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Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings Hardcover – August 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145168360X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451683608
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

"Captivating. . . . A glittering daisy chain that reads like a mathematical proof of the theory of six degrees of separation. . . . Mr. Brown constructs portraits that have all the immediacy of reportage, all the fanciful detail of fiction. He has whipped up a gratifying summertime confection — funny, diverting, occasionally sad."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times



“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”

“Much of this tragic-farcical Dance to the Music of Time is wistful and moving, as well as howlingly funny.”
—A.N. Wilson, The Spectator

"Deliciously clever. . . . [101] improbable encounters, many of them exceedingly funny, a few of them surprisingly revealing and a few rather sad, and all of them connected by the daisy chain to end all daisy chains. . . . Hello Goodbye Hello is splendid company, not to mention perfect for the beach, the lake, or the pool."
—Jonathan Yardley, the Washington Post


"A hilarious collection of strange-but-true tales of encounters between the rich and famous. . . . Brown is as smart as he is puckish, and there are plenty of laughs on this terrific trip through modern fame."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"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


"Cheekily inspired. . . . Might be the ultimate pocket guide to the modern history of noteworthy meet-ups."
Elle


“A delightful page turner, informed throughout with wit and learning.”
—Toby Clements, The Daily Telegraph

“[Brown] provides a rollicking glimpse into the wild, weird, and wacky world of the renowned and reviled. Irresistibly fun and informative.”
Booklist


“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.”
--People Magazine

About the Author

Craig Brown writes the Private Eye celebrity diary as well as a twice-weekly column for the Daily Mail (London) and reviews books for Mail on Sunday. He was the host of This Is Craig Brown on BBC Radio 4. Mr. Brown lives in London.

Customer Reviews

A gossipy collection of short stories, which gives an interesting glimpse into the lives of a collection of individuals as those lives intersect.
Michelle
Consequently, the book provides an activation of my fascination with both the nastier, judgemental sides of human nature, and the warmer, fuzzier sides of it.
Terrence K. Nichols
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.
Hubcap

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Hubcap on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Dr Crone on 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 By Andrew Kuligowski on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Chris Fow Cohen on 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 By Ben Norwood on 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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