Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “a” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  179 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Conceptually unique, hilarious, and frightening, a: A Novel is the perfect literary manifestation of Andy Warhol's sensibility. In the late sixties, Warhol set out to turn a trade book into a piece of pop art, and the result was this astonishing account of the artists, superstars, addicts, and freaks who made up the Factory milieu. Created from audiotapes recorded in and a ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 17th 1998 by Grove Press (first published November 12th 1979)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about a, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about a

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 496)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This sounded as though it might be interesting, but it turned out to be sort of unreadable. Andy just said "Hey, let's tape record everybody and then have someone type it." That's a good way to document a scene, but not exactly a stellar way to write a novel.

It did make me almost late for work when I was reading it in the's the sort of book you end up jumping all around in, because it's so homogenously gossipy, bitchy,'s about Ondine more than it is about Drella (Andy)...and
The thing with Andy Warhol is that you can never quite tell if you're being tricked. This is 24 hours of conversation recorded in New York in 1966 and 1968, most of it taking place at The Factory and surrounds, including restaurants and taxicabs, and all of it transcribed quickly and badly with many spelling errors. Most of it revolves around Ondine, the actor and supermodel, who is completely off his head on amphetamines for most of the time and is constantly bumping into friends, listening to ...more
Mar 27, 2007 KidPolaroid rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: patient artsy people
Shelves: done
So this book is pretty fun. Not acutally fun to read, but fun in the way it was made. Andy had all these tape-recorded conversations of him with people on some amount of days (like 4, I think) and he hired a bunch of girls to sit at typewriters and listen and transcribe them. It's really fun to see it came out all jibberishly and random. (File under my weird fascination with typing thingies.)
Scott Holstad
While this book sounded interesting when I bought it, it turned out to be the most insipid book I've ever read or seen. It's truly terrible. Whoever told Andy Warhol he could write did America a grave disservice. This isn't even a real novel! It's tape recorded conversations Warhol had typed up by high school girls and saved complete with misspellings and all. And it's all dialogue, most of it one sided, so you rarely know who's saying what. That's if you can get past all the gay sex and drug us ...more
Transcribing interesting people having conversations isn't as entertaining as you think it would be.
I rarely never finish a book, but couldn't read past page 168 of this book that Andy Warhol calls a novel. Yet I still feel compelled to write a review. While Warhol may identify this voluminous text as a novel, I won't waste space explaining why none of it fits any of the basic structure of a novel. Instead, I view this as just another one of his passively provocative art projects. Like those 24 hour films of the Empire State Building, this is a recording in text of many consecutive hours of hi ...more
Review originally written in may 2005

a a novel By Andy Warhol
Well I've spent most of this year wading through
this so called novel by Warhol. This is a book
that is a concept far ahead of its time as the
basic premise of taping 24 hours in the life of
Ondine and his A-head pals and then transcribing
it as a novel is pretty much the reality tv
concept as novel. the fact that the book is
unedited non spell checked and a complete mess
in terms of narrative etc only re-enforces the
reality tv conce
This is a tough nut to read, and I never would recommend starting with this as an introduction to Warhol's writing products. Basically it's typed-down (by various people, including schoolgirls) document of a-heads talking rubbish and doing things - and not always written down perfectly. Not something you want to re-read very often, especially if you can't concentrate much, but it's an experience for sure.
The introduction contained extraneous information on other artists that I didn't care much about so I cut to the parts that concerned Warhol. This book includes many portraits I have never seen before and people I have never heard of including, of course, the very rich and famous of the 1970's. Of those that were familiar were designers Halston, Carlina Herrera, Yves St. Laurent, and Diane von Fürstenberg. Familiar actors, writers, and musicians included those of the likes of Mick Jagger, Truman ...more
A weird collection of random portraits Andy did in the 70's.

Not much here really interesting just a bunch of random peoples heads done andy warhol style. Whats worse they are all done of fly by night 70's celebrities and politicians you probably haven't heard of. There are a few neat notables here and there, but mostly these are a bunch of portraits of random people.

Not much interesting here.

Conversations between drug-addicts and gay men was interesting for about twenty pages, and then it just became unreadable and unbearable. Also, it might be helpful to read the index in the back BEFORE you read the book, because it gave background on the characters that would have been helpful to know. Like that one of the characters is actually Andy Warhol himself.
Oct 26, 2011 Patrick rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes drugs and incoherence (the finer things in life)!
Recommended to Patrick by: Recycled Books
This book solidifies my opinion that Andy Warhol's 'friends' were totally f*ed up. Beyond that, it is an extremely interesting, albeit unadulerated, portrail of an infamous social group. Kind of a Warhol painting in text form, if you will. It is a little hard to read at first, though. I suppose that is the way Candy Andy wanted it.
Written by my cousin Robert Olivo who was one of Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground Superstars, Ondine. Robby was a stutterer, an alcoholic and drug addict. He wrote the book and Andy put his name on it. What people will do for drugs!
An experiment worth finding the single-line gems in. I'll probably pick this up and read pieces of it again, but its the kind of document you might go for when you don't feel like paying attention to what you're reading.
This book is fucking terrible; I couldn't even get through 100 pages. There's no plot, just random people saying random things. This just reaffirmed my belief that Andy Warhol was a jackass.
A bit eccentric with conversation-ish writings. Fun but I would rather enjoy his art or films. Good collectible and reference though.
One question.

Couldn't even get by the first 30 pages.

Great book for home decor though.
Jan 12, 2010 Libby rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: art
bizarre and entertaining.
Christiana Guinle
GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Arturdo marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2014
Kiran marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Rachel Rattenborg
Rachel Rattenborg marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2014
Haley marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Life And Death Of Andy Warhol
  • Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties
  • I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews
  • Famous for 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol
  • Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up
  • Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory
  • Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's the Grapes of Wrath
  • Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography
  • 100 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature
  • Down There on a Visit
  • Escape From Kathmandu
  • Beyond the Brillo Box: The Visual Arts in Post-Historical Perspective
  • Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art
  • Edie: Girl on Fire
  • Of Being Numerous
  • The Weathermonger (The Changes Trilogy, #3)
  • Gypsy
  • I Met the Walrus: How One Day with John Lennon Changed My Life Forever
Andrew Warhola, better known as Andy Warhol, was an American artist and a central figure in the movement known as Pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, an avant-garde filmmaker, a record producer, an author, and a public figure known for his membership in wildly diverse social circles that included bohemian street ...more
More about Andy Warhol...
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) The Andy Warhol Diaries POPism: The Warhol Sixties "Giant" Size 365 Takes

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »