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The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
     

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

3.9 7
by Teddy Wayne
 

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For fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, a scathing and unputdownable new novel about America’s monstrous obsession with fame, from the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award.

Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum-pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he

Overview


For fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, a scathing and unputdownable new novel about America’s monstrous obsession with fame, from the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award.

Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum-pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. His image, his voice, and even his hairdo have been packaged—by his LA label and by his hard-partying manager-mother—into bite-size pieces for easy digestion, sliding down the gullet of mass culture, the biggest appeal to the widest demographic. But inside the relentless marketing machine, somewhere, is still a little boy, devoted to his mother and determined to find his absent father among the countless, faceless fans. Isn’t there?

A twisted, brilliant, and viciously funny coming-of-age story set inside corporate arenas and luxury hotel suites, Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine explores with devastating clarity the underbelly of fame in twenty-first century America’s celebrity culture, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators since Holden Caulfield. From the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Kapitoil, this new novel is a literary masterpiece by one of the standout writers of his generation.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Audio
Veteran reader Kirby Heyborne captures beautifully the voice of the titular 11-year-old pop star. Jonny Valentine is managed by his mother, who loves him but treats him like a product. He's hugely talented and hardworking but lonely, with no friends his own age. With Jonny's sophisticated knowledge of the music business one can forget how young he is, but since the story is told from Jonny's point of view, listeners are frequently reminded of the preoccupations and conflicts of an average tween. But Jonny is also trying to find his missing father, understand his mother's complicated problems, and be aware of child predators and others who would use him. Tentatively, slowly, he begins taking some control over his own career and life. VERDICT A fine coming-of-age story, heartbreaking in many ways but authentic. Recommended. ["This is ultimately a satire with a heart, capturing the sadness, longing, and confusion beneath the celebrity veneer…. A top-of-the-charts tale," read the starred review of the Free Pr: S. & S. hc, LJ 2/15/13.—Ed.]—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. P. L., MI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781470885243
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
02/05/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
10
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author


Teddy Wayne, the author of Kapitoil, is the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award and a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He writes regularly for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. He lives in New York.

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The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Call me a crazy teen pop fan, but I loved this book that is completely loosely based on the life of a teen pop star maybe like a certain Justin Bieber.  As I grew up along side the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, I may have a close affection for anything pop and teen!  Jonathan Valentino or Jonny Valentine is a very very young 11 year old singing sensation who through YouTube has gotten a record deal and is in the middle of a tour across the U.S.  The book takes you through the cities of his tour, along the road are quite a few antics with his momager, security, vocal coach, tutor and so many others that impact this teen heartthrob!
MaryGramlich More than 1 year ago
Where do you go when you are too far away from home to return? Jonny Valentine is an eleven-year-old child prodigy with the voice of an angel and a mother who managed to capture his talent and run with it all the way to the bank.  This does not make Jane mother of the year but her ability to tap into a market ripe with cash flow is her brilliance and control her mantra.  There are chefs, bodyguards, and more entourage than Jonny could have ever imagined possible when he started out and still cannot take it all in.  Growing up in the spotlight creates an illusion of grandeur it is hard to keep someone regular when like Jonny they are truly extraordinary.     People come and go in Jonny’s life, some leaving positive impressions while others provide experiences best not repeated.   Jonny must live life in a fish bowl where every move is magnified, and every image reprinted with a caption designed to  suit the moment.  All the while Jonny sings for his fans, serves to satisfy the masses depending on him for an income and searching for real relationships where he can find them.  Jonny also sets out to seek solace from the one man missing in his life, his father.  Chasing memories does not always allow you to make them stay. There is so much in this captivating read that makes you take a deep breath and pause to take it all in and understand the gravity of every decision we make.  The one aspect of this book that is clearly defined is the destruction one can have with a misplaced word or ill-timed comment
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
Meet Justin Bi... oops, I mean Jonny Valentine. ★★★½ The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a standalone, literary fiction novel written by Teddy Wayne. Jonny Valentine is an eleven-year-old pop star. He started out on YouTube, he has a signature hair style, a momanger, and a deadbeat dad. There's also some romantic photo ops with Hispanic celebrity peer Lisa Pinto. It was damned hard to read this without picturing the Biebs. That was the point though. Mr. Wayne excelled at creating a voice that was effortless to empathize with. Being famous is far from fun for this child star. He's isolated, limited, and pushed hard. For a kid you would think doesn't want for anything, he has so many dreams he wants to fulfill. From advancing in his favorite video game to finding a meaningful father/son relationship with someone, his youthful innocence shines. Mr. Wayne also follows the mother's life and professional/personal relationships from Jonny's perspective which was equally interesting. The mother/child dynamic was pretty sad though - manager first and mother second. This kid is truly alone. The Love Song of Jonny Valentine was an original and engaging coming-of-age story that I enjoyed. Believe me, you don't have to be a fan of Justin Bieber to like this book. Although Mr. Wayne did his fair share of research on the Bieber family, this book is absolutely a work of fiction and apparently meant to be satirical in nature. Check it out and get ready for a new perspective on what fame feels like. My favorite quote: "It’s not the internet that makes people stupid and annoying, they were always stupid and annoying. Now it’s in our face."
jak18 More than 1 year ago
Mothers, don't let your children grow up to be pop stars. Unless perhaps you can be their manager. Jonny Valentine is 11 going on 12. He is in the second year of mega-fame as a tween pop idol. Think Justin Bieber. His single mother, abandoned by his father when he was a toddler, is his manager. For an unreliable narrator, he is pretty savvy, but there are some things an 11-year-old boy just can't figure out. I read the book because of my long and ambivalent relationship with the music business. It's a manual on how pop stars are created and maintained. It also translates those stories we all pretend we don't read in People Magazine and the tabloids into what really goes on when two stars go on a date or end a romantic relationship, get a bad concert review, etc. The book is wildly entertaining even while it breaks your heart every time you remember that Jonny is still shy of his 12th birthday. As we follow him on a multiple city tour and learn how he has to sneak around to even send an email, how lonely he is, how little choice he has over what he eats, and on and on. If you want to maintain your illusions about celebrity in the 21st century, do NOT read this book. I think it belongs in an indestructible box of books we can save and all read after the apocalypse, as we rub our heads and say, "What were we thinking?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GrammyReading More than 1 year ago
initially jonny was not the goal...wanted to read this for the story...young tween makes good in music...the juice, the meat of the matter...but along the way i heard jonny's heart beating...the valentine part. of him that cried out what about me..his fans, the industry, the media, even his mom and eventually his dad...all wanted some payoff...a piece of jonny that only he could give, a part of his creativity, his energy, his soul...eating and playing video games, his only vices until he found others...and witnessed first hand the results of discovering too many vices...yearning for a connection to a past that had not much to do with his future....jonny and his body guard walter...traveling through the tunnels of life and celebrity...cautiously, carefully, sometimes carelessly...but always caring..sometimes caring too much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago