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Britney: Inside The Dream – Book Review

The relevance of “Britney: Inside The Dream” [Steve Dennis/Harper Collins/406 pgs] is reflected in its approach to the perception of what psychologically permeated Britney Spears’ breakdown in the long lead up to her now famous and very intrinsic meltdown. This book is especially interesting in the context of her return to fame and seemingly re-structured bliss. What the book does, in a surprisingly unbiased way, is try to show the perspective of what happened leading up to the incessant bounds of rehab and eventual committal that was happening even 2 years ago. By instilling these facts gleamed from court records and the own writings of both Lynne and Britney Spears, the argument claimed is fairly sound while also backed up by the thoughts of a supposed clinical psychologist.

The book begins with the structure of Britney’s parents relationship and how their behavior at times might have affected her at a young age. However add to this an inherent element of a woman who truly was a performer in her bones from her birth. Ultimately what it created was a paradox at play. What the book strives to show is that Britney’s gulf between her identity as a performer and as a person was tainted from the beginning and is what suggests her eventual progression into full blown tabloid fodder. The ideal is that she never wanted to be alone almost in fear of this.

The book also claims that the Justin Timberlake relationship was her “ballast” since he was someone she could relate to and be herself with. When that disappeared, everything after it (including her quicky Vegas wedding, her marriage, her pregnancies with Kevin Federline and her eventual committal) was based in the belief that these could fill the void in her life. The book moves to say that these elements never did.

The interaction with the paparazzi down the line became something of a dependent relationship since her kids were being kept from her, she shut her parents out and she was surrounded by people in her staff who, while not wishing her harm, probably had their own agendas compounded by the fact that they probably didn’t know how to help her. The eventual conservatorshop placed order back into her life but the reveal that the book admits is that this is compounding the problem possibly by forcing back into the artifice she had experienced for so many years which caused the initial problem.

Granted the ending of the book is based on the perception of sources that cannot be confirmed since they are anonymous. The rumored element is that Britney probably had to do “Circus” album and the subsequent tour because of a contract committment to Jive Records. Ultimately her life is a business, and if the facts are true, she could have been sued for close to $100 million for breach.

Now at the time this article was written, her concerts have earned nearly 92 million in the US alone making it among the top tours of the year. The perception of the psychotherapist is that this performing is not going to solve the problem because eventually she will have down time again (which seems to be maddening at times if she is not kept busy). The therapist suggests a full withdrawal from public life for a while to repair this problem. It is a fairly sobering judgment but one, because of its irony, that might not be possible in this life for this woman who only just turned 28.

“Britney: Inside The Dream” is filled with details, many of which may seem accurate but the truth it is sometimes hard to discern because of so much disinformation in the media. That said, this book is a fairly compelling and in-depth study of the behaviors and reactions that created this pop princess. It is a different approach that might not be for everyone but, even for people not intrinsically fascinated by this woman’s rise to stardom, it is an interesting breakdown of human frailty. Out of 5, I give it a 2 1/2.

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