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Welcome to Yesterday Paperback – Bargain Price, May 2, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, May 2, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Putting his experience as a gossip columnist for the New York Post's notorious Page Six to good use, Spiegelman presents a down-and-dirty insider's look at the life of a scandalmonger in his second novel (after 2003's Everyone's Burning). Leon Koch, a reporter for an unnamed New York City tabloid owned by some unsavory figures from down under, has long lived a life of ennui, not caring much about anything. His attitude begins to change after he receives a disturbing anonymous call from a woman blaming him for the suicide of a talent agent, the subject of a recent gossip column. A homicide detective takes an interest in the case, and soon Koch and his colleagues find themselves at the center of a scandal. In order to unravel the mystery, Koch plunges into the bleak and untrustworthy world of celebrities, publicists and others who follow in their wake. While the solution to the crime is nothing special, Spiegelman has created a unique character in a searing look at the world of professional gossip. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Last we saw of Leon Koch ( Everyone's Burning, 2003), he was drinking and drugging his way through nighttime Queens. Now he is in Manhattan, writing a newspaper gossip column, and his debauched nights are devoted to the search for dirt: "an empire of addicts, psychos, snitches, all of us so interested in each other, each other's business, each other' s bodies, every whisper repeated, every orgasm an item . . ." We pick up Koch's disintegrating life after a notorious talent agent has killed himself. Was he driven to it by one of Koch's columns, or was he murdered? The police like Koch as a suspect, forcing the writer to save his job by figuring out what happened. Spiegelman, a former New York Post gossip columnist, nails the frenetic, drug-fueled, celebrity-nightlife scene with crackling dialogue and go-for-the--jugular cynicism, combining Bright Lights, Big City with the classic tabloid film Sweet Smell of Success. A too-sweet girlfriend adds an unwelcome wisp of sentimentality to this very dry martini of a novel, but don't worry: a little secondhand sunlight is no match for the dark clouds that hover over Leon's world. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (May 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401360262
  • ASIN: B006G8JAH4
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,363,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A real disappointment. The characters lacked any depth, the murder/mystery plot was stale as corkboard, and the dialogue felt very contrived.

The author's first book was fantastic, very visceral and real. "Welcome to Yesterday" seemed pretty empty in comparison. Wonder what happened between then and now. Reads like a totally different writer.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because I met the author once when he was working for Page Six; we talked for awhile about celebrity gossip, but I never thought to ask him about exactly how these columns operate. He probably could have told me a lot: it seems he is something of a clairvoyant. Payoff scandals, a lying memoirist--it's all here. This book is a great read. The mystery is cool, there's an old-school newsroom character who's office is in the basement of a bar, and an amazing club scene that recalls the hell that was the late Lot 61. (Ok, I guess it could have been Lotus, too...)
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Format: Hardcover
One of the more atmospheric novels I've read in a long time, Welcome to Yesterday starts off with a bang that thrusts you into the story and the life of a gossip columnist. I don't know the players in this world, but the author does and he introduces us to some of the more remarkable and despicable of them. While telling a compelling suspense story, the book also manages to share insight into the celebrity industry and the havoc that this sort of reporting can play on a man's soul. It's a great read.
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Format: Hardcover
I was all set to have a great read. i'm familar with the settings and the job but i could not for life of me get past page 17. the characters are uninteresting; the plot is tedious and a bit complex, and it seems spiegelman is trying too hard to write film noirish, which he doesn't pull off. but i'm going to give it one more shot. i suspect all five star reviews here are from friends, which is okay. but the reality of the read is far different imho.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of noir, and if dark isn't your thing, this book isn't for you. But if you like snappy dialogue, sharp prose, and a smart, quick read, you'll love it. I came to it expecting something a little more typical, since it deals with the inside media world of New York gossip, but Spiegelman is a really original writer. It takes a few pages before you mentally catch up to him -- he has so much style, you have to come up to his level to see all the different levels of what's going on. And there is a lot going on: crosses and double-crosses, power-plays, crushes that lead to heartbreak, and some really messed up people all trying to figure out what happened to this one Hollywood guy who may or may not have killed himself. it felt very retro, in a way, like Raymond Chandler or one of those great films from the 40s when everyone talked fast (HIS GIRL FRIDAY or THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS), but the way these characters deal with the world and each other couldn't be more modern. It's a total indictment of the whole culture of celebrity and a reminder of what a terrible waste it all is. As they say, you never want to see the sausage get made....

The only quibble I had was that things tie up a little too neatly -- you don't see it coming, but at the same time, it's a little quicker and easier than you would expect. All in all, though, an unforgettable book.
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