The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
A Novel

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...Mr. Wayne sometimes struggles to depict the thinking of his 11-year-old hero, a precocious and knowing kid, but an 11-year-old nonetheless.
-NY Times


One of the most critically acclaimed books of the year, Whiting Award-winner Teddy Wayne’s second novel is “more than a scabrous sendup of American celebrity culture; it’s also a poignant portrait of one young artist’s coming of age” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)—and an enduring yet timely portrait of the American dream gone awry.

In his rave on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, Jess Walter praised Wayne’s writing for its “feats of unlikely virtuosity” and the boy at its center as “a being of true longing and depth, and…a devastating weapon of cultural criticism…You’d have to be made of triple platinum not to ache for Jonny Valentine.”

With “assured prose and captivating storytelling” (’s Book of the Week), The Love Song of Jonny Valentine also showcases “one of the most complicated portrayals of the mother-son relationship since Room” (BookPage). Touring the country in a desperate attempt to save a career he’s not sure he even wants, Jonny is both driven by his mother’s ambition and haunted by his father’s absence, constantly searching for a familiar face among the crowds. Utterly convincing, whip-smart, yet endearingly vulnerable, with an “unforgettable” voice (Publishers Weekly, starred review), the eleven-year-old pop megastar sounds “like Holden Caulfield Jr. adrift in Access Hollywood hell” (Rolling Stone).

Called “a showstopper” (The Boston Globe), “hugely entertaining” (The Washington Post), “heartbreakingly convincing” (People), “buoyant, smart, searing” (Entertainment Weekly), and “touching and unexpectedly suspenseful” (The Wall Street Journal), this extraordinary novel has been widely embraced as a literary masterpiece and the rare “satire with a heart” (Library Journal, starred review).

About Teddy Wayne

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Teddy Wayne, the author of Kapitoil, is the winner of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award and a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He writes regularly for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. He lives in New York. Marjorie Celona received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of the John C. Schupes fellowship. Her stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Glimmer Train, and Harvard Review. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, she lives in Cincinnati. Jim Gavin’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, ZYZZYVA, and Slice magazine. He lives in Los Angeles. William Nicholson is a screenwriter, playwright, television writer, and novelist. Perhaps best known for his Academy Award-nominated screenplays for Shadowlands and Gladiator, he is also the author of several young adult and fantasy novels and a sequence of contemporary adult novels set in England. He lives in Sussex, England. Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop was born and raised in New York City. She earned her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.F.A. in fiction from the UC Irvine, where she was the recipient of the Schaeffer Writing Fellowship. She is the author of two novels, Fireworks and December. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and St. Bernard. Paul Yoon was born in New York City. His first book was the story collection Once the Shore. It was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, a Best Debut Fiction by National Public Radio, and won the Asian American Literary Award and the 5 under 35 award from the National Book Foundation.
Published February 5, 2013 by Free Press. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
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NY Times

Reviewed by Jess Walter on Feb 21 2013 the end it’s the voice that pulls you into this novel. Embodying a character who might otherwise be easy to dismiss, Wayne has crafted a funny, affecting tour of our cultural wasteland.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jan 28 2013

...Mr. Wayne sometimes struggles to depict the thinking of his 11-year-old hero, a precocious and knowing kid, but an 11-year-old nonetheless.

Read Full Review of The Love Song of Jonny Valent... | See more reviews from NY Times

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