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The Sound of No Hands Clapping: A Memoir
     

The Sound of No Hands Clapping: A Memoir

4.7 4
by Toby Young
 

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With a major motion picture of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People about to be released (starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, and Jeff Bridges), there has never been a better time to savor this laugh-out-loud memoir from everyone's favorite “professional failurist.” The Sound of No Hands Clapping finds Toby pursuing a glamorous

Overview

With a major motion picture of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People about to be released (starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, and Jeff Bridges), there has never been a better time to savor this laugh-out-loud memoir from everyone's favorite “professional failurist.” The Sound of No Hands Clapping finds Toby pursuing a glamorous career in Hollywood while trying to balance his new life as a husband and parent. Failure-and fatherhood-have never been funnier.

Editorial Reviews

As Toby Young's wife ruefully noted, nobody could accuse her of marrying him for money: "I'd been fired as the Evening Standard's New York columnist, fired as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, fired as The Independent's New York columnist, fired as a staff writer at Gear. The only thing I'd learned was what not to say when you've been fired." In this welcome follow-up to How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Young brings us up to date on his journalistic assignments, which include posing as a patient as a penis enlargement clinic and as a greeter at a Wal-Mart. Hilarity in the midst of misfortune.
Jane Magazine
Throughout all the stupid, self-defeating and despicable things he does, he's still weirdly likable.
Village Voice
The most successful professional failurist imaginable.
Publishers Weekly
British journalist Young scored big with How to Lose Friends and Influence People, a dishy account of his dire mishaps in the world of glossy New York magazine publishing, and inevitably came to Hollywood's attention. Though his own book was considered, a more lucrative writing offer came from a big-league producer, known here only as "-- --," or "Mr. Hollywood," who wanted "a biopic about a notorious '70s record producer," who was also "a spectacularly unpleasant human being." This would seem to be a sufficient frame for a follow-up about misadventures in the magazine world, but curiously, it isn't. Instead, Young wanders (literally) all over the map, recounting his experiences on his book tour; as a newlywed and new father; as a screen-writing student, underqualified drama critic and monologist. Naturally, nothing goes right in this unfocused memoir. Young gets in some good anecdotes, but the outcome of the Hollywood adventure is obvious from the start-marital bliss is, alas, less compelling than laddishness; an anonymous producer and subject are no match for colorful Graydon Carter and Vanity Fair. 100,000 first printing. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Marriage, kids and Hollywood make it tough for the author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2002) to continue his career as a personal and professional failure. When we left the author at the end of his previous anecdotal memoir, he seemed to have brought a modicum of order to his haphazard life; marriage was to follow his move back to London. But as he takes up the reins in this further series of recollections, the plans for his impending nuptials are characteristically disorganized, while the astonishing offer of a screenwriting job from an unnamed Hollywood bigwig looms large. Young wants to move to L.A. to pursue this dream assignment, but readers of his previous tome won't be surprised to learn that he hasn't informed his bride-to-be, the long-suffering Caroline, of these plans. The subsequent events, which see Caroline getting pregnant not once but twice, the ill-fated move to L.A. finally taking place and Young trying to become a playwright, are told with the author's by-now familiar mix of pathos and wit. In fact, Young sticks a little too closely to the structure and style that made his previous book such an enjoyable read. Once again, he peppers his revelations with conversational pieces from a confidant (hotshot producer Rob Long, who replaces writer Alex de Silva from last time around), and he reveals nothing about himself that wasn't covered last time around. Young still manages to demonstrate his considerable skills as a gossipy raconteur, but only in all-too-brief flashes; his amusingly desperate pursuit of a Hollywood producer with a paparazzi photographer is a particular highlight. But his desire to portray himself as a failure is weakened after success raises itsugly head a few too many times. A pointless sequel. First printing of 100,000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306814563
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
06/13/2006
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.98(d)

Meet the Author

Toby Young has been fired from a succession of prestigious newspapers and magazines. He lives in London.

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Sound of No Hands Clapping 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She purrs. So ready for training?