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Books another star venue

It’s said autobiographies are the only books that don’t have an ending.

With several stars writing new career chapters on the Strip, columnists seeking deep character insight — or old quotes to milk for irony — need only visit the local library. If you want to know more about your new neighbor Marie Osmond’s battle with postpartum depression — and I know you do — it’s all there on the shelf (“Behind the Smile,” 2001).

I don’t know if you’d call Criss Angel’s “Mindfreak: Secret Revelations” an autobiography or quick hustle. It came out last year and is heavily padded with magic tricks, er, mindfreaks, you can do at home. Getting run over by a truck isn’t among them.

A lot of early audience opinion on Angel’s “Believe” show, which officially debuts Friday, has been brutal. Angel may be reminding himself of Page 80: “Negativity comes from a wrong mind-set. You have to learn to cancel out negative thoughts whenever they come along.”

But if the show indeed turns out to be a stinker, remember Page 73, where Angel spills a little secret: In his early days, he answered his office phone as his nonexistent assistant Nicholas. “My father always told me it was important to appear bigger than any venue I was playing. He said it was better to create the perception that you’re larger-than-life, that you’re more successful than you might actually be.”

Angel may believe he was predestined to play Las Vegas, but Donny Osmond can’t seem to escape it. As recalled in 1999’s “Life is Just What You Make It — My Story So Far,” Las Vegas is where he saw his first topless showgirl as a preteen (“I was so stunned … I couldn’t move”), but where older entertainers were at least considerate enough to stash their coke. “If, for example, we met another star in his dressing room, you can bet all the drinks and the drugs were cleared out before we arrived.”

I guess it’s naive to suggest they weren’t there to begin with. It was the ’70s, man.

Rita Rudner is the Vegas-based headliner with the most active writing career, thanks to a greatly curtailed schedule at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Her most recent book, “I Still Have It … I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It,” fuses autobiography with Erma Bombeck-style essays, avoiding the self-importance of most celebrity ruminations. A photo caption even goofs on a weird publicity photo of her upside down in a chair.

How valuable are these words of reflection from careers unfinished? Look to the definitive source, Amazon’s used-book prices last week:

Rita Rudner: $9.14

Criss Angel: $2.84

Donny Osmond: 1 cent (Seriously. Plus $3.99 shipping.)

Marie Osmond: 46 cents (also plus $3.99)

Will she gloat that her book is worth 45 cents more than his?

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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