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by Adrienne Petterson 2005

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I Don't Mean to be Rude, but...
by Simon Cowell
Broadway Books
ISBN 0-7679-1741-3
Published December 2003 - Hardcover - 246 pages - $21.95

We've come to know Simon Cowell as the ruthless judge on American Idol.  Initially his remarks appeared hurtful, but after a while, I started agreeing with him, and wished he'd just not be so arrogant.  Now, I yell "yes" or "no" before Simon and we usually agree.  This book is about the process of becoming a pop star and I couldn't agree with him more when he writes, "If you can't sing, don't come to the audition."  I wonder who some entrants turn to for confirmation that they can or cannot sing.  Most of them make total fools of themselves.  Those who can sing a little better, have oodles of confidence, and who are not quite good enough, have the audacity to challenge the judges' negative decision.  Simon Cowell humorously gives us the how's and why's about the competition, the auditions, who's on their way out in the pop world, and many savvy and enlightening observations.  He's no dummy and he knows what he's talking about - he's made millions in the music business.  In my opinion, it's all very well telling someone they can be anything they want to be, but in reality, if you're not good at what you want to be, what's the point? You're just setting yourself up for failure.  Try something else.  Simon has no problem telling it like it is and that's a sign of a competent judge - lose the hurtfulness though.  The first person to be on the receiving end of Simon's opinion was his mother, and his first job was in the mail room at EMI.  A great quote in the book by Simon, is, "I hate opinion that stems from nothing but attitude; it's the depth of ignorance."  He does have an informed opinion and one many hopefuls should respect and follow.
Conclusion - I loved this book.  A great way to "get" Simon.  Well-written and entertaining.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed.
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