Take a look, it’s in a book – not your Nook or Kindle #readthisrainbow
The life and times of a modern day prepubescent pop star are the sardonic fodder for Teddy Wayne‘s new novel, “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine.” Written from the perspective of an 11-year-old singer, the novel jabs at the realities of the entertainment industry — its teen idol marketing machine and sale of wholesome romance to adolescent girls — and explores our culture’s obsession with fame. Wayne accomplishes this through his teen idol hero, who must handle his fame-addicted mother, navigate through a snarky media and deal with a record label in a manner well beyond his years.
– Megan Patrick, Arts Beat NPR
It’s sort of like if Jonny was an author, he’d have to do one of those internet videos in which the writer speaks directly to the camera about his book. Maybe some inoffensive music will play in the background, as he outlines the story, and its ‘themes’ and its ‘inspirations’ … Can you imagine James Joyce posturing himself?
The protagonist in my novel is an 11-year-old manufactured pop star. Yet, Jonny’s trapped within this powerful marketing machine, forced to do whatever his handlers tell him to sell concert seats and move merchandise.
Whether it’s staging a relationship with another celebrity, or reciting scripted patter.
Jonny begins to recognize that he’s little more than a product, a disposable artistic commodity, packaged by his label, only to gratify consumers.
Meanwhile, Jonny’s thinking about all his friends who went to Law School – who just sold out immediately, because they were smart about it … and now they have, like, stable salaries and 401(k)s … and he doesn’t even know what a 401(k) is – like why’s it have those, umm … par-parentheses around the ‘k?’ Like, you should’ve just done that – but no, you had to be ‘an artist’ and ‘create’ … And now Jonny’s got no health insurance.