Babysitting George by Celia Walden
The Last Days of a Soccer Icon

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Synopsis

As a young reporter, Celia Walden receives an unusual assignment: track down a global superstar and keep him away from all other journalists. That man is soccer player George Best, who made his debut for Manchester United at age seventeen and was the star of a star team throughout the 1960s. Enormously skilled and ruggedly handsome, idolized by men and women alike, he was referred to as "the fifth Beatle," and still holds a firm place among the world's all-time best players. But in 2004, George Best is nearing sixty and deteriorating like a much older man. A notorious alcoholic and philanderer, he has just received a liver transplant and has Antabuse tablets sewn into his stomach lining. His wife has left him again. When Celia finds him in a bar in Malta, he isn't exactly delighted to see her. He's been chased by journalists all his life. Yet as Celia's assignment to "babysit" George around the clock stretches out over months, an unlikely sort of friendship develops, and she gets to know George as a funny, volatile, and complex human being, an avid reader and member of MENSA, ravaged by alcohol and gradually withering under the constant glare of the spotlight. Babysitting George is a tender account of a unique relationship between a young journalist and a dying star. It questions the exploitative nature of tabloid journalism; the terrifying, all-consuming nature of addiction; and the implausible meetings that can change one's life.
 

About Celia Walden

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Celia Walden was born in Paris in 1975. She is a senior feature writer for the Daily Telegraph, a correspondent for British GQ, and an interviewer for British Glamour. She is also a regular on a number of TV programs, and a commentator on the British royals for NBC and Extra. Her first novel, Harm's Way, was published in 2008. With her husband, Piers Morgan, and their young child, she divides her time between New York and Los Angeles.
 
Published November 27, 2012 by Bloomsbury USA. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Walden observes that Best “felt for alcohol what the glutton feels for food: it hijacked every one of his senses.” The author portrays the milieu of British celebrity journalism as fueled by mindless competitive aggression, upon which Best provides wry commentary.

Sep 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Babysitting George: The Last ...

The Guardian

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Babysitting George, Celia Walden's new George Best-related memoir, often seems to be asking the question: is there anything more unappealing than a muck-raking tabloid journalist?

May 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Babysitting George: The Last ...

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