

    1. Disappointing book. (first a digression: If you are interested in the history of Hollywood, his earlier book: Empire of their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood is long and chatty but definitely worth reading, but this book is not) Life: The Movie promised to be a thoughtful discussion of how modern individuals have more and more come to value the image they create of themselves rather than "what they really are." His key unstated premise, that there is some "reality" apart from our culturally [...]

    2. We are all just a lifie in a cast of other lifies. A good read, and a thesis that has certainly not be refuted by the intervening score of years since publication."But perhaps the biggest reason why intellectuals excoriated entertainment was that they understood all too well their own precariousness in a world dominated by it. For whatever the overt content of any particular work, entertainment as a whole promulgated an unmistakable theme, one that took dead aim at the intellectuals’ most cher [...]

    3. The 20 years since this book was published has validated Gabler's thesis. Trump has internalized his movie where he is the hero, the only hero, and demands homage to that "lifie." The only problem with living your life as a movie is that the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, school shooters, and everyone else slaps you back to their reality and you have no way to understand it. Television and television news keeps pushing the "life as a movie" meme and social media has concentrated it to [...]

    4. An overstretched and outdated look at our relationship with reality and media. Various tics (most irritating: quoting someone famous and then going back and revising their quote to be directly applicable to whatever Gabler is talking about) slow down what is otherwise a competent, if repetitive, writing style. There are better and more incisive books dealing with this material.

    5. I found this enjoyable. Gabler traces (though at times the path is difficult to follow) the history of public performance as a "natural" act in the daily lives of individuals. In some ways, we've always done this; a lifetime of consumption, watching visual entertainment, and projecting ourselves online, has led this behavior to increase.Gabler illustrates a facet of human behavior which has always irritated me--staging. I'm referring to the person who can't or doesn't cook, but insists on having [...]

    6. Budd Schulberg wrote that when his novel WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? was reissued in the 1980s that he was surprised by the number of fans who loved the book and saw Sammy as a role model to emulate. I feared such a reaction to Neal Gabler's LIFE THE MOVIE: HOW ENTERTAINMENT CONQUERED REALITY, that readers would willingly use it as a blueprint to fantasizing their lives in accordance to Hollywood feel-good blockbusters. By the end of the book, which is descriptive rather than prescriptive, following t [...]

    7. This book is a huge overview of popular culture history, and as such is useful. If you break it down it can appear like an overly opinionated rehash of many books before it, which it references and from which it quotes freely. These notably include Postman's Amusing Ourselves To Death or Boorstein's The Image. As those books are not really picked up anymore, which is a shame, I assign this to students to get a forceful argument on the dangers of pop-thinking, and provide a decent history of Amer [...]

    8. Good thesis which experience bears out. While Gabler provides a plethora of examples of how entertainment has infiltrated everything from religion to home decor, I begin to feel as if, perhaps, reality was being stretched in order to fit the model, at times Genuineness doesn't seem to exist for Mr. Gabler. Rather, all of life's elements have been sucked into the Matrix from which there appears to be no escape. Therefore, at times it reads like a monumental conspiracy theory implemented by the ma [...]

    9. A book focusing on the way movies have transformed peoples' sense of themselves. Celebrity. Life as a 'plot,' and people as characters. I would recommend it, even though, with the revolution in consciousness produced by the internet and social media, it is more of historical interest than pervasively relevant today. Similar in that regard to a book it reminded me of, Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death," which focused on television. Postman's book was essentially before cable: 1980. So yo [...]

    10. At some point after I started using , I transferred all my holds and lists of books to read to the site. Some of those books had been on a list since, oh I don't know, 1998, like this one. I think I have to look a little more closely at those books before I get them from the library - 17 years really changes a book on current entertainment culture.So, it was somewhat of an interesting read when viewed as a snapshot of a particular point in time, but it's so weird reading about life as a movie an [...]

