Hello Goodbye Hello (Hardcover)

A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings

By Craig Brown

Simon & Schuster, 9781451683608, 384pp.

Publication Date: August 7, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/20/2013)

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From “one of the funniest writers in Britain—wise, clever, hilarious, and a national treasure” (Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’s Diary) comes this delightful book of “101 ingeniously linked encounters between the famous and the infamous” [The Observer (London) Best Books of the Year].

Hello Goodbye Hello is a daisy chain of 101 fascinating true encounters, a book that has been hailed by reviewers in London as “howlingly funny” (The Spectator), “original and a complete delight” (The Sunday Times), and “rich and hugely enjoyable” (The Guardian). Or, as the London Evening Standard put it, “the truth and nothing but the plain, bonkers, howling truth . . . It is partly a huge karmic parlour game, partly a dance to the music of chaos—and only the genius of Craig Brown could have produced it.” Who could imagine such unlikely—but true— encounters as these:

Martha Graham meets Madonna

Igor Stravinsky meets Walt Disney

Frank Lloyd Wright meets Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe meets Nikita Khrushchev

President Richard Nixon meets Elvis Presley

Harpo Marx meets George Bernard Shaw

Cecil Beaton meets Mick Jagger

Salvador Dali meets Sigmund Freud

Groucho Marx meets T.S. Eliot

Brilliant in conception, Hello Goodbye Hello shows how the celebrated and gifted—like the rest of us— got along famously or disastrously or indifferently with one another, but, thanks to Craig Brown, always to our amusement and entertainment.

From an opening story in which Adolf Hitler survives being knocked down by a careless English driver in 1931 to the Duchess of Windsor’s meeting with the Führer over tea, and 99 others in between, Hello Goodbye Hello is the perfect example that truth is stranger than fiction (and infinitely more enjoyable).

About the Author

Craig Brown has been writing the Private Eye celebrity diary since 1989 and is a columnist for London’s Daily Mail. He has also written parodies for many publications, including the Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The Times, and The Guardian. The author of several books of fiction and nonfiction, he lives in London.

Praise For Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings

“Craig Brown is the wittiest writer in Britain today.”
—Stephen Fry

"Captivating. . . . A glittering daisy chain that reads like a mathematical proof of the theory of six degrees of separation. . . . Mr. Brown constructs portraits that have all the immediacy of reportage, all the fanciful detail of fiction. He has whipped up a gratifying summertime confection — funny, diverting, occasionally sad."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“The book that made me laugh most was Craig Brown’s quirky game of biographical consequences.”
—Julian Barnes, Times Literary Supplement “Books of the Year”

“Much of this tragic-farcical Dance to the Music of Time is wistful and moving, as well as howlingly funny.”
—A.N. Wilson, The Spectator

"Deliciously clever. . . . [101] improbable encounters, many of them exceedingly funny, a few of them surprisingly revealing and a few rather sad, and all of them connected by the daisy chain to end all daisy chains. . . . Hello Goodbye Hello is splendid company, not to mention perfect for the beach, the lake, or the pool."
—Jonathan Yardley, the Washington Post

"A hilarious collection of strange-but-true tales of encounters between the rich and famous. . . . Brown is as smart as he is puckish, and there are plenty of laughs on this terrific trip through modern fame."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Craig Brown is something of a national treasure in Britain. . . . Hello Goodbye Hello is a bravura feat of narrative engineering. . . . A joyful, fun read espsecially for its widgety, ingenious construction."
—David Kamp, Vanity Fair

"Cheekily inspired. . . . Might be the ultimate pocket guide to the modern history of noteworthy meet-ups."

“A delightful page turner, informed throughout with wit and learning.”
—Toby Clements, The Daily Telegraph

“[Brown] provides a rollicking glimpse into the wild, weird, and wacky world of the renowned and reviled. Irresistibly fun and informative.”

“Captivating…Glittering…Engaging…Entertaining…[Brown] has whipped up a gratifying summertime confection — funny, diverting, occasionally sad.”
--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Deliciously clever and amusing…Hello Goodbye Hello is splendid company, not to mention perfect for the beach, the lake or the pool.”
--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

Hello Goodbye Hello is a hilarious book, clever and thoroughly researched…dip into this book anywhere and you will be rewarded with something delightful.”
--Moira Hodgson, Wall Street Journal

“Brown’s collection of odd encounters could be titled Famous People Behaving Badly. They’re irresistible.”
--People Magazine

Coverage from NPR