A tale of Kardashian Inc.
If John Oliver devoted a show to the famous family, it might share a bit of the snark and incredulity of this report from Oppenheimer (RFK, Jr.: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream, 2015, etc.), a prolific author of unauthorized biographies. Readers looking for gossip about the Kardashians’ present lives may be left wanting, but for lovers of 1980s prime-time drama, the author delivers with the origin story of the infamous crew. Anyone who has wondered how this “dysfunctional family with little to no discernable talent besides self-promotion” became a cultural phenomenon will enjoy Oppenheimer’s take. The author is clearly one of the unconverted, and the book feels like a companion volume to Kris Jenner’s 2011 memoir, an effort to annotate and correct the matriarch's own embellished account. He fills in the gaps and calls out Kris’ version as we learn about the doomed first husband, Robert Kardashian, second husband, (formerly) Bruce Jenner, as well as Kris’ climb to the top of Beverly Hills society. Robert, famous for his involvement in the O.J. Simpson trial, gets the kindest treatment here, with a close second going to third-born Khloe Kardashian. She appears as a child whose paternity might be suspect but whose innocence and guilelessness set her apart—at least to Oppenheimer—from the rest of the family. By far the most entertaining aspect, however, is the author’s blatant incredulousness at the history Kris wrote herself. He’s not buying it, quoting her memoir with eyes clearly rolled, featuring such caveats as “she actually avowed” and “suggesting…that she possessed a religious leaning.” The book concludes with an overview of the current clan’s net worth and doings as well as a chilling prediction of what’s next for the ever ambitious Kris Kardashian Jenner: a run for the White House and the ultimate ratings grab.
A fluffy diversion for celebrity-obsessed readers.