I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

Paul Howard

2016 Winner

Bord Gáis Energy National Book Tokens Nonfiction Book of the Year

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Picador

9781509800049
384
Synopsis

Few people rode the popular wave of the sixties quite like Tara Browne. One of Swinging London's most popular faces, he lived fast, died young and was immortalized for ever in the opening lines of 'A Day in the Life', a song that many critics regard as The Beatles' finest. But who was John Lennon's lucky man who made the grade and then blew his mind out in a car?

Author Paul Howard has pieced together the extraordinary story of a young Irishman who epitomized the spirit of the times: racing car driver, Vogue model, friend of The Rolling Stones, style icon, son of a peer, heir to a Guinness fortune and the man who turned Paul McCartney on to LSD.

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy is the story of a child born into Ireland's dwindling aristocracy, who spent his early years in an ancient castle in County Mayo, and who arrived in London just as it was becoming the most exciting city on the planet.

The Beatles and the Stones were about to conquer America, Carnaby Street was setting the style template for the world and rich and poor were rubbing shoulders in the West End in a new spirit of classlessness. Among young people, there was a growing sense that they could change the world. And no one embodied the ephemeral promise of London's sixties better than Tara Browne.

Includes a sixteen-page plate section of stunning colour photographs.

In the media
Tara Browne was the golden boy around whom, for a short while, the entire extraordinary world of Sixties London seemed to revolve. Tara knew everybody and they all loved him, not for his money, as he feared, but because he, above them all, embodied the spirit of the age. I absolutely loved this book. It's a brilliant, vivid portrait of extraordinary times

Miranda Seymour, author of In My Father's House

After all these years, we at last know about the real life of the lucky man who made the grade. I found it fascinating to discover the true story of Tara Browne, a legend in a lyric.

Hunter Davies, author of The Beatles: The Authorised Biography

I loved it! Howard's skilful evocation of an extraordinary turning point in cultural history is an absolute joy to read. The life of Tara Browne offers the perfect conduit into a psychedelic world populated by a legendary cast of characters that you simply couldn't make up. While it's clear that Howard undertook years of rigorous original research, his prose is always gripping and never laboured. The deep but slightly exasperated affection Howard feels for Browne injects pathos into this highly entertaining account of an extraordinary, chaotic, high-octane life

Eleanor Fitzsimons, author of Wilde’s Women: How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew

Tara Browne held the rare quality of romance. A figure of intense but passive glamour, he stood at the epicentre of the bohemian Anglo-Irish aristocracy and 1960s London at its most swinging, yet somehow gave the air of merely passing through life. In a wonderfully readable book, gleaming with detail, Paul Howard evokes the splendid vanished worlds that Browne inhabited and - no easy thing to do - makes us believe in his elusive, imperishable enchantment

Laura Thompson, author of Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters