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Lola Bensky

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  698 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Lola Bensky is a nineteen-year-old rock journalist who irons her hair straight and asks a lot of questions. A high-school dropout, she's not sure how she got this job - but she's been sent by her Australian newspaper right to the heart of the London music scene a the most exciting time in music history: 1967.
Drawing on her own experience as a young journalist, the bestsel
Paperback, 1st, 267 pages
Published September 2012 by Hamish Hamilton (first published January 1st 2012)
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Il gioco di rimandi è intenso fin dalla copertina: l’autrice ha nome e cognome brevi e con le stesse iniziali del personaggio che intitola il romanzo, tanto che si tende a confonderle.
Il percorso esistenziale di Lola è molto simile a quello di Lily che scrive: entrambe figlie di ebrei sopravvissuti ad Auschwitz, entrambe nate in Germania in un campo profughi subito dopo la fine della guerra, entrambe trasferite in Australia in tenerissima età, entra
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a brunette, fringed 19-year-old music fanatic, I presumed this book would tick all of my boxes. Sadly, I was quite wrong. I hate to write negative reviews (esp of Australian authors) but I have to be honest and say that I really don't like Brett's writing. Not one bit. This novel is about a young woman interviewing some of the world's biggest and best musicians at the height/beginning of their fame. Sounds great, but her voice comes across as clunky, detached and basic and I struggled to conn ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
This started off well. Initially I quite enjoyed it. The interviews with the celebrities were interesting and I figured since Lily was herself a journalist, maybe they were based on real ones. Having read some of the other reviews for this, it seems that this is not the case and they are fictional. I am a little too young to know most of them, but had of course heard of the majority. I enjoyed what I thought was an insight into them.
The main problem I had was that we don't really get to know Lol
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I only gave this book 2 stars because its written about an era and a community of musicians that I adore. The writing itself is fairly good but the character of Lola Bensky is dull, indecisive, annoying,self-loathing, green, unintelligent, unconfident, unconvincing, ignorant and woeful.
I feel that Lily Brett has tried to re-imagine something along the lines of Kerouac's On The Road, from a meek Australian female perspective, and failed miserably.
Throw in some graphic depictions of world war two
Feb 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
I'm disappointed to say that I have nothing good to say about this book. Why would anyone want to read a book about a woman who, rather than talk about her incredibly interesting career; or her travels; or the amazing people that she has interviewed and hung out with, chooses instead to write about how fat her thighs are? Lola doesn't seem to have any passion for music, or anything really. It's almost as if she just stumbled into the music industry. Her mother is so hateful that I didn't even ha ...more
Melinda Elizabeth
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
I can't say I enjoyed this very much. A made up journo having made up conversations with famous rock stars hold tick all the boxes, but all Lola does is obsess over false eyelashes, WWII atrocities and diets. The middle of the book inexplicably zoomed far into the future for no discernible reason, then again bafflingly back to the 60's for some of the conclusion. Reading this book in Lola's narrative is like a monotonous, muffled ongoing noise that you can't quite figure out.
Steve lovell
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Whatever became of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich?
They had been long gone from my grey matter until Lily Brett’s book bought back a memory of forty plus years ago. For a nano-second, despite their ridiculous appellation based on the member’s nicknames, they were the hottest band on the planet with monster hits such as ‘The Legend of Xanadu’ and ‘Bend It’ – the latter being banned in the Bible Belt for its saucy lyrics. In my formative years of musical appreciation I’d purchased these two s
Amanda Apthorpe
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While it took me a little while to adapt to Lily Brett's writing style, ultimately I was fully engaged with the character of Lola Bensky. A little more than 'based' on her own experience as a rock journalist in the 1960s, Brett imbues Lola with wonderful warmth, humour and her self-effacing attitude is very endearing. Of course, the entree into the personal world of the 60s Rock Greats adds to the interest of this novel, but more than that, it is Lola's inner turmoil as she tries to come to grip ...more
Esther Rivers
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
For someone who claims to have music journalism experience, they might have wanted to do a little more research into the life and times of 'swingin' London' in the 60s. The depictions of these characters feel like Brett researched them once or twice on Wikipedia-for anyone with the slightest bit of musical knowledge or love of rock 'n' roll, this story is insulting. Does the author really think this is believable? Is the target audience young teenagers? Does every move that Lola (a most narcissi ...more
Sharanya Sarathy
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was apprehensive with the 3.3 average rating but I couldn't put this book down. I read it from cover to cover in one evening. I found the writing was simple, light, easy to get through but the content was surprisingly profound and at times almost disturbing. I found it to have a great balance of depth and simplicity. The non-linear timeline, the idiosyncratic main character, and the basis in Lily Brett's own life make this a great read, in my opinion. Sometimes Lola Bensky's weight obsession b ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Lola Bensky is probably one of the more surprising novels I’ve read in a long time. Lily Brett, who is quite famous in her native Australia, has certainly won a new fan in this here blogger. What at first glance would seem to be simple little tale about a girl interviewing all the famous rockstars of the 1960s and 1970s, turned out to be an unexpectedly poignant exploration of a generation from a completely unique point of view.
See my full review here:
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ich bin Lily-Brett-Fangirl, das hat sich mit diesem Buch auch nicht geändert.

