THE SOUND OF NO HANDS CLAPPING by Toby Young

THE SOUND OF NO HANDS CLAPPING

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Marriage, kids and Hollywood make it tough for the author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2002) to continue his career as a personal and professional failure.

When we left the author at the end of his previous anecdotal memoir, he seemed to have brought a modicum of order to his haphazard life; marriage was to follow his move back to London. But as he takes up the reins in this further series of recollections, the plans for his impending nuptials are characteristically disorganized, while the astonishing offer of a screenwriting job from an unnamed Hollywood bigwig looms large. Young wants to move to L.A. to pursue this dream assignment, but readers of his previous tome won’t be surprised to learn that he hasn’t informed his bride-to-be, the long-suffering Caroline, of these plans. The subsequent events, which see Caroline getting pregnant not once but twice, the ill-fated move to L.A. finally taking place and Young trying to become a playwright, are told with the author’s by-now familiar mix of pathos and wit. In fact, Young sticks a little too closely to the structure and style that made his previous book such an enjoyable read. Once again, he peppers his revelations with conversational pieces from a confidant (hotshot producer Rob Long, who replaces writer Alex de Silva from last time around), and he reveals nothing about himself that wasn’t covered last time around. Young still manages to demonstrate his considerable skills as a gossipy raconteur, but only in all-too-brief flashes; his amusingly desperate pursuit of a Hollywood producer with a paparazzi photographer is a particular highlight. But his desire to portray himself as a failure is weakened after success raises its ugly head a few too many times.

A pointless sequel.

Pub Date: July 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-306-81456-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Da Capo
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2006