Pittsburgh was too small for Beryl Wexler. Barely out of high school, she changed her name to Buzz, set off for London, and made it to the top of the music PR business, looking after the coolest groups on the planet.
Now, at he grand old age of 42, Buzz has been sidelined into World Music, and her life is about to change. On tour with the Gorni Grannies, a Bulgarian group of singers led by the feisty Lubka, Buzz faces quite different challenges from her usual tantrum-throwng celebs. Fuelled by shots of home-brewed Plum Raika, Buzz and Lubka address life's ups and downs, until the world tilts and a different future beckons.
©2009 Laurie Graham; (P)2009 Soundings
Buzz Wexler is a middle-aged record company executive. Foul-mouthed, promiscuous, and narcissistic, there is, on the surface, not much to like about her. But Buzz is in for a shock: after years spent clawing herself to the top, a record company merger sees her sidelined into World Music and suddenly responsible for a group of Bulgarian folk singers, the Gorny Grannies, led by the irrepressible Lubka.
This is a funny book. Buzz is consistently amusing in her awfulness, and she is supported by a wonderful cast of characters including the five Grannies, a posse of Bulgarian gangsters, and Buzz's own elderly father, who is obsessed with the late Ronald Reagan. The story fizzes along, and is effortlessly brought to life by Tara Ward. The central joke about Bulgarians being backward is essentially the same one George Bernard Shaw used in Arms and the Man over a hundred years ago. I can't help thinking that real Bulgarians must get rather tired of being the butt of so many jokes about hygiene, but hopefully this book is not a candidate for translation.
There are a few swear words, if this bothers you. I am normally very sensitive to this, but was not offended in this case, as they were used sparingly and it was all contextual.
"I just loved this!"
I just loved this! The narrator Tara Ward is brilliant. Such fun. I know I shall listen to this again & again. Would love to hear my favourite Laurie Graham - The Dress Circle - on audio.
I gave up before the half-way point. The wording is very clever - this story should have been very funny but it stumbled on the granny accents! I loved the Buzz Wexler dialogue, sharp and witty. But the 'interpretations' were awful. Grated on my nerves. Really awful accent and if that is how Bulgarians speak English - don't ever go to Bulgaria.
Perhaps this is one book that would be better read than listened to.
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