Monday, January 4, 2016
Book Review: "The Bling Ring" by Nancy Jo Sales
This book chronicles the robberies as told to the author (and Vanity Fair journalist) through interviews with some of the bling Ring members and the police department documentation. The focus is mainly on Nick Prugo and Rachel Lee - the two leaders I guess, although there are differing reports on who was the real mastermind between the two of them. Nick confessed everything to the police, which allowed them to tie everything together and hand down all the charges. The secondary focus is on alexis Neiers, but I think that had more to do with her willingness and desire to be interviewed for this (while still trying to maintain her innocence).
The story that unfolds tells of this group of teens who grew up just outside Hollywood and became obsessed with fame and celebrity. They stole the clothes and jewelry because they wanted a piece of it - they would wear the clothes out clubbing and feel like they were part of the fame machine. The author does a good job of providing historical background as to American youth culture through the decades and the effect of reality television and celebrity gossip "news" on the culture today. The fact that these kids could easily locate and scope out these celebrity's homes through internet map searches, then discover their whereabouts through gossip sites or Twitter (to be sure they weren't home at the time) is just so simple it's crazy. But the attitude that it was okay because their targets were so rich, they wouldn't miss it - is staggering. Then that they used the stolen goods to promote their own pseudo-celebrity by getting themselves photographed by paparazzi at Hollywood hot spots borders on insanity. One Bling Ring member "accidently" wore a stolen necklace to a court date... thereby adding another criminal charge to her record. How do you forget that? It's like their was no guilt felt at all.
This book was the inspiration for a movie by the same name directed by Sofia Coppola. I haven't seen it, and despite starring Emma Watson (whom I adore), I probably won't. This book satisfied by curiosity about this crime and Google searches gave me adequate updates on the main players. This book is quickly becoming outdated or out of our social recollection though - so if you are interested at all in this, go ahead and read it.
The Bling Ring
by Nancy Jo Sales
It Books, 2013