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
A real story
The story was far fetched and only marginally interesting
Focus on another story
This might have made an interesting 30 minute or 1 hour story. It was appropriate as an anecdote not a full-length story.
Even Ronson fans (as I am) should avoid this one.
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.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
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.
Yes, he is relevant and provocative. Great writer.
His gentle irony.And what a great story.
I chuckled throughout, but also resonated with the sadness.
I really like Jon's voice. There is a really sensibility, and honesty to it.
The reflection on marginal artists
Say something about yourself!
Yes, I love hearing Jon Ronson read his work.
The tales of the long nights in the Van, Spent with Chris still dressed as Frank.
Yes, I did intact listen to it all in one sitting
Please more, I would love to have some his earlier works released on audiobook, I can see there are 3 books that haven't so far been released.
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.
"Interesting little tale"
Yes, great fun and interesting.
Frank . . . . .
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.
Just a short little tale , but full of lotd of interesting people
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
"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.
I love Jon Robson. I loved Frank Sidebottom. I loved this. A must listen xxx
"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.
"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.
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!
"Looking forward to seeing the film now"
This was short, interesting and read well. The voice was gripping and really drew me in.
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the film now.
A quick listen and makes me smile 👍
"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.
I really liked it and how it was told in the style of a classic fable. Good but not great
"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.
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