Books: Star Trek Intimate Strangers

by Richard Schickel Doubleday; 299 pages; $16.95

Celebrities by definition have to be famous. Nothing says they have to be liked, and Richard Schickel's appraisal of fame is anything but a fan's notes. This is, he confesses at the outset, "a single-issue book," and the issue is the battle for the soul of a culture seduced and battered by machinery that puts image before substance and claims before creativity.

Schickel, a TIME Cinema critic, ruefully considers all aspects of celebrity, including the dark facet of notoriety. John W. Hinckley Jr. stands as an exemplar, a recipient of that "wildly parodistic version of celebrity treatment that is accorded the...

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