Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

Revenge, by Sharon Osbourne

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Revenge, by Sharon Osbourne (Little, Brown; Reprint edition, June 19, 2012, originally published 2010)

Yes, this is by the Sharon Osbourne, reality TV matriarch and successful music promoter, wife of Ozzie. So you think you know what to expect when you pick it up. But, surprisingly, it’s not just frothy chic lit. About the rise to fame of two talented siblings, it has an authenticity that makes it worth reading. Amidst the set pieces Osbourne’s own voice comes out as clearly as if she were talking directly to you, accent and all.

Like Osbourne herself, the novel combines a slick, inoffensive exterior with critical mentality inside. The smooth style, glamorous characters and rollicking plot lightly disguise a serious indictment of the music and movie industries. Reminiscent of a “nonfiction novel”, à la Truman Capote, the characters and events could have come straight from today’s tabloids.

My first instinct was to read it, pan it and dump it. But it turned out to be pretty good. You could say this is Osbourne’s revenge – pardon the pun – on people in the literary establishment, who, like those in the music industry, probably initially thought she was a dilettante. Wrong. Osbourne can write. After all, her autobiography, Extreme, published in 2005, won Biography of the Year at the British Book Awards.

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