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One on One Paperback – 5 Jul 2012
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Praise for ‘One on One’:
‘These wonderfully gossipy but penetratingly truthful accounts don’t always show human nature at its best or most compassionate. But those who find gossip not only highly entertaining but also highly revealing about the most complex thing we know of in nature- ourselves- will relish One On One form the first chapter to the 101st’ Sunday Times
‘For those who know Brown as a parodist, this book will come as a surprise. Though often very funny, it’s a work of straight non-fiction whose great virtue is not excess but restraint… A hugely enjoyable book that looks with affection and melancholy on the whirring roundabouts of history and celebrity, and reminds us that the paths to glory lead, handshake by handshake, pratfall by pratfall, to the grave’ Sam Leith, GUARDIAN
‘The book describes real encounters. Truth being stranger than fiction, many of them are every bit as bizarre as Brown could have invented, and some are as funny… This is much more than a comedy book’ SPECTATOR
‘It is partly a huge karmic parlour game, partly a dance to the music of chaos – and only the genius of Craig Brown could have produced it’ EVENING STANDARD
‘Marvelously inventive and witty … it’s hard to imagine anyone who could do it better. He has an acutely attuned comic ear, an unmatched eye for spotting the absurdities of human behaviour and a bloodhound-grade nose for sniffing out phoniness and pretension. You couldn’t wish for a finer exponent of this literary parlour game’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
About the Author
Craig Brown has been writing the Private Eye celebrity diary since 1989. He has also written parodies for many other publications, including The Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The Times and The Guardian. He is the author of several books, most recently ‘The Lost Diaries’ and ‘One on One’.
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Top Customer Reviews
Strangest encounter for my money is between Elvis and the Beatles. Biggest "what if" is the man who might have killed Hitler using only a Model T.
The result is an absolute page turner, as good as any thriller. Each encounter gives a glimpse, often sidelong, of a famous personality. Some are quite sad, like the picture of a destitute Oscar Wilde lingering in Parisian cafes because he can't pay the bill. Others reveal the true nature of people you had always suspected were pretty ghastly, like Noel Coward and various other effete Englishmen. The Royal Family come across as pretty dull, and the circle surrounding them as equally dull, and sycophantic to boot. On the other hand, you revise your opinions of others - Kingsley Amis has a particularly good entry. The encounters will vary depending on your taste - I was not particularly interested in the Russian section - but they are all interesting, and absolutely addictive. The book would serve as a work of reference, and Craig Brown has helpfully listed his sources at the end. All in all, a triumph.
I'm not exactly a "people person": on the whole I prefer curling up with a good book (like this one) to partying or anything so strenuous. But I am very interested in history, politics, and the whole subject of what motivates human beings to behave the way they do. And I think that is why I loved this book so much. Very nearly every single anecdote touched on at least one person I find interesting, and had read about before. Let's see: Hitler, Kipling, Twain, Warhol, Queen Elizabeth, Liz Taylor, James Dean, Alec Guinness, Evelyn Waugh, Marilyn Monroe, Khrushchev... and on and on and on. I had always wondered whether (and if so, how) Kipling and Twain had met, and what they talked about. Moreover, the juxtapositions are so often amusing in themselves: Monroe and Khrushchev, Warhol and Jackie Kennedy, Allen Ginsberg trying to seduce Patti Smith in the mistaken belief that she was a pretty boy, Nixon and Elvis, Bertrand Russell and Sarah Miles, Barry Humphries and Salvador Dali... you really couldn't make it up!Read more ›
In his satire, Brown (Craig, rather than George) is superb at the grotesque exaggeration, but here he plays it dead straight - and the result is a joy. There are 101 mini essays in this book (each of them lasting 101 words, so there is an anal quality to it) and all are amazingly entertaining and include beautiful and amusing nuggets of information. This is a book where even the footnotes are wielded with consummate skill, and one of my favourite passages occurs in those footnotes - the author briefly detailing a meeting (he was actually present at) between Anthony Burgess and Benny Hill! So I suppose that's 102 encounters, each one very surprising but deeply amusing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is very nostalgic and illumination to read about famous people and their experiences of meeting equally famous people. Mark Twin meeting Rudyard Kipling. Must read book.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Craig Brown is superb. Bron Waugh hailed him as the nonpareil parodist writing today. He lives up to it here.Published 19 months ago by Chris Holmes
Brilliant, witty, erudite and enlightening - a truly wonderful read. I can't wait for the next one.Published on 21 Mar. 2015 by Amazon Customer