    11. "For the truth is that life on the face of it is a chaos in which one finds oneself lost. The individual suspects as much, but is terrified to encounter this frightening reality face to face, and so attempts to conceal it by drawing a curtain of fantasy over it, behind which he can make believe that everything is clear." (Jose Ortega y Gasset, a well-chosen quote, by the way)I reread this after hearing Gabler on NPR earlier this week. It holds up very well, especially after American culture has [...]

    12. Interesting, if not totally engrossing, argument. Gabler traces the history of entertainment in America from its roots in the 19th century to today's Internet virtual reality lives. A thoroughly well-documented tome. This is isn't just argument and good rhetoric. It's scholarship too. We learn from this book how each American is the lead actor in his own film script running in his head. At his conclusion, Gabler makes no value judgments on the Disneyfication of reality in America. He merely invi [...]

    13. I was spending the night at my in-laws and woke up without a book to read and found this in my wife's pile of old college textbooks. It looked interesting, but Gabler's thesis, that Americans want to be entertained at all times and many treat life like a movie as a coping mechanism, an idea he neither condemns nor condones, seems like a great big "duh" from me. He's not a bad writer, but nothing he had to say seemed all that shocking or even original when you get right down to it.

    14. After being excited to find this book in a used bookstore, I started reading and kinda got bored with it. His observations on the history of entertainment was interesting and the best part, his reduction of every conflict as some sort of class warfare got very tiring and was extremely simplistic. I technically haven;t finished it yet, but I may never pick it up again after getting through about a third of it.

    15. I picked this book up with the belief that I would get an interesting, deep conversation about entertainment overcoming reality as the preferred way to live. What I got was actually a boring, cynical, snobbish, rant-like narrative on how entertainment is the preferred way to live. As I write this I'm in the last couple dozen pages, but I think I've had enough of it.

    16. A cogent if not groundbreaking look at how visual media took over the American popular imagination. Written before the internet happened, the proof of the book's basic thesis that America has become the United States of Entertainment is borne out by the fact that it applies equally well to the digital media Gabler could not have considered at the time of the book's writing.

    17. Neal Gabler is a qualified writer and connects several ideas here. His thesis of America as "the republic of entertainment" is true. I was surprised but enjoyed his lengthy discussed of the development of entertainment in the US since its founding up to the first moving picture. His last chapters should convict anyone of the power of media, especially film, in our culture.

    18. B+/A- -- close to being a perfect book, only I'm iffy about quickly Gabler is to label certain behaviors a performance. The book, as Gabler warns us, is descriptive rather than prescriptive, because one reads and can't help wondering if things are just meant to be this way. Better than anything, it helps us see the images that the movies stain into us, how cinematic each of our fantasies are.

    19. Read this in 2013 and constantly reminded myself it was written in 1998. Living 15 years in the future, a lot of the points seem so obvious now. However in its time, it was a rather prescient book in terms of the internet, reality TV, Twitter, etc.

    20. An interesting (if at times really confusing) look at how America honed it's greatest export: popular culture. (No, Kanye at the VMAs does not make the index). History nerds will rejoice, as well as the average joe with a thirst for pop culture. It's fun academia. I promise.

    21. While Neal Gabler makes a very interesting point about life as performance and provides an intriguing history of entertainment overtaking American public life in Life: The Movie, his lack of any solution or resolution and his own cynicism hurt an already very dated book.

    22. Sort of terrifying. Made me want to smash my computer to pieces and stop going to the movies. Pretty good, all in all.

    23. The title says it all, really. (and what a great title). As it turned out, a few years after this was published reality TV took over and the converse book needs to be written now.

    24. Overblown but informative look at a mediated celebrity-driven culture, and how we have recontextualized life as a movie which we star in, complete with sets, costumes, props and grand narratives.

    25. I really did NOT enjoy reading this book. I felt Gabler's ideas were flimsy. (Just thought it needed to be said)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *