Free Press Fiction: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne

Free Press Fiction
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On sale February 5, 2013

For fans of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde, a scathing and unputdownable new novel about America’s monstrous obsession with fame, from the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award

Megastar Jonny Valentine, eleven-year-old icon of bubblegum-pop, knows that the fans don’t love him for who he is. His image, his voice, and even his hairdo have been packaged—by his LA label and by his hard-partying manager-mother—into bite-size pieces for easy digestion, sliding down the gullet of mass culture, the biggest appeal to the widest demographic. But inside the relentless marketing machine, somewhere, is still a little boy, devoted to his mother and determined to find his absent father among the countless, faceless fans.

A twisted, brilliant, and viciously funny coming-of-age story set inside corporate arenas and luxury hotel suites, Teddy Wayne’s The Love Song of Jonny Valentine explores with devastating clarity the underbelly of fame in 21st-century America’s celebrity culture, told through the eyes of one of the most unforgettable child narrators since Holden Caulfield. From the award-winning and critically beloved author of Kapitoil, this new novel is a literary masterpiece by one of the standout writers of his generation.

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Praise for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

 “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine takes us deep into the dark arts and even darker heart of mass market celebrity, 21st-century version.  In the near-pubescent hitmaker of the title, Teddy Wayne delivers a wild ride through the upper echelons of the entertainment machine as it ingests human beings at one end and spews out dollars at the other.  Jonny
s like all the rest of us, he wants to love and be loved, and as this brilliant novel shows, that’s a dangerous way to be when you’re inside the machine.”

—Ben Fountain, New York Times bestselling author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
Praise for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

“In Jonny Valentine, Teddy Wayne has created a vivid and achingly authentic portrait of an adolescent prodigy trying to make sense of a world from which he’s been kept mostly separate. Wry, witty, and genuinely moving, this is a novel that delves into the private longings of a public figure, exposing the sometimes dark and often ridiculous inner-workings of a life in show business. The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is absorbing and beautifully written—and also a ton of fun to read.”

—Aryn Kyle, New York Times bestselling author of The God of Animals and Boys and Girls Like You and Me

Praise for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

 “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine is a novel of ferocious wit and surprising poignancy. Teddy Wayne has written a pitch-perfect anthem for our surreal American Dream, a power ballad for the 21st-century unhappy family, an epic ode to the fleeting glory of fame… Adored by his fans, enslaved by the music industry, Jonny navigates the high-stakes game of celebrity while secretly longing for the love of his missing dad. And we, in turn, long for him to hold onto his soulful spirit, his baby chub, his cri de coeur, his ‘major vulnerabilities.’ A deeply entertaining novel with humor and heart to spare.”

—Amber Dermont, New York Times bestselling author of The Starboard Sea

Praise for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

 “I’d wanted to go slowly and read The Love Song of Jonny Valentine over the course of a week or two, but once Jonny’s voice got into my head, I was hooked, and kept picking it back up, and so I ended up on the last page, reading that final, amazing sentence, at like three in the morning…This is a book with a runaway narrative engine, tremendous ambitions, and an even bigger heart. I do not lie when I tell you: Teddy Wayne is as good a young writer as we have.”

—Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children

Praise for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

 “What is most searing about Teddy Wayne’s splendid new novel is not his trenchant social criticism, nor the itchy, unsettling way that he makes tragedy entertaining, but that in the bubble of celebrity which comprises little Jonny Valentine’s whole world, at times the only difference between the savvy, drug-taking, lonely adults and the savvy, drug-taking, lonely kid himself are his out-sized talent, and their avarice plus wrinkles.”

—Helen Schulman, New York Times bestselling author of This Beautiful Life

Praise for Kapitoil

“[Karim]’s a type—the nerdy and needy young immigrant—that we’re all familiar with but that no other writer, as far as I know, has invented such a funny and compelling voice and story does what novels can do better than any other art form: Show us a familiar world through unfamiliar eyes.”

—Jonathan Franzen in The Daily Beast  

Praise for Kapitoil

“Teddy Wayne has written one of the best novels of my generation...Why did 9/11 happen, and why do we continue to respond so blindly? Wayne answers these questions better than Mohsin Hamid or Joseph O’Neill, the best authors of this genre until now...Wayne has completely foreseen and transcended the exhaustion of the 9/11 genre."

The Boston Globe