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3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews

The business of A&R (artists and repertoire) people at a record company is to sign new acts and nurture their careers, and lately no one in the industry has been hotter than Jim Cantone. Now the big time calls, and Jim accepts an offer to become head of A&R at industry giant WorldWide Records, founded and still run by the legendary maverick Wild Bill DeGaul. Little
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 9th 2001 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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Jan 04, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about the music industry written circa 1999... I found it so interesting, there are only a few mentions of 'on-line' and 0 mentions of file-sharing. Published in 2000, the author may have actually written it much earlier, or have written based on experiences from earlier, but it seems pretty typical of how slow the music industry giants were to pick up on the digital trends.

I really enjoyed reading this, and there were even a few really poignant character insights and relationship insigh
Jun 25, 2009 Meera rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book-- but I got a galley copy while I was working at a bookstore and had absolutely no expectations about it, so I don't know if that's why I was so impressed. It's a fun read on the satire of the music industry and corporate ladder-climbing in general. Maybe not high literature, but it definitely made me laugh.
Richard Lynn
Aug 16, 2007 Richard Lynn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the music business
Fiction, a great story about an A&R guy and what he goes through nursing bands along and the BS he has to put up with from his "fictional" label. Fun look into how labels work, at least big record labels.
Susan Gottfried
Jan 10, 2010 Susan Gottfried rated it really liked it
Shelves: rock-fiction
When Bill Flanagan’s A&R first crossed my radar, I knew I had to read it. Even though it’s copyrighted 2000 and well past the date at which I knew I wasn’t going to realize my (short-lived) dream of being an A&R chick, I still needed to read this book.

It took awhile to get my hands on it. Years. And then it took years more for me to pull it out of the depths of my famed TBR mountain range and actually read it.
Once I did, however, I absolutely adored it.

Now, let me say that the music indu
Al Young
Jan 31, 2014 Al Young rated it it was ok
The problem with Tom Wolfe is that he makes it looks so easy. Every aspiring writer thinks they have a Bonfire of the Vanities in them, and that their life and chosen profession is the most important, and has enough sex, money, fame, and power involved in it, that they can write like Wolfe too.

Flanagan's profession does have all that- the music industry circa-late 90s- pre-Napster, pre- American Idol, and Flanagan has some bona fides having been an exec at the MTV family of channels and writing
Jul 24, 2008 Tim rated it liked it
This book was interesting as a novel and somewhat depressing philosophically. It is the story of a rising star in the music production biz and its main strength is its depiction of what goes on inside the record labels.

I say it is depressing because, basically, it shatters every artist's dream that somehow, if you work hard enough, some kind of switch will flip and you will suddenly have "made it." I don't think anyone who wants to get into the movie business really thinks this anymore, but plen
Mar 31, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Fun look at the record business in the last days of its traditional (pre-internet) model, as seen through the eyes of a rising executive. Good pacing, interesting storyline. It's not highbrow literature, but it respects the reader, and I had no complaints about the writing style. The characters may seem somewhat cartoonish, but in reality the top echelon of industry bigwigs is actually not too far removed from the book's characterizations. The only drawback is the business side of the story is ...more
Feb 22, 2016 Mick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was good, but at times it seemed to get off base. As a music fan, I was expecting a little more about the music industry and the whole A&R scene. But maybe that's the point - the whole thing is about business, not music. Anyhow, the book had it's moments, sometimes funny, sometimes boring, and some downright satirical. In the end, I think the characters left a little on the table. I wasn't sure who to root for, or who to root against. And, again, maybe that was part of the point.
Oct 08, 2007 Saellys rated it liked it
Shelves: music
This is a total guilty pleasure. Flanagan doesn't know much about writing fiction (his U2 biography is brilliant), but he does know the music industry. The archetypes he selects for his characters are wholly enjoyable despite their mundane origins, and it's refreshing to read a book about the collapse of record labels with almost no mention of illegal downloads.
This was an insider's story about the music industry. As is the case with most of these, the story is forced but made up for by the explanation of how things really work. I always wonder... For some reason this is bringing to mind another book that was EXACTLY the same, but about the country music business in Nashville. Same guy? I remember the story in detail.
T.tara Turk-Haynes
Oct 29, 2007 T.tara Turk-Haynes rated it liked it
Recommends it for: music people
The pace is great. Some of this is a bit fantastical but that's not a bad thing. Not sure I loved Cantone's development. And some of the events did feel a bit rushed. But it's a juicy fun ride in the older age of music. Before online just smashed it like an Idaho potato.
Marty Rosen
Aug 08, 2015 Marty Rosen rated it liked it
Ok. Some interesting insights into music industry. Story line and plot turns felt a li
ttle forced. Writing quality acceptabl
e…not great.
Nov 24, 2009 Louvaine rated it liked it
Music insiders (or wannabees) this is the book for you! Very insightful, sad but funny depiction of what it takes to make it in the music world. Ha!
Feb 18, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
Eh. It's kinda funny and interesting, but the writing is hack and it's like watching balding men with pony tails trying to pick up chicks at bad rock shows.
Sep 29, 2007 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
GREAT read. Better than I expected. Good book for anyone interested in the music industry. It's a novel with plenty of twists and plenty of humor.
Feb 21, 2011 Dylan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very solid novel. Almost reads like an oral history of how the Biz used to be. Cause man, it ain't like this no more.
Jun 10, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun comedic novel and an insiders look at the music industry. A fun, quick read. (First Edition)
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