Die eigen-artige Lola Bensky habe ich dabei besonders ins Herz geschlossen. Ich mag ihre Macken, ihre Unsicherheit, ihre Art, einfach aus dem Bauch heraus über die Lager-Erlebnisse ihrer Eltern zu plaudern, ihre Sehnsucht danach, eine "echte" Jüdin zu sein, und die herrlich verschrobenen Geschichten, die sie als Autorin später einmal schreibt. Die Art und Weise wie Brett während des Erzählens Vergangenheit und Gegenwart
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reviews
On initial glance, Lily Brett’s Lola Bensky appears to be a light-hearted novel about a young Australian rock journalist who makes a name for herself at one of the most exciting times in music history: the late 1960s. But there’s a darker edge, for Lola Bensky, the bright and bubbly 19-year-old at the heart of the story, is the child of Holocaust survivors and her life is governed by a particular kind of psychological trauma.

To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog.
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
When Lilly Brett was quite young, she got a job with Go-Set, which was the first Australian rock/pop newspaper. Go-Set came out of a group who worked at Monash Uni on Lot’s Wife. While Lily had no formal training as a journalist she was given quite a lot of opportunities, including going to Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, just as her fictional character, Lola Bensky does. At the time, she says that an experienced journo gave her some advice: “Always start with a good line.”

This novel opens with “
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a quick, light and easy read but I do have some qualms.

Admittedly, what first attracted me to this book was the cover (we all judge a book by its cover every now and then). It shows a twenty-something girl with thick, long eyelashes and has that “retro” 50s, 60s look. I love fashion and style from that time and I had to pick this book up because of that. Then I read the description. It had lots of familiar names: Jimi Hendrix, Mama Cass, Monterey Pop Festival. As a music lover, especial
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first encounter with Lily Brett was in 1986 when my mum, who had never censored my reading in any way, gently took The Auschwitz Poems from my hands and said, “Enough.” I’d been on a long Holocaust reading binge and Brett’s collection of poems had me in tatters.

Lola Bensky is a different Brett. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Lola, an Australian rock journalist who is sent to London in 1967 to interview Hendrix, Jagger and Joplin, to name a few. It sounds fanciful, but Lola Bensky is root
As I read this book I went through periods where it had me, then it dragged for a while, then it got me again and finally it petered out.

Interesting storyline of a young Australian journalist interviewing the famous rock stars of the 70s just as their careers were taking off. In all her interviews, Lola Bensky seemed to be taking more of her weight problems and her parents experiences at Auschwitz than getting material for her magazine.

