Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Sweet Revenge – The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell

Sweet Revenge – The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell: Tom Bower, December 20, 2012—January 2, 2013

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

SimonCowellSweetRevengeSweet Revenge focuses largely on the professional life of Simon Cowell, most likely because his work takes up so much of his life.

Following a scene-setting “day in the life of” segment, Bower chronologically charts the rise and rise (and plateau?) of Cowell’s varied career from his early days in the industry to his TV successes.

It is particularly interesting to read about the thought processes and methodology of Cowell as he finesses his TV empire. We know who he hired, who he fired and what we saw as a finished product, but Bower peels away the top layer to show us why.

It’s interesting to read what was “real” and what was portrayed as real on- and off-screen. Bower is unflinchingly honest about what actually happened, what was staged, and what spin (/fibs) were fed to the press. Nobody can claim ignorance about the manipulation (or “helpful direction”) of ITV’s flagship entertainment shows, but it’s amazing to read such a candid account.

The political wrangling between Cowell, TV executives, record labels and production companies provides a fascinating insight into a side of the industry we see very little of. The constant redistribution of power (actual and perceived) is almost soap operatic as each stakeholder vies for the upper hand.

A predominant theme of the book is Cowell’s long-running feud with Simon Fuller. Its origins are described in detail, as well as the effect it had on their working lives. Cowell recognises his nemesis’ strengths and the relationship between the Simons is complexly gripping.

At times, the writing becomes repetitive with too much time spent on irrelevancies and glossing over more interesting stories.

The book shows us Cowell’s lifestyle, his thought process, his flaws and his fears. Those complaining of a lack of salacious gossip perhaps misunderstand the “intimate” life Bower shows us. The enigmatic success story that is Simon Cowell is opened up and revealed in fascinating detail.

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2013 by in 4 star and tagged .

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@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare