Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire: 101 Lunimaries Ponder Life, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life | Edited by Graydon Carter | Illustrated by Risko | Rodale | 224 pages | $23.99

A tradition since 1993, Vanity Fair's monthly questionnaire (and complementary Robert Risko caricatures) is perhaps the celeb-obsessed political muckraking mag's greatest tool for probing icons from Karl Lagerfeld to Karl Rove. Inspired by its namesake French novelist and a 19th-century Parisian pastime, the Proust exercise pushes humanity's most revealing buttons. Such inquiries as "What is your greatest fear?" expose more about subjects than could a fleet of gossip hounds and paparazzi.

As Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter notes in his introduction, there is little consistency among responses. Several participants agree that Nelson Mandela is superlatively admirable, but otherwise the only commonality is that most stars are incapable of masking their megalomania. The collection packs select surprises (Jimmy Buffet most admires Walter Cronkite, Bill Blass identifies with Thomas Jefferson) as well as some more obvious revelations (Hugh Hefner considers himself "Happier than anyone deserves"). An ideal gift for everyone from society brats to celeb-crazed friends who crave more than what TMZ offers.

— Chris Faraone

<< first  ...< prev  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |   next >...  last >>

13 of 15 (results 15)
  Topics: Books , Entertainment, Entertainment, Altamont,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REMEMBERING DAVID LAMB  |  April 10, 2014
    Our local music community was dealt a devastating blow with the announcement that Brown Bird’s David Lamb had succumbed to his second bout with leukemia, at age 36.
  •   BRING ON THE ALT-HOLIDAYS  |  December 31, 2013
    It’s tough to get excited about the traditional holidays these days.
  •   BIZARRE HOLIDAYS, OBSERVED  |  December 26, 2013
    In 2014, we at the Phoenix will be celebrating some alt-holidays, special days that haven’t yet been adopted — and thereby ruined — by the masses.
  •   BEST MUSIC POLL 2013  |  December 12, 2013
    A new season and the same great energy.
  •   A FLOCK OF TURKEYS  |  November 26, 2013
    B101 has been blasting Christmas music for almost a month now, which means it must be Thanksgiving.

 See all articles by: PHOENIX STAFF