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Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings [Kindle Edition]

Craig Brown
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Hello Goodbye Hello is a daisy chain of 101 fascinating true encounters, a book that has been hailed by reviewers in London as “howlingly funny” (The Spectator), “original and a complete delight” (The Sunday Times), and “rich and hugely enjoyable” (The Guardian). Or, as the London Evening Standard put it, “the truth and nothing but the plain, bonkers, howling truth . . . 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.” Who could imagine such unlikely—but true— encounters as these:

Martha Graham meets Madonna

Igor Stravinsky meets Walt Disney

Frank Lloyd Wright meets Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe meets Nikita Khrushchev

President Richard Nixon meets Elvis Presley

Harpo Marx meets George Bernard Shaw

Cecil Beaton meets Mick Jagger

Salvador Dali meets Sigmund Freud

Groucho Marx meets T.S. Eliot

Brilliant in conception, Hello Goodbye Hello shows how the celebrated and gifted—like the rest of us— got along famously or disastrously or indifferently with one another, but, thanks to Craig Brown, always to our amusement and entertainment.

From an opening story in which Adolf Hitler survives being knocked down by a careless English driver in 1931 to the Duchess of Windsor’s meeting with the Führer over tea, and 99 others in between, Hello Goodbye Hello is the perfect example that truth is stranger than fiction (and infinitely more enjoyable).

Editorial Reviews


“Captivating…Glittering…Engaging…Entertaining…[Brown] has whipped up a gratifying summertime confection — funny, diverting, occasionally sad.”
--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Deliciously clever and amusing…Hello Goodbye Hello is splendid company, not to mention perfect for the beach, the lake or the pool.”
--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

Hello Goodbye Hello is a hilarious book, clever and thoroughly researched…dip into this book anywhere and you will be rewarded with something delightful.”
--Moira Hodgson, Wall Street Journal

“Brown’s collection of odd encounters could be titled Famous People Behaving Badly. They’re irresistible.”

“Craig Brown is the wittiest writer in Britain today.”
—Stephen Fry

“The book that made me laugh most was Craig Brown’s quirky game of biographical consequences.”
—Julian Barnes, Times Literary Supplement “Books of the Year”

"Craig Brown is something of a national treasure in Britain. . . . Hello Goodbye Hello is a bravura feat of narrative engineering. . . . A joyful, fun read espsecially for its widgety, ingenious construction."
—David Kamp, Vanity Fair

About the Author

Craig Brown has been writing the Private Eye celebrity diary since 1989 and is a columnist for London’s Daily Mail. He has also written parodies for many publications, including the Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The Times, and The Guardian. The author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, he lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2646 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IDUP4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,096 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, but one gimmick too many September 24, 2012
By Hubcap
Hello Goodbye Hello has a fine concept: 101 daisy-chained encounters between the great, the good, the bad and the somewhere-in-between. But for some reason Craig Brown decided this wasn't enough of a gimmick. So on top of that, each of the 101 encounters is 1001 words long. This conceit hurts the book. The writing is weirdly choppy, with callbacks to names that have never actually been mentioned; the same snippet being included in both the body of the text and the footnotes; a strange jumpiness between paragraphs; and other visible scars from the editing process. On top of that, not all of these encounters are equally interesting. But because of the gimmick, they are treated as though they are.

A book like this should be an exercise in style. His fixation on 101x1001 crippled his style, knocked the book out of rhythm and in the end made me wish it had ended about 80 pages before it actually did. Which is not really what I'm looking for in light entertainment. When the gimmick hurts the writing, you need to drop the gimmick.
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "HILARIOUS,CLEVER, ENJOYABLE!" August 7, 2012
Craig Brown delivers 101 fascinating, true encounters between the rich and famous as he portrays the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This perfect summer read is awesome to bring to the beach, or for any leisure time. This collection of true tales is strange, interesting, and witty. Some encounters are simply laugh-out-loud fun. Delightful, and entertaining from beginning to end. Highly Recommended!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has its moments August 17, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hello Goodbye Hello has moments of wonderful, visually-rich description and is generally enjoyable. Very Brit-twit-centric, as you'd expect, and not particularly well-written but Mr Brown has a great eye for hilarious detail from the apparently inexhaustible well of bad public figure behavior. I will always treasure the image of GB Shaw crashing his bicycle into Betrand Russell, then somehow managing to pop up to jeer at Russell at every station as Russell returns by train, his bicycle too wrecked to ride home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "All my life's a circle ... same for famous people" October 23, 2012
What was the first (or most significant) meeting between two famous people like? Who else DID they meet? Craig Brown explores this with "Hello Goodbye Hello" - bring us in a wide circle with 101 meetings between 101 famous people, each meeting and each new person acting as a bridge to the next tale stretching in time from 1876 to 2006.

