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One on One (Hardback)
  • One on One (Hardback)

One on One (Hardback)

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Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 22/09/2011
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101 chance meetings, juxtaposing the famous and the infamous, the artistic and the philistine, the pompous and the comical, the snobbish and the vulgar, each 1,001 words long, and with a time span stretching from the 19th century to the 21st.

Life is made up of individuals meeting one another. They speak, or don't speak. They get on, or don't get on. They make agreements, which they either hold to or ignore. They laugh, they cry, they are excited, they are indifferent, they share secrets, they say, "How do you do?" Often it is the most fleeting of meetings that, in the fullness of time, turn out to be the most noteworthy.

`One on One' examines the curious nature of different types of meeting, from the oddity of encounters with the Royal Family (who start giggling during a recital by TS Eliot) to those often perilous meetings between old and young (Mark Twain terrifying Rudyard Kipling) and between young and old (the 23-year-old Sarah Miles having her leg squeezed by the nonagenarian Bertrand Russell), to contemporary random encounters (George Galloway meeting Michael Barrymore on Celebrity Big Brother).

Ingenious in its construction, witty in its narration, panoramic in its breadth, `One on One' is a wholly original book.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007360628
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 690 g
Dimensions: 240 x 159 x 36 mm


`The book describes real encounters. Truth being stranger than fiction, many of them are every bit as bazaar as Brown could have invented, and some are as funny... This is much more than a comedy book' Beavis Hillier, Spectator

Marvellously inventive and witty book ... it's hard to imagine anyone could do it better. He has an acutely attuned comic ear, an unmatched eye for spotting the absurdities of human behaviour and a bloodhound-grade nose for sniffing out phoniness and pretension. You couldn't wish for a finer exponent of this literary parlour game' FIVE STARS Mail on Sunday

`For those who know Brown as a parodist, this book will come as a surprise. Though often very funny, it's a work of straight non-fiction whose great virtue is not excess but restraint... A hugely enjoyable book that looks with affection and melancholy on the whirring roundabouts of history and celebrity, and reminds us that the paths to glory lead, handshake by handshake, pratfall by pratfall, to the grave' Sam Leith, Guardian

`It is partly a huge karmic parlour game, partly a dance to the music of chaos - and only the genius of Craig Brown could have produced it' Evening Standard

`One on One is entirely a work of non-fiction, and very thoroughly researched one, too, while still as funny and perspective as anything else Brown has given us...Those who find gossip not only highly entertaining but also highly revealing about the most complex things we know of in nature will relish One On One from first chapter to 101st.' Sunday Times

"wistful and moving, as well as howlingly funny". AN Wilson Books of the Year

Philip Hensher, Books of the Year, Spectator:
"a beautifully original and gripping approach to biography."

`The reader is made to feel like the most priviledged fly on the wall, not wanting to miss a word' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

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“An interesting read”

The idea of the book seemed quite unusual at first and I was unsure on how the book would actually flow and I have come to the conclusion that the book does not flow. The book is quite an interesting read though and... More

Paperback edition
6th August 2012
Helpful? Upvote 30

“One on One”

in 1916, Rasputin is murdered by Felix Youssoupoff in St Perersburg. In 1946, Youssoupoff attends a soical event and sing's a peasant song to Noel Coward who is impressed with his sweet sounding voice. In 1965,... More

Paperback edition
16th August 2012
Helpful? Upvote 21

“A good stop and start book”

The idea of this book struck me as quite interesting, kind of like a six degrees of separation. Each story is a chance encounter between two people which then leads on to another encounter. The way the stories are set... More

Paperback edition
30th July 2012
Helpful? Upvote 15

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