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Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie | [Jon Ronson]

Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie

In the late 1980s Jon Ronson was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong. Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band. Frank is set for release in 2014, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
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Publisher's Summary

In the late 1980s Jon Ronson was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong.

Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band. Frank is set for release in 2014, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie is a memoir of funny, sad times and a tribute to outsider artists too wonderfully strange to ever make it in the mainstream. It tells the true story behind the fictionalized movie.

Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of four best sellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test and Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, and two collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness. He lives in London and New York City.

©2014 Jon Ronson (P)2014 Audible Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (155 )
5 star
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4.0 (139 )
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4.5 (138 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Too many toys National Capital Region 04-20-14
    Too many toys National Capital Region 04-20-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    11
    10
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    Story
    "The weakest of Ronson's works"
    What would have made Frank better?

    A real story


    What was most disappointing about Jon Ronson’s story?

    The story was far fetched and only marginally interesting


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Focus on another story


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Frank?

    This might have made an interesting 30 minute or 1 hour story. It was appropriate as an anecdote not a full-length story.


    Any additional comments?

    Even Ronson fans (as I am) should avoid this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pattywolford WV 04-09-14
    Pattywolford WV 04-09-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
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    2
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    Story
    "Now, looking forward to the movie!"

    Jon Ronson narrates this as well, and it is excellent, mostly because of his own insights as he reads his own words. This is my 4th Audible purchase of his books here. I would also have purchased The Men Who Stare at Goats, but the narrator is not Jon Ronson, and lacks the quality of his readings.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Kring 05-06-15 Member Since 2013

    The least helpful reviewer on audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
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    106
    105
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    1
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    Story
    "Not My Favorite"
    Any additional comments?

    I love Jon Robson's books, but this short little story was lacking something. I'm not sure what. I do know this was 10 times better than that God awful movie which I bought before listening to the story, but watched just a day or two later. Don't bother with that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viktor 05-09-15
    Viktor 05-09-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful little story"

    This is a wonderful little story about a strange man. Written as always with wit, style and a great sense if humor. You gotta love Jon Ronson

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina_t 04-28-15
    Tina_t 04-28-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    26
    26
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    Story
    "Interesting but short"

    I'm not sure what I thought this book was about, but it was oddly entertaining. I almost couldn't stop listening until it was over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DBB 03-15-15
    DBB 03-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    "I love Jon Ronson"

    Listen to the Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson for a hysterical journey. He narrates his own work and is perfectly droll. Frank was a fascinating story of a quirky "outsider" artist.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Paul D
    Halland, United Kingdom
    1/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting little tale"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, great fun and interesting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Frank . . . . .


    What does Jon Ronson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Laid back? Dead pan? Some i am sure will find his delivery boring. Myself, after i have got over the first five minutes, i find his delivery to be a major part of my enjoyment. In large part i think his lack of "colour" enhances his non-judgemental narrative of events. Strange also how his love and fascination of people shines through this dead pan delivery.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Just a short little tale , but full of lotd of interesting people


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoy Jon Ronsons work and narration my only criticism of this eotk is that it just too short. Certainly left me wanting more

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    5/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The the really interesting part of the 80s"

    Listening to Jon Ronson tell a story is like being lucky enough to sit next to the most charismatic guest at a wedding. Don't kid yourself that this is a one trick pony. In a very short time he covers a wide range of anecdotal stories about the outsiders of the music scene. Some are funny, some are sad and some are simply astonishing. I can't wait to see the film.
    I defy anybody listening to this not to want to investigate further into The Shaggs.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • alexander
    2/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Film trailer"
    Any additional comments?

    This short piece appears to be ultimately a good way to promote an upcoming film. This works for me, it was cheap and told me a potted history of the subject.

    I knew nothing about Frank Sidebottom other than seeing the big head on tv a bit as a kid, iassumed it was a flash in the pan show ( i actually had it in my head he was a short lived gimmick from the word)

    Very interesting to hear a bit about the potentially split personality behind the mask and in fact the whole band dynamic could have made for a longer book. Tasty bit of gossip regarding Mrs Merton( Caroline Aherne) which true or otherwise helps to place the story in an era for the reader/listener.

    Id never heard of Jon Ronson, i was immediatelly at ease with his unique style. The fact he played a significant part in the story gave me confidence that i was getting mostly fact.

    Overall im happy with this audiobook, mainly because its filled in a little gap i didnt even know i was missing. I now look forward to seeing the film!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    6/12/15
    Overall
    "just lovely"

    I love Jon Robson. I loved Frank Sidebottom. I loved this. A must listen xxx

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mendo Shutaro
    Leamington
    5/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A charming, minor entry in the Robson oeuvre"

    Having seen the movie and being vaguely aware of Jon's link to the real life Frank Sidebottom this sounded like an interesting tale. The book chronicles the bizarre story of how Jon stumbled into the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band, and how whilst those around them succeeded, the core band struggled to garner even a cult following. The movie is touched upon briefly, but I would have liked to have heard more.

    This is a very short book, but entertaining all the same and for Ronson fans, an easy purchase.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Nanra
    Ealing, United Kingdom
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Seen the movie, read the book"

    I never knew Frank the movie was based on a real character. Who'd have thought? Jon has an interesting style - no ego - just tells it like it happened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    3/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Jon Ronson is the best on Audible."

    His voice, his story, his humour and his wit... Left me with no choice but to renew my monthly subscription.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David Serling
    3/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good"

    I really liked it and how it was told in the style of a classic fable. Good but not great

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    2/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read for those who loved the movie ☺"

    Awesome to hear about the inspiration behind one of the years best films. I always enjoy Jon Ronson's anxious delivery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. Casey
    UK
    2/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's not to love?"

    Jon Ronson at his warm, funny & insightful best. If you don't know about the marvel that was Frank Sidebottom you're in for a treat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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