Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Fiction Tuesday - Jonny Valentine
Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. The talented singer’s image, voice, and even hairdo have been relentlessly packaged—by his L.A. label and his hard-partying manager-mother, Jane—into bite-size pabulum. But within the marketing machine, somewhere, Jonny is still a vulnerable little boy, perplexed by his budding sexuality and his heartthrob status, dependent on Jane, and endlessly searching for his absent father in Internet fan sites, lonely emails, and the crowds of faceless fans.
Poignant, brilliant, and viciously funny, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators, this literary masterpiece explores with devastating insight and empathy the underbelly of success in 21st-century America. The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a tour de force by a standout voice of his generation.-summary
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne is the coming of age story about an 11 year old. Of course, you can't help but think of Justin Beiber and his fame when you read this novel.
"I started to wonder how people who experience real fame handle it," says the novelist Wayne who pondered over this during his last book he was writing, Kapitoil. Wayne tutors young kids at 826NYC.
Just how did he write from a 11 year old boy's voice? "I wanted a hybrid voice for Jonny. Part kid, part savy and cynical marketing executive."
The Love Song Of Jonny Valentine is an extraordinary literary time-capsule - what a unique experience to read about our hyper-fleeting pop culture through timeless prose.-Bill Schwartz
Teddy Wayne has taken a critical look at American society through the story of a Justin Bieber type child star and the bizarre world, which passes for normal in his life. Johnny is deprived of all peer companionship while at the same time becoming the idol of thousands of teens. He is surrounded by people, well- intentioned or otherwise, who have made him a commodity. He has become increasingly isolated from the real world, surrounded by people whose livelihood, meaning or egos are fed by his commercial success. His only real area of control over his life is through gaining expertise at a video game where he can gain experience points and climb to higher levels. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the video game, where he can succeed and his real life, which is controlled, managed and ultimately monetized by those who should be loving and protecting him. This novel poses so many questions about fame, fortune, human relationships and what it means to be a child in a world where money has become the ultimate value.-Sharon
Posted by ellie at 12:00 AM