Over the past year I’ve been half expecting a big scandal to emerge in the music industry given the tales of sordid sexism and exploitation that have emerged from the film and television industries. Moran’s book “How to be Famous” addresses many of these themes.
Described as semi-autobiographical fiction it is set in cocaine fuelled Britpop era London. The music industry is dominated by powerful men and the Indie band (all men!) is king. Johanna Morrigan has escaped her family life in Wolverhampton and is living her dreams in a small flat in London. She works for a trendy music publication and travels all over the place to interview “the famous”.
Secretly in love with the singer John Kite, Jo is starting to make a name for herself in the industry and on the verge of becoming one of “the famous” herself but not always for the reasons that she wanted. It soon becomes clear that fame is not the route to happiness that she and her peers had imagined.
This is one of those rare books that makes you want to laugh loudly while simultaneously cringing and weeping bitter tears. It is a story of finding your feet in a society that thinks you should sit quietly at home completely ignoring your sexuality.
I highly recommend a quick trip to Caitlin’s website http://www.caitlinmoran.co.uk to find the playlist that accompanies this book. Immersing yourself in Jane’s Addition, Portishead and Nick Cave will make you feel like you are there with Jo and her friends enjoying nineties London in all its boozy glory.
Supplied by Net Galley and Ebury Press in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: Jun 28 2018. 320 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.