x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Coming-of-age novel set in the brutal world of showbiz

In The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, Teddy Wayne continues his theme of highlighting modern cultural upheavals, this time centred on the cutthroat paradise that is showbiz.

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
Teddy Wayne
Free Press
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Already a successful writer with his work appearing in publications such as The New Yorker and the author of the critically acclaimed Y2K-centric novel Kapitoil, Teddy Wayne continues his theme of highlighting modern cultural upheavals into his new novel, this time centred on the cutthroat paradise that is showbiz.

Jonny Valentine, formerly known as Jonathan Valentine, is the sum of a meteoric rise to fame via YouTube, an obnoxious fan base comprised of hysterical girls, and a trademark swept-fringe hairdo, all achieved before the tender age of 12.

When taking into consideration his staged romance with a popular teen Latina actress-slash-singer and his mother's tightly-reined micro-management of his career, it doesn't take long for Jonny to realise that his life is just another stage show.

Also, a plea from his estranged father has him questioning if the whole spectacle is really worth the fakery.

Laid out in a surprisingly poignant mix of cynicism and innocence, Wayne intertwines both Jonny and Jonathan's voices into a sublime plot, making it an unconventional coming-of-age story that digs beneath the glossy veneer of mainstream pop.