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Publisher's Summary

Thanks, PG!: Memoirs of a Tabloid Reporter recounts the life and adventures of reporter Billy Don Johnson during his 20 years (1975-1995) working for the fictional tabloid The National Insider.

After his dreams of becoming a crusading journalist with daily newspapers are dashed, Billy throws himself into the wild world of diets, household tips, ghosts, UFOs, weird history, and celebrity scandal, all of which is designed to please Padrone Gallione (PG), the wonderful madman who was editor of the magazine. Like the tabloid industry itself, this book is a combination of fact and fiction.

Within, you will find untold stories from the lives of many famous people, get an inside look at how tabloid stories are created and examine the origins of celebrity scandal in American journalism.

Ultimately, this book is a tribute to the genius of Generoso Pope Jr., founder and publisher of the National Enquirer.

©2014 John I. Jones (P)2017 John I. Jones

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Living the dream!

Fun and entertaining account of the life of a tabloid reporter working for a brilliant yet strange man. It took me several minutes to get into this one but it was well worth hanging in there and listening. There were some really good accounts and some outright funny ones as well. I remember looking at all these strange headlines about UFO's and such and laughing about so many of them. Of course, I did want to read about them too. I also remember when the outrageous stories graduated into more real and believable stories. Hearing the behind the scenes stories was even better. I found his encounter with Elvis to be very sad and his visits with Fran to be quite touching. These adventures during his time as a reporter were well worth listening to without all the tabloid stories. He was obviously a great reporter to have been at this tabloid for so many years but he was also lucky to have even been given all these wonderful opportunities to travel and meet so many interesting people. Mr. Lillard was also a good addition to this book. His performance was easy to listen to and appropriate for this type of book. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fact or fiction is often a fine line . . .

and many times that line gets blurred; probably nowhere more than in the tabloids. Although this is a work of fiction the author, John I. Jones, clues the listener in that only the names have been changed to protect the innocent as he tells the story of what seems to be his experiences as a tabloid journalist. I have to admit two things right up front; I have never been a tabloid reader and was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed even listening to anything having to do with the tabloids, but this turned into a fun and interesting listen. I attribute that to a few things; first of all it was great writing and often times I had to remember that I was listening to fiction as the author obviously knows the subject matter inside out. Secondly, the narration was really easy to listen to and brought the characters to life. Thirdly, there was a line in there that explained to me why folks like tabloids (aside from the UFO abduction stuff) when the main character, PG, claims that there is nothing wrong with putting a medical article next to a gossipy article because people want a little bit of everything.

Following that thought line of PG's, I found some of the chapters quite interesting and entertaining, while others were easy to listen to I really had little interest. Ah, the nature of the tabloid. Seriously though, there was a little of everything, from OJ, to the Himalayas, to a famous actor's love for his dying son, to Hollywood gossip, to the journalist's sexual adventures, to the eccentricities of the owner, to the peccadilloes of all involved. All in all, it was a mixed bag that ended up being well worth the listen.

I would highly recommend this book to those that enjoy the tabloids. In fact, this is a must have for those folks. For anyone else that is looking for a little something different, this work will likely leave you more than satisfied. A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. If you found this review helpful, please take a moment to click yes below.

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Great!!!

Fantastic story with wonderful characters and perfect narration! Loved this from the start. I highly recommend this authors stories - they are so well written and just pull you in.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it

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Flummoxed

Perhaps I am becoming more addle-minded in my advancing years but the very format of this book confounded me. “Thanks, PG!: Memoirs of a Tabloid Reporter” claims to be a novel; it says so right on the cover. And during the introduction we’re teased with the old saw “names have been changed to protect the innocent”. That’s where my confusion commenced.

We’re presented with a fictional tabloid newspaper and name changed journalist. But then we launch into tales of people like Jimmy Carter and Raymond Burr which left me asking where does the fiction start and reality begin? Obviously, Carter and Burr are real people being reported on, at least in this case, by a fictionalized journalist for a fictional tabloid. So, are we to believe the stories told or are they fictionalized as well?

I don’t know about you but I like to separate my facts from my fiction and I was left at the end of this book wondering if I had just been told fake stories about real people or if the whole thing was made up using, in some cases, real names. Either way I was unimpressed.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Such An Awesome Listen

Thanks, PG! was an awesome listen. I enjoyed the beginning about how Billy Don Johnson came to work for the Insider as well as summing it up at the end with memories about PG. The good stuff was in the middle. The different stories that he reported on and interviews he was granted as well as how he came by some other of his information. From Elvis to 'Olivia' to MJ. The part about the actor from MASH was heartbreaking. It was all really good and I couldn't stop listening.

I truly enjoyed listening to this book written by John Isaac Jones.

Rick Lillard's narration was excellent for this type of audiobook. He sort of sounded as if he were a reporter himself. I thought he did a wonderful job.

I was given this audiobook at my request for an honest review.

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Fun journey into sensationalism

Really enjoyed this book. I think that all of us have a rubbernecker within us and gossipy stories often hit the spot. I like that the angle is not being ashamed of being a tabloid reporter, but rather a degree of pride. Well read and very entertaining. Definitely recommend.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Truth in media

An interesting book that is part nonfiction and part fiction. I would term this a “based on a true story” and for the topic of a tabloid journalist it seems apropos. What was most interesting was how unstrange the setting was which when dealing with stereotypical subject headlines of a tabloid made it strange. It was also interesting to learn how much effort was taken in verifying stories. I have a feeling this detail would have been expanded when contrasting the so called journalism of today’s mainstream media.

The book is a quick read and I would hav liked to have more details around the upper management editors and details on the head hancho PG. I do have a feeling that there is more truth than fiction in this book and you know what they say about truth and fiction. Final Grade - B

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a great book

an excellent listen .. it's written beautifully and very interesting... worth listen to.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

0 of 1 people found this review helpful