Monday, October 1, 2012

Hello, Goodbye, Hello by Craig Brown

This was a fun, entertaining book that reminded me of all the ways we briefly come in contact with so many people over the years.  

In Hello, Goodbye, Hello by Craig Brown, he demonstrates this by telling stories of actual meetings between famous people throughout the years.  Some of them were surprising:  Houdini actually does an act for Nicolas and Alexandria, the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia (and fools them, too).  Mark Twain meets Helen Keller and immediately becomes absolutely enchanted with her.  Harpo Marx and Rachmaninoff find themselves living at the same hotel in Los Angeles in 1931.  Their meeting was not so wonderful.  

Some of the people in this book I was a bit unfamiliar with, but the author does take the time to fill you in on who they are--many were famous British artists and politicians.  Each story is short  and has footnotes that quickly become an addictive part of the read!  

What I enjoyed about this book were the short stories about each meeting; where and when they met, and how utterly improbable some of these meetings seemed at first, but ended up making perfect sense.  A lot of the meetings happened because one person admired the other and wanted to meet them; others happened because both were at the same party, house, or event, knew the same people, or had a connection.  Some, like Houdini and Theodore Roosevelt, happened because they were both traveling on a ship at the same time.  

In any case, I found this quite entertaining, and a reminder once again of just how small our world can be.  I can't say that every meeting between these famous people was spectacular, life changing, or even pleasant.  Many walked away throughly disgusted, uninterested, or completely disliking the other person, while some experienced a life changing event.  Just goes to show that even with celebrity status, we're all just human beings who, at the end of the day,  love, laugh, and  sometimes abhor each other's company.

Rating:  3/5.  A easy book to read in bits and pieces; fun stories about people you would never know have briefly touched each other's lives.

Available in hardcover and as an e-book.

No comments :

Post a Comment