A biography of Anderson Cooper
By Elizabeth Casella
Wayne State University
Com 2100, April 10, 2018
“Anderson Cooper: Journalist, Correspondent, News Anchor”
By Crystal Reynolds
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 9, 2016
Price: $5.95 on Amazon or free on Kindle Unlimited
Anderson Cooper is a common household news name and personality. With an extensive career in journalism as well as becoming a celebrity for his family life and short modeling careers, he can be seen as an icon with several books about him and the award winning work he has covered and produced. In the short biography, “Anderson Cooper: Journalist, Correspondent, News Anchor,” author Crystal Reynolds tries to convey his life and career to readers. She uses examples from interviews, news articles, his own works and what can be assumed to be research on a personal level with Cooper through interviews or other outside sources, but is never quiet clear.
Reynolds is a writer from Detroit. She has a passion for TV personalities. She has written at least three other books, but is not a commonly known author, publishing mostly with independent companies. This is Reynolds only biography with her three other books falling in the fiction category and co-wrote with author Gordon Kurby.
Reynolds offers a very strange writing style in this biography of Cooper. It is laced with conversational tones with the reader, but has an essence of being written from afar. It is as if she wrote each chapter individually and then grouped them together into a book instead of telling a complete story. The book covers the early life of Cooper briefly. Then goes into his schooling, career, relationships, ect. in mostly chronological order. The book is riddled with poor sentence structure and incomplete thoughts such as the first introduction sentence, “Star journalist and News Anchor Anderson Hays Cooper popularly known as the witty host of the Anderson Cooper 360 [degrees], a one- hour newscast on day’s top stories on Cable News Network (CNN) and contributor to CBS News’ 60 Minutes.”
The book also has many repetition hat becomes and annoyance to the reader. A prime example is the introduction of Cooper’s mother every time or in some variation of, “Gloria Vanderbilt, artist, jeans designer and heiress belonged to the richest family in America.” The author also repeats this trend with his other family members and characters. The constant long introductions of preciously presented information when it is not necessarily are a turn off because it causes a break in the stories flow.
A highlight to the book is that the chapters are short. The book itself in whole is quiet a short novel. The break-up and almost disjointment of chapters gives readers an easy option to read quickly or out of order and still have a clear picture of who Anderson Cooper is and what the author is referring to in his life or career. She also does not linger on any one topic for very long and brings in continuous references from other sources such as in Chapter four about his family life. It discusses his parents and brother and quickly segways into his pedigree on his mother’s side and then to his half siblings. She then mentions another relative he found in 2014 while on a television show appearance. She references the show directly in a short sentence before ending the chapter with no real explanation as to why it was important.
The book overall gives the reader a sense of Cooper’s life overall and acknowledges his career in modest detail. There are no real in depth stories or chapters as to how these experiences had a true impact or the process of how he developed his craft and skill. Reynolds mentions that he decided he did not want to pursue a career working for the FBI like he had during school and became a self proclaimed journalist. Through his love for survival and travel he stumbled upon his first breakthrough story and had to launch his career on his own, but that is about it. The book misses the in depth details and explanations that leave the reader feeling as if they know the subject like biographies often can do and more is just a basic life outline.
The author also fails to make the writing feel like her own. It seems as if it could be written based off extensive research solely and no real underlying investigation done. The direct quotes from many other Television interviews, quotes from his autobiography or other news articles written about him, it does not seem personal or even like anything more than a glorified research paper.
The book itself could be a great reference for a basic research paper or story about Cooper, but has no real depth into his life and experiences from a creative viewpoint. It is simply some lesser known facts and life points researched and clipped together into short chapters.
This book is a great way of summing up Anderson Cooper in a essence of short and sweet taken to heart.
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