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August 15, 1993|CHRIS WILLMAN


By Christopher Andersen

Delacorte Press ($22.95)

* *

Better title: "No Sympathy for the Devil." Detailing a celebrity life apparently free of a single redeeming virtue, Andersen's weighty tome is little more than a depressing litany of selfish gestures and bisexual bedmates. (Documented or insinuated: Linda Ronstadt, Cornelia Guest, Madonna, Rudolf Nureyev and David Bowie, among the cast of hundreds. Alas, Geraldo is still found unconsummated here.)

Either afraid to come off as a moralist or just not much of a thinker, Andersen doesn't bother commenting on what Jagger's decades of wretched excess might mean about the man or about the counterculture. "I'm not a very emotional person," Jagger is quoted as saying, providing more insight in one sentence than the rest of the book in its entirety.

That Andersen barely acknowledges Jagger's music is a given, which makes this pointless accounting as infuriating for Stones fans--the only ones who could possibly care how huge a jerk Jagger might be--as it is, admittedly, a lurid good read.

Items in this periodic survey of pop-related books, videocassettes and laser discs are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (classic).

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