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Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings
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Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  559 ratings  ·  163 reviews
From “one of the funniest writers in Britain—wise, clever, hilarious, and a national treasure” (Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’s Diary) comes this delightful book of “101 ingeniously linked encounters between the famous and the infamous” [The Observer (London) Best Books of the Year]. Can you imagine more unlikely meetings than these: Marilyn Monroe and Frank Lloy ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Simon & Schuster
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J
Loved the idea of this book. Famous people meeting and being linked in a “6-degrees of separation” way across the space & time. And, I have a fondness for English authors. I was also particularly impressed when I read in the (long) forward that in keeping with the theme of 101 linked famous people, each person’s story was exactly 1001 words.

Each story of two people meeting is about 3 pages long (sometimes longer due to extensive footnotes) and denoted as a chapter. The short chapter breaks m
...more
Donna Parker
Bizarre and delightful book, so glad I won this from the Goodreads First Reads program. I have never been a person to be impressed by celebrities just because they're celebrities, they actually have to do something impressive and I'm just as impressed when anyone does anything impressive, or not depending on the circumstances, intentions, back story, day, mood, etc. That being said this charmingly dysfunctional friendship bracelet of close encounters of the weird and wild kind through recent his ...more
Al


Craig Brown's "Hello, Goodbye, Hello" is based on a clever concept--follow the meetings of famous people with one of the participants linked to a meeting with another famous person; it's an interconnection that can often yield surprises such as Groucho Marx meeting T.S. Eliot. While it comes as no surprise that the famous often don't live up to their public personas, who knew how insecure and shallow most of them are? Few reputations leave this book unscathed. it's a dubious honor as to which p
...more
Kathrina

We’ll begin our journey in 1931. Billionaire teen-playboy John Scott-Ellis has failed out of Eton College, and after frittering his time on one of his family’s farms in Kenya (one of many estates they own around the world), has been sent off to Munich for the purpose of learning a foreign language. His first act in Germany is to purchase a fiery red Fiat, which he proceeds to race all over town, with his host, Haupt. Pappenheim, tucked in the passenger seat. In the center of town he slows down
...more
Doreen
Sep 20, 2012 Doreen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one really, it doesn't hold up to the hype
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it on Goodreads, I think
Hmmm, a 2-star rating says a lot for those who know me! I was waiting to read this book when I noticed that a coworker, Sandy, was reading it. I asked her if she was enjoying it so far and her response was, "...yes, well...I mean, you'll see when you read it...not what I expected...". So, I'll be direct...this book was ONLY 'okay'.

I like the author's 101 gimmick, it's cute. Unfortunately, the meetings/stories are not very remarkable. Sure, the one with Hitler could have altered the course of h
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Maureen
I heard about this book on NPR and it sounded fascinating from the interview with the author. However, it is not well written at all. The most interesting encounters were the ones discussed in the interview and compared to that, the book was very disappointing. In addition, Amis uses some words (not very difficult ones, at that) that he obviously doesn't know the meaning of, which really bothered me. I had to make myself finish this one, mostly because I bought it right after hearing the program ...more
Vtlozano
Groucho Marx met T.S. Elliot. T.S. Elliot bored the young Queen Elizabeth at a reading. And so it goes in this daisy chain of the famous having met the famous, stretching back to Tolstoy and reaching forward to Madonna. Craig Brown is dry and under-stated in sketching out these collisions of fabulosity. But what sticks with you after is how the well-known live in a 'No Exit' kind of purgatory where they move in the same circles feeling deeply uncomfortable with each other, under-estimating and o ...more
Bonnie Carruth
A delightful book with an English sense of humor Everything in the book is documented. Nothing is invented. when accounts of the same meeting differ, as the always do, the author has sided with the most likely. To lend a pattern to a book that revolves around chance, and to insert order into the haphazard the author describes each of the 101 meetings in 1,001 words.The footnotes are as delicious as the meetings described.
James
I do not understand the rapturous critical acclaim this book received, with its dominance of every book of the year list. The book follows unlikely famous people who meet other famous people who then in turn meet other famous people. In general the famous are disappointed in these meetings and somewhat interestingly the passage of time makes their accounts of such meetings even more negative.

There were two funny bits out of this book. The most scathing father assessment of his son "I enclose Joh
...more
Cher
Amusing anecdotes from encounters of notable twentieth century figures: Hitler meets John Scott-Ellis (if only the car had been moving faster and more forcefully), Mark Twain and Helen Keller, Martha Graham and Madonna, Nancy Reagan and Andy Warhol, James Dean and Alec Guiness, Marcel Proust and James Joyce, and on and on.. This is best read dipping in here and there than in a straight shot.
Virginia
Very interesting idea...but... Perhaps if the author hadn't committed himself to 1001 words for each encounter... a little editing maybe. Sometimes he seems to go on just to fill those words, usually not to the benefit of who he is talking about. Yes famous people are human but are they all insecure whiners? Really sort of mean...
Chris
This series of anecdotes was entertaining and witty, but not very memorable. It was glossy - shiny and shimmery, but brittle, like glass. The NY Times made much of the fact that each story is exactly 1,001 words in length, but, in my opinion, the author cheated by adding extensive footnotes to many stories.
Peg
Great fun! Clever in concept as well as in execution. The classic six-degrees-of separation story-line made intriguing by the encounters all documented as true. Rudyard Kipling chatting with Mark Twain? Sergei Rachmaninoff with Harpo Marx? Salvador Dali with Sigmund Freud?
John Lamb
If you're a big fan of trivia and surprising anecdotes, then this is a pretty great book. The chance encounters, like Alec Guiness meeting James Dean and telling him not to drive his new care, are fun to read.
Liz
Note: I didn't actually read the whole thing. I got to Maxim Gorky and Tolstoy and decided I'd had enough.