Lola has self doubts, she is fat, she grapples with understa
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
What an absolute disappointment of a book I was so looking forward to reading! I felt there was no real point to the book, nothing exciting or dramatic happened to Lola that encouraged me to read on. The character of Lola was one which I could not connect with, possibly due to the fact that I am neither Jewish nor overweight. Frequently the book bored me as I was met with repetition that seemed to drag on. The endless list of celebrities Lola interviews each come with their own description into ...more
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok

Too much calling on the same character types, issues and preoccupations that threaded through previous novels. I am beginning to feel that most of Brett's books are just another perspective on her own life story. The 'new' bits do not really add anything profound to the narrative. The reference to the detective agency almost seemed to be lifted from Alexander McCall's stories...oddly enough that was the most entertaining part of the book.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Lily Brett's books! They are funny!They are introspective in a highly self deprecating way. You have to read 'You Gotta Have Balls' and this book to really see Lily Brett. Her feelings of insignificance makes her write significant heros. Her Dad characters are side splitting and so very vivid. When I'm in New York I want to bump into her and just wink at her with my diamanté fake eyelashes.
Jun 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I couldn't work out how Lola managed to apparently do such a great job as a journalist/writer/wife etc when she seemed to know nothing about anything and obsess about everything! I came away not being able to decide whether I had enjoyed it or not.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ridiculously cute and easy to read.
Charming Language
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It’s 1967. London is swinging and California is dreaming as some of history’s most formidable music artists take to the world stage. Overweight high-school drop-out Lola Bensky has every 19 year old’s dream job as a journalist for Rock-Out magazine. She leaves her anxious Jewish immigrant parents in Melbourne and heads overseas to chat with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison and Cher. As she quizzes them about their lives, she develops a deeper understanding of her own unique upbringing as t ...more
Sally Edsall
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, fiction
I love Lily Brett. An Australian lobg-term resident of New York, she's a former rock journalist (Go Set mag in the 1960s), essayist, novelist.

All her novels eg You Gotta Have Balls, Too Many Men & the last one, Lola Bensky, are based in autobiography.

She continues to draw from her life as the child of death camp (Auschwitz) Holocaust survivor parents, and what that has meant for their lives as well as her own.

She's also bloody funny - mainly about her as described by her stereotypically J
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, very sensitive and a trip down memory lane.
All the references to the Monterey Festival, Jimi, Janis & Mama Cass had me pausing and watching the performances on YouTube.
I am not sure about Schlomo from SoHo and what those little stories mean, but I feel they could possibly have a deeper meaning or possibly are an acknowledgement and tribute to the authors dad who enjoys a good detective story.
The year is 1967, and young Lola Bensky has arrived in London to interview a series of famous rock stars for Australian magazine Rock-Out. The book opens with Lola and a very gentile Jimi Hendrix chatting about weight and hair curlers, and continues through a series of interviews with superstars like Mick Jagger, Twiggy, and Pete Townshend to name just a few.

There’s something rather compelling about Lola’s character. Perhaps it’s her wide-eyed innocence, which doesn't seem to diminish as she ge
Reannon Bowen
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable, especially all the music references, but confusing, a little sad & slightly disjointed.
Bree T
Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Lola Bensky has what many would consider a dream job. She’s just 19 years old and she travels through London and America interviewing up and coming rock stars for an Australian publication. It’s the rise of rock n roll and Lola has been chasing down the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Cher and Mama Cass, talking to them about their music, their lives and their dreams. Mick Jagger makes her a cup of tea and debates word meanings with her, Jimi Hendrix possibly propositions her a ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened, read-again
Gekürzte Hörbuchfassung

Ein wirklich sehr interessantes Buch. Es fängt etwas abrupt und sympatisch an, wie ich finde und kommt dann aber auch ziemlich schnell mit einem ersten Tiefschlag. Es scheint auch ein sehr, sehr, sehr autobiografisches Werk der Autorin zu sein (von den Initialen mal ganz abgesehen). Dieses Buch gibt die Szenerie der 60er/70er so beeindruckend wieder, dass ich sie manchmal reell vor Augen hatte. "Insider"-Infos über die großen der damaligen Zeit gespickt mit einem nicht gan
To think that I might never have picked up this book if I hadn’t received a preview copy from the publisher – what a loss that would have been! Lola Bensky is, as Lola herself may have said, a “smashing” book. Insightful, thought provoking and deeply moving, told in Lola’s fresh and innocent voice, it is one of the most original books I have read all year.

Lola Bensky is a young journalist in the 1960’s, travelling the world and interviewing young up-and-coming rock stars for an Australian music
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