Everyone's Gone to the Moon

Everyone's Gone to the Moon

by Philip Norman
     
 

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The bestselling author of Shout!, the definitive book on the Beatles, now offers a comic novel that dissects the office politics and bedroom shenanigans of trendy journalists in Beatles-era London, evoking the world of sixties pop music and high fashion with thorough authenticity.

Overview

The bestselling author of Shout!, the definitive book on the Beatles, now offers a comic novel that dissects the office politics and bedroom shenanigans of trendy journalists in Beatles-era London, evoking the world of sixties pop music and high fashion with thorough authenticity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The "Mod'' London of the 1960s provides the background for this deliciously wry satire of British journalism by bestselling author Norman (Shout: The True Story of the Beatles; Symphony for the Devil). Louis Brennan, an ambitious young reporter holed up in a backwater town in Northern England, finally lands a spot at the London Sunday Dispatch's ultra-chic glossy magazine. But competition is intense, and he finds himself floundering in his search for a legitimate scoop in the magazine's politically charged atmosphere. He is encouraged by his crony, Jack Shildrick, formerly his boss in the provinces and now editor of the Dispatch. When their solidarity is infiltrated by Fran Dyson, an apparently diffident yet poisonously manipulative young secretary, Louis and Jack find themselves jockeying for her affections, with potentially disastrous results. Meanwhile, Louis is becoming aware of office politicking and also increasingly immersing himself in the campy culture of 1960s London, pulsing with free love, funky fashions and Mod music. Norman seems to have total recall of that cultural milieu, and he recreates it with verve. Eventually, Louis learns to master for himself the first truth of tabloid journalism: that clever words and minds can create news that the public will accept as such, never mind the dutiful reporting of more factual papers. Norman's prose positively reels with a distinctly British humor and sharp satirical edge, and his large roster of deftly rendered characters (with some real celebrities thrown in) remains engaged in furious action without a moment of letdown. It's a wicked portrait of an era and a screamingly good read. (May)
Library Journal
Louis Brennan, a North Country English journalist, wins an essay contest that lands him a job at the prestigious and extravagant London Daily Dispatch Sunday magazine. At the same time, his former editor, moral and thrifty Jack Shildrick, takes over as editor of the daily newspaper. Deep in the swinging 1960s, Louis "happens" to break all the great stories of that era: the Beatles' decision not to tour again; the Rolling Stones' arrest, conviction, and release on drug charges; Richard Burton's being held hostage in Salzburg; and Brian Epstein's suicide. Complications set in when he and Shildrick fall for the same ambitious "Girl Friday" at the office. This biting inside look at the world of journalism is entertaining, well written, and engaging. Recommended for general readers.-Joanna M. Burkhardt Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Watch Hill
Kirkus Reviews
Novel number six from Beatles biographer Norman (The Skaters' Waltz, 1985; Elton John, 1995, etc.), a scathingly delivered and encyclopedically detailed satire of a young journalist caught up in the whirlwind of Mod London in the swinging '60s.

Plucked from the British sticks after unexpectedly winning an essay contest, 22-year-old Louis Brennan is transplanted to the decadent offices of the Dispatch's Sunday color supplement and reunited with his old boss from the North, Jack Shildrick, who has ascended to the editorship of the dowdy daily. Shildrick favors stories on crusty yachtsman plodding around the globe with rescued pigeons and exposés that batter the excesses of moneyed society, while the supplement's editor, Toby Godwin ("God" to his staff), between colossal meals and multiple magnums of Dom, sponsors flashy pieces on cultural trends from Twiggy to the Beatles. Louis gropes for attention, but while God and his minions sniff and chortle at the kid's ideas, Shildrick cleaves to him, calling him "Poet" and repeatedly offering him the coveted "Cicero" column. Matters get dicey, though, when Louis and Shildrick take up with the same chippie, a talentless but terribly manipulative ingénue named Fran Dyson, and dicier still when Louis blows the lid off the married Shildrick's affair. The author's detailed re-creation of the era is impressive, from the vanished fashion temples to the nocturnal hotspots to the theatrical foppishness of mod menswear. But, at bottom, the story is a retread of the corruption-of-the-innocent riff, clueful readers will see the collapse of all careers (and great expectations) a mile off. Still, with cameos from John and George and Mick and Keith and Brian and Marianne, and of course all those zany threads, the novel's awesome length is nicely paced—thanks, too, to Norman's unsparing humor.

Given the recent obsession with all things Mod, this delightful upbraiding of the period should offer an ideal tonic for misplaced nostalgia. It's funny, too.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679448310
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/16/1996
Pages:
437
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.39(d)

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