This is a nice book - pretty funny. It depicts 101 meetings between people who's names you might recognize, and each of the meetings is kept to 1001 words. In this way, it's very readable.

Issues I had: It gets very repetitive. There's only so many short, quirky meetings between semi-famous people that a person can read, and I reached my point halfway through the book. Another problem that I
...more
Katie
Eh...weird book. If you're a history buff, you might love it. I skipped a bunch of sections and only read those that had a pop culture figure involved. (What does that say about me?)
Jennifer
Funny! Loved reading what Michael Jackson said when he met Nancy Reagan at the White House... Other Wierd stuff like that in the book.
David Mckinnon
It is a rather strange little book, mildly entertaining in its own way. The author describes a meeting between two dissimilar celebrities, then, in the next chapter takes one of those celebrities and puts him/her in another unlikely pairing. This continues through 101 pairings, ending with one of the original two..... Adolf Hitler. Pairings are strange.... Hitler and the Duke/Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx, Elvis Presley and the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon, and ...more
Robert
A wonderful "day" or "bathroom" reading book -- best savored one encounter at a time. (Read on Kindle)
Hans
A fun, fast read with lots of tipbits of gossip about the often rich and mostly famous!
Jessica
Delightful 101 word essays on encounters between famous people.
Dan Mcminn
A book that rears up, as if to try to drag the author out of the much of tabloid journalism (Brown works for the Daily Mail) only to collapse under the weight of petty gossip (particularly about royalty) in a depressing confirmation of the prejudice I would have against Brown after learning where he works.

In Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", a group of demons accidentally drop a cursed mirror to shatter on earth sending shards into people's eyes (to make them blind to beauty) or hearts
...more
Anya
This book started out really well (John Scott Ellis almost ran over Hitler!), but quickly became rather boring. Although the author intends for it to be a cohesive whole, and therefore draws different famous people into adjoining stories, this is likely better read as something to pick up when you have the time, selecting whatever famous person piques your interest. Because whoever loves history will enjoy the stories about politicians, and whoever loves literature will love all the authors, and ...more
Molly
Jun 10, 2014 Molly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People going camping; ie. those who want to save money on firewood
Shelves: non-fiction, histoire
Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle (read:unending) of 101 UnRemarkable Meetings

To be honest, I wouldn't have finished this book (or even picked it up, for that matter) if I hadn't received it through Goodreads First Reads*. Not picking it up would've been the smart decision.

I certainly wasn't the target audience for this book, being a teenage high schooler and non history buff, but the level of boredom and apathy I experienced was unprecedented, even given our disparity. Some of the celebrities, I di
...more
Emily
Craig Brown's Hello Goodbye Hello is a bit gimmicky, but he seems to actively seek out and revel in the gimmickry. Mr. Brown outlines a chain of precisely 101 meetings in precisely 1001 words each, making the entire book precisely 101,101 words long. He takes pains to point out that every other additional section (the acknowledgements, his author biography, etc.) is also precisely 101 words each, "to insert a note of order into the otherwise haphazard."

The encounters he chronicles are between pe
...more
Brigid
Meh. I kind of wish I'd taken more of the review into account. The premise was great and it held so much potential and even the execution wasn't horrible, but either the choice of people or the choice of meetings between them that were written about failed to deliver on what could have been a really good book.

On the positive side of things, this book did spark an interest in several individuals; some of whom I have only a passing knowledge and now would like to know more and some I learned abou
...more
Lauren Girouard
This book has had a fair amount of bad press on online review sites including but not limited to goodreads, and a fair amount of good press in publications like The New York Times and on radio waves- especially those of National Public Radio. I went into the read fascinated by the concept (I'm an "Awesome People Hanging Out Together" addict by night and a history buff by day) but skeptical about the content. Would it be overly boring? Overly liberal? Overly pretentious?

Pleasantly, Hello Goodbye
...more
Adriana
I'm obliged to note that I won this book as part of a Goodreas First Reads giveaway. I also feel obliged to mention that I would have written a positive review of it anyway. It's that good a book.

Craig Brown does a remarkable job of weaving a story out of meetings between the famous (and sometimes infamous) figures of modern history.
In an Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, Craig Brown mentions that his 101 stories are each told in 1,001 words. He uses those words to their fullest effec
...more
Megan
This book isn't as howlingly funny as the jacket quotes would lead one to believe. However, it is interesting, more fascinating than I expected. The meetings go in a circle, so that you read about, say, the Reagans meeting Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson meeting Madonna, Madonna meeting Martha Graham, Martha Graham meeting so-and-so, and on and on through 101 meetings. It's a bit of a gimmick, but overall it is a good one, because Brown general uses interesting events from different parts of a ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Craig Edward Moncrieff Brown (born 23 May 1957, Hayes, Middlesex) is a British critic and satirist from England, probably best known for his work in British magazine Private Eye.
More about Craig Brown...
One On One The Lost Diaries 1966 And All That This is Craig Brown The Marsh Marlowe Letters

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