Little Known Facts (Sneed) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Impressive... hypnotic...hard to put down...Little Known Facts is juicy enough to appeal to our prurience but smart enough not to make us feel dirty afterward…. Sneed is such a gifted writer.... Her depiction of both proximity to celebrity and celebrity itself had me totally convinced.
Curtis Sittenfeld - NewYork Times Book Review


An entertaining, formally inventive read...the world that Sneed creates in Little Known Facts— a blend of truth and fiction that weaves real life actors and directors into Renn's everyday life—makes for a clever take and a fun read.
Los Angeles Times


Christine Sneed's impressive debut novel, Little Known Facts, is a Hollywood tale that aspires to complicate the traditional Hollywood narrative. Its characters want to swap sincerity for surface, real anxiety for contrived problems.
Mark Athitakis - Minneapolis Star Tribune


In Sneed's unimaginative debut novel, middle-aged Hollywood heartthrob Renn Ivins, blessed with fame, fortune, and good looks, is unable to keep his personal life from falling apart. He philanders and makes questionable decisions, disappointing and confounding his children (rudderless 20-something Billy and young medical intern Anna), not to mention his ex-wives and lovers. On a sentence level, Sneed's prose is confident and seamless. She expends a great deal of narrative time fleshing out the insecurities and emotions of Renn and his entourage. Chapters unfold with eight different points of view, but instead of adding complexity or perspective to what has already been represented, these shifts are mostly skin-deep, revealing tawdry but predictable details, romantic betrayals, and other "little known facts" one might find in the tabloids.... While real-life fans may zealously follow the ups and downs of their idols' lives, Sneed (Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry) takes for granted that readers will feel the same fascination for her fictional superstar and his private struggles.
Publishers Weekly


Sneed's Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry won AWP's 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, among other awards, so the cognoscenti will want her first novel. Here, the glow from legendary actor Renn Ivins blots out his ex-wives, girlfriends, and two grown children.
Library Journal


An ensnaring first novel that delves into the complex challenges and anguish of living with and in the shadow of celebrity. Sneed’s wit, curiosity, empathy, and ability to divine the perfect detail propel this psychologically exquisite, superbly realized novel of intriguing, caricature-transcending characters and predicaments… As Sneed illuminates each facet of her percussively choreographed plot via delectably slant disclosures—overheard conversations, snooping, tabloids, confessions under duress, and journal entries, among them—she spotlights "little known facts" about the cost of fame, our erotic obsession with movie-star power, and where joy can be found.
Booklist


Sneed's debut novel, which follows a short story collection (Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry, 2010), goes beyond the tabloid headlines and chronicles the lives of those who orbit a famous actor. Celebrity has its perks as well as its drawbacks, and revered movie icon Renn Ivins' life is no exception. Adored by fans throughout the world, those closest to him also are affected by his aura and not necessarily in a positive way. His earnings provide financial security for his children, ex-wives, family members and girlfriends, but Ivins' fame is a double-edged sword.... Sneed effectively blurs the line between fact and fiction and brings each character to life.
Kirkus Reviews




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