The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

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9780715645673: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

For fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Joyce Carol Oates's Blonde, a scathing and unputdownable new novel about America's monstrous obsession with fame, from the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers' Award.

Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum pop, knows that the fans don't love him for who he is. His image, his voice, and even his hairdo have been packaged - by his LA label - and by his hard-partying manager-mother - - into bite-size pieces for easy digestion, sliding down the gullet of mass culture, the biggest appeal to the widest demographic. But somewhere inside the relentless marketing machine is still a little boy, devoted to his mother and determined to find his absent father among the countless, faceless fans - isn't there?

A twisted, brilliant, and viciously funny coming-of-age story set inside corporate arenas and luxury hotel suites, Teddy Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine explores with devastating clarity the underbelly of fame in twenty-first-century America's celebrity culture, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators since Holden Caulfield. This novel is a literary masterpiece from the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Kapitoil one of the standout writers of his generation.

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Review:

Playlist for The Love Song Of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne

The pop music in The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is, by 11-year-old singer Jonny’s own admission, utterly disposable. It’s a mainstream product that goes in one ear and out the other, but not before separating the listener from her money. Yet he dreams of creating art that is timeless, along the lines of his idol, Michael Jackson (especially “Billie Jean”). And though my own musical taste runs counter to Top-40 aesthetics, I, too, have a soft spot for catchy, hook-driven pop.

The contemporary landscape of dance-pop shares some attributes with the crooners of the 1950s and early ’60s, but has its strongest roots in synthesizer-heavy pop from the ’80s. That also happens to be the music I grew up with. Here are 17 songs from the decade, some iconic, some lesser-known. All remain, to me, listenable and danceable after all these years. In other words: timeless.

1. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson

2. (I'm a) TV Savage by Bow Wow Wow

3. 88 Lines About 44 Women by The Nails

4. Kiss by Prince

5. I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany

6. Take on Me by A-ha

7. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals

8. Since Yesterday by Strawberry Switchblade

9. Turning Japanese by The Vapors

10. Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles

11. Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo

12. Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves

13. Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

14. Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

15. Material Girl by Madonna

16. 99 Red Balloons by Nena

17. Kids in America by Kim Wilde

About the Author:

TEDDY WAYNE, the author of Kapitoil, is the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers' Award and a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He writes regularly for the New Yorker, New York Times, Vanity Fair, McSweeney's, and other publications. He lives in New York.

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Eleven-year-old music superstar Jonny Valentine lives in a bubble of packed arenas, luxury suites, and screaming fans. Accompanied by his hard-partying, youth-obsessed manager (who is also his mother), and a bodyguard who is possibly his only friend, Jonny travels America on his sell-out tour, never going anywhere alone, trying to find his absent father, and playing his favourite video game; all whilst contemplating the possibility of returning to school to lead a normal life for a while. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780715645673

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Eleven-year-old music superstar Jonny Valentine lives in a bubble of packed arenas, luxury suites, and screaming fans. Accompanied by his hard-partying, youth-obsessed manager (who is also his mother), and a bodyguard who is possibly his only friend, Jonny travels America on his sell-out tour, never going anywhere alone, trying to find his absent father, and playing his favourite video game; all whilst contemplating the possibility of returning to school to lead a normal life for a while. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780715645673

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