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4.2 out of 5 stars24
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2008
I've now read all of the Babylon books and this one is definitely my favourite after Beach, Hotel, Fashion and Air. She has once again managed to create a hilariously funny fictional world, this time it's a wannabe boy-band and their awful management team, that seamlessly intertwines with the real world of modern Pop muisc and all it's heroes and villans (simon cowell especially!.) If you're a fan of TV shows like the X Factor and have wondered how these manufactured bands are really put together then it's essential reading. And if you just want to read something that's really really funny, I couldn't recommend it more. Definitely one for reading whilst sitting by the pool this summer and equally great at spilling lots and lots of juicy secrets just like the original Hotel Babylon.
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on 15 July 2008
This book follows a failing indie manager last hope of trying to get back in the game, he tries to make it into the pop world by making a boy band! It's based over a 12 month period starting from the auditions to the Christmas number one against Simon Cowell (who's not liked in the industry). There are plenty of scandals, gossip, sex, drugs and rock and roll.
I have just finished this book and read the rest of the Babylon books and I found this one more of `I remember....' `Did you know...?' Its pure gossip with a fictional boy band second.
This book is great if you love x-factor, gossip, and is a great insight in to the industry of music.
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Yeah I admit it - Imogen Edwards-Jones's 'Babylon' series are a guilty pleasure of mine. And why not? They're well-written witty and fun with more than a liberal sprinkling of truth from the mysterious 'anonymous' - the author's various industry moles.

This particular book tells the story of a music manager who decides to go for broke and audition, shape, manage and ultimately manufacture a boy band. There's loads of insider gossip - I especially liked the bit about the optimum number of boys a group should have which is five because one's bound to leave and you can fit the rest of the band in one taxi, also the fact that two of the mikes are usually 'dead' to compensate for the more physical members of the group and their lack of vocal expertise! All in all, it's a brilliant read for those of us who love a bit of gossip and scandal and let's face it, isn't that most of us?
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on 9 September 2010
I have read some of the other Babylon series and find them at times to be a modern day version of the carry-on films.I enjoyed this book more than some of its counterparts.

I am first and foremost a music lover and that is why I was principaly attracted to the book.

The storyline, although totally believable, will not shatter any barriers in the originality stakes. It focuses on a manufactured boy band with minimal talant, that is considered to have the abs and looks, to make it to the top,

A former manager of independent bands has fallen on hard times and is largely considered outdated. His attempts to discover, manufactire and market the "Band of Five" form the core of the book.

The co-author obviously has a fairly strong attachment with the music industry and the one liners and asides used to make comparisons that are based upon actual music performers are are both interesting and amusing.

The book also offers an interesting and entertaining insight into how the music industry has evolved over the past 15 years with hits on web sites now taking almost equal priority and importance as sales or records.

The fact that a band like Radiohead would make an album available online free in the knowledge that the concert sales would make 10 fold the loss was interesting and indicitive of the level of detail to be found in the book.

The book also offers insight into promotional and management financial splits and the financial mechanics of the industry that may mean that although "The Sun" thinks that you are highly newsworthy and will do anything concievable for a scandel based story, the artists are still living hand to mouth in considerable discomfort on one hundred pounds per week.

The book is let down by the fact that the characters that form the band are so non-discript and tales of sex with groupies is no great revelation. cocaine, young girls, hangovers, hardly revolutionary revelations

The story of their rise may be based upon fact but it so tad and predictable it is almost boring. From my limited exposure to these Babylon books I have found that they rely on situations rather than characters and when the situations are repackaged superficial re-counts the absence of depth to any of the participants becomes glaringly apparent.

The members of the band seem to have little depth to them and carry off a whole range of situations like the gay singer "coming out" without the novel creating any mood or impact related to the situation. It is just a routine re-run through a well troden path that has been down so much more better and more meaningful before.

Possibly therein lies the problem, the Babylon series of books are in my opinion throwaway sensationalist pap and when they attempt to digress and adopt a more singular detailed approach they fall very short when it comes to areas of detail and an inability to re-create any situation convincinally in writing.

It falls on two fronts then because it does not satisfy the hard core Babylon brigade nor the music fans that were attracted to the book by its topic matter.

It was very easy to read and at times entertaining but certainly not a book to recomend too strongly.
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on 18 August 2008
What a great book. Imogen has not let me down. I have read all the other Babylon books and this is my 2nd best, after Beach. Written in very much the same way as her other books, really believable and leaving you wondering how much really does go on behind closed doors.

IMOGEN, WE WANT MORE. Fingers crossed, she is in the midst of writing her next Babylon edition.

Marcus - Brighton
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on 1 May 2013
The Babylon books are a good light read. At their best, they teach you something new about both the human side and the practicalities of working in a people-focused industry. Each is a collection of real life stories, but told as if fictional characters created for the book were the main players, and compressed into a short timeframe.

With this volume in the series, which focuses on the creation and eventual disintegration of a boy band, I learned nothing new. Hotel Babylon, Air Babylon, Beach Babylon and Fashion Bablylon, which I have read, all deliver much more.

If you want to read about real life music industry excess, I would instead recommend the autobiography of Danny Sugerman, manager of the Doors - Wonderland Avenue.
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on 12 April 2016
A riotous mixture of fact and fiction which reveals in terrible detail everything seedy and cynical about the music industry. My eyes have been glued to this story, and I am left grinning at it. You might as well believe it all really happened. But don't believe the whole music industry is like this.
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on 4 January 2010
This book had me glued to it until I'd finished it. It's filled with interesting tit bits about the pop world - things we've always suspected or wondered but never really knew until now! I've read most of the Babylon series and this one is up there with Air & Hotel for me. Well worth a read!
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on 3 September 2009
Pop Babylon

Good holiday read, the author describes what it is like in the world of pop and how difficult it can be to make the charts around Christmas time now that Pop Idol has taken over. Possibly not quite as good as any of her other Babylon series books
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on 3 October 2013
Reads like it was written in the space of a few hours. I've read two of the other Babylon books and they were more detailed and interesting, light but with some substance.. This was so rubbish when I was finished with it I threw it onto the fire.
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