Who is the "1st / only degree of separation" between Adolph Hitler and Rudyard Kipling? What happened during the meeting between Dali and Freud? Or between Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt? What was George Bernard Shaw's first impression of Harpo Marx?

The book's 101 short (1001 words each, 3 to 4 pages depending on footnotes) stories allow for a series of quick reads; you can put the book down and pick it back up without losing your (or the author's) chain of thought. There is an emphasis on British personalities - which is to be expected given the author's heritage - BUT a prefix for American audiences provides an introduction to many of those who may or may not be familiar on this side of the Atlantic.

Definitely an interesting way to devote a little time each day. Or a LOT of time each day ...

DISCLOSURE: I was provided my copy of this book free of charge in a contest. The hope was that I would enjoy it and post a good review; the request was simply to read it and write a review; however, no guarantees were made on my part other than to grant permission for the postman to leave a copy in my mailbox.(
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Questionably Appealing To A Modern Audience September 29, 2012
I enjoyed this book for the most part. This collection of encounters between the famous at times is extremely humorous such as when George Bernard Shaw enthusiastically harasses Bertrand Russell. However, it did make me wonder if a contemporary audience would be familiar with Shaw, Russell, Gurdjieff, or the Duchess of Windsor just for starters. I was aware of whom most of the celebrities he discussed were, but I drew blanks when it came to the author of Mary Poppins. I swear I felt like Bambi staring at a pair of headlights when I encountered the lady's name and waited a paragraph or two to find out who the woman of mystery was. I'm not sure that a lot of people would be interested in reading stories about anonymous celebrities or even people they were familiar with but not necessarily intrigued by. That said, the stories imparted are interesting and at times funny and appealing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotal, interesting, fascinating, revealing April 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a small world — sometimes, almost too small. Which Marx brother drove Rachmaninoff out of his bungalow? Who was sunning naked when he encountered the famous Irish writer — but wait, I've written too much. You get it all: Mich, Tolstoy, Stalin, Harpo Marx, Queen Elizabeth II, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor... Small, bite-sized vignettes are easy to absorb, quick to read and rather compelling. And really, who doesn't want to know what Richard Burton did in the presence of the Duke of Windsor?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing at first but it grows tiresome. March 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first heard about this book on NPR. As the title of this review states, it is funny and amusing at first to read about some of these chance meetings between different personalities. However a lot of them are hit and miss. The ones that "hit" are a good read but the "misses" are dull and barely warrant inclusion. I would recommend picking it up if this your kind of thing but get it cheap like I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A fun and easy read.
Published 13 days ago by Tommy G
2.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye
not so interesting nor anything newsworthy
Published 4 months ago by Ellie Andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too "Us weekly"
I just couldn't bring myself to like this book. The premise behind the connections between the people and strict word count for each story etc are cool but I found the stories a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Radhika Hira
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great reading for when you have only short snatches of time.
Published 5 months ago by Martha Geiger
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Degrees of History
The best way to describe this book is to ask if you’ve ever played the “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. Read more
Published 11 months ago by bookfanatic1979
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange read but many interesting takes
Just finished this book which is very odd but gives one insight into some of the famous people of the past century. Easy to pick up and put down. Read a little and forget it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Janice M. Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book
This is a neat book full of great stories…It's a good book to pick up and put back down and always be satisfied!
Published 11 months ago by Wooldolf
5.0 out of 5 stars A laugher's Delight; An Armchair Psycholgist's Distraction
This is simply an amazing book, but it will not amuse those who don't naturally study people; those types will understandably--based upon their preferences--give the book few... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Terrence K. Nichols
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and engaging.
No deep thoughts here, but a charming and well written book. Because of its structure, it can be alternated with other books and read a bit at a time.
Published 12 months ago by Y. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars IMPROBABLE? IMAGINARY? FUN!
Hello!! This was so much fun-I laughed out loud throughout. In your wildest imaginings, you could not put together wackier or funnier combinations of celebrities, politicians,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by M. J. French
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