A hilarious, heartfelt sequel to How to Build a Girl , the breakout novel from feminist sensation Caitlin Moran who the New York Times called, "rowdy and fearless . . . sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways."
You can't have your best friend be famous if you're not famous.Read more...
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A hilarious, heartfelt sequel to How to Build a Girl, the breakout novel from feminist sensation Caitlin Moran who the New York Times called, "rowdy and fearless . . . sloppy, big-hearted and alive in all the right ways."
You can't have your best friend be famous if you're not famous. It doesn't work. You're emotional pen-friends. You can send each other letters--but you're not doing anything together. You live in different countries.
Johanna Morrigan (AKA Dolly Wilde) has it all: at eighteen, she lives in her own flat in London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. Her best friend and man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994's hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses.
Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will Saint Paul his Corinthians, she will Jimmy his Pinocchio--she will write a monthly column, by way of a manual to the famous, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. In stories, girls never win the girl--they are won. Well, Johanna will re-write the stories, and win John, through her writing.
But as Johanna's own star rises, an unpleasant one-night stand she had with a stand-up comedian, Jerry Sharp, comes back to haunt in her in a series of unfortunate consequences. How can a girl deal with public sexual shaming? Especially when her new friend, the up-and-coming feminist rock icon Suzanne Banks, is Jimmy Cricketing her?
For anyone who has been a girl or known one, who has admired fame or judged it, and above all anyone who loves to laugh till their sides ache, How to Be Famous is a big-hearted, hilarious tale of fame and fortune-and all they entail.
A rollicking launch into adulthood
Caitlin Moran has a gift—in both short- and long-form writing, in both fiction and nonfiction—that hits like magic when it lands in the lap of the right reader. It’s a rare, mesmerizing talent to simultaneously move a reader and make them laugh so hard they risk falling out of their chair. In How to Be Famous, Moran’s follow-up to How to Build a Girl, she works that magic again.
Moran reunites readers with Johanna Morrigan, a teenager from the Midlands of England who moves to London to further her music journalism career as Dolly Wilde. Once there, she is swept up in a world of rock stars, comedians, parties and in particular John Kite, a newly famous musician with whom she is madly in love. Though they’re close, her love is not returned at first, and through a series of adventures Dolly becomes convinced that the way to draw John closer to her is to write her own way to stardom and seduce him with the power of her prose. Once she’s resigned to do this, things start to happen quickly for Dolly, and she must learn to deal with fame and infamy while also reaching out for the only person she’s really trying to touch.
How to Be Famous lives or dies based on Moran’s ability to render Dolly as an enchanting, vulnerable and hilarious guide through the mid-1990s London music scene, and Dolly’s charm immediately jumps off the page. Dolly is at once bitingly witty and achingly open, not just to the reader but also to the world she’s trying to find her place in, and it sets a tone that makes you both root for her and anticipate her next misadventure.
That might be enough to carry the novel on its own, but Moran doesn’t stop there. Her ambition, like Dolly’s, is to weave into this tale a kind of feminist manifesto that tackles love and sex, as well as the fine line between girlhood and womanhood. She succeeds throughout but keeps you waiting for the final, unforgettable exclamation point at the book’s hysterical climax.