Read One On One by CraigBrown Online


101 chance meetings, juxtaposing the famous and the infamous, the artistic and the philistine, the pompous and the comical, the snobbish and the vulgar, each 1,001 words long, and with a time span stretching from the 19th century to the 21st.Life is made up of individuals meeting one another. They speak, or don’t speak. They get on, or don’t get on. They make agreements, w101 chance meetings, juxtaposing the famous and the infamous, the artistic and the philistine, the pompous and the comical, the snobbish and the vulgar, each 1,001 words long, and with a time span stretching from the 19th century to the 21st.Life is made up of individuals meeting one another. They speak, or don’t speak. They get on, or don’t get on. They make agreements, which they either hold to or ignore. They laugh, they cry, they are excited, they are indifferent, they share secrets, they say, “How do you do?” Often it is the most fleeting of meetings that, in the fullness of time, turn out to be the most noteworthy.‘One on One’ examines the curious nature of different types of meeting, from the oddity of encounters with the Royal Family (who start giggling during a recital by TS Eliot) to those often perilous meetings between old and young (Mark Twain terrifying Rudyard Kipling) and between young and old (the 23-year-old Sarah Miles having her leg squeezed by the nonagenarian Bertrand Russell), to contemporary random encounters (George Galloway meeting Michael Barrymore on Celebrity Big Brother). Ingenious in its construction, witty in its narration, panoramic in its breadth, ‘One on One’ is a wholly original book....

Title : One On One
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780007360628
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 358 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

One On One Reviews

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-01-15 13:21

    This is a fun “literary parlor game” of a book, with its chain of famous figures and their fortuitous meetings. Amongst my favorites, simply because of how bizarre they are, are two involving the Marx Brothers.In 1931 the Marx brothers were staying in Los Angeles; Harpo just happened to be in a bungalow adjacent to Rachmaninoff. He was desperate to do his own musical practice on the harp, but his neighbor would persist in banging away at a piano. Harpo found out who his famous neighbor was and began a campaign to drive him out, playing the first four bars of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-Sharp Minor at top volume on the harp, over and over, until Rachmaninoff requested to move to another bungalow. Six years later, in A Day at the Races, Harpo got his revenge by butchering the piece again on a gradually disintegrating piano.My other favorite Marx Brothers moment is a meeting between Groucho and T.S. Eliot, who bore each other a strong mutual admiration. They finally met at Eliot’s home in 1964. Groucho was determined to talk poetry and Shakespeare; Eliot to talk comedy. The conversation did not go well.There are other great meetings between literary lions: Hemingway and Ford Madox Ford (as chronicled in A Moveable Feast), Kipling and Twain, and so on. Also striking is the short distance between two historical figures, with only one linking character: for instance, Helen Keller can be linked to Madonna through Martha Graham. It makes history feel surprisingly short, and individual lives reassuringly long.Mustn’t forget my favorite moment of the whole book: the meeting between James Dean and Alec Guinness, who was known for his sixth sense about things. Guinness warned Dean not to get in the flash new car he’d bought; if he did he’d be dead within the week. A week later Dean was in a fatal car crash. Spooky stuff.

  • F.R.
    2018-12-31 16:53

    Here’s an interesting bauble of a Christmas book. The superb British humourist Craig Brown writes up 101 one on one encounters between the great and the good (as well as the not so great and the not so good), to shine a torch onto the darker – and probably somewhat inconsequential – corners of history. Each of these meetings follows on from the one before and clearly the more incongruous they are, the better Brown likes them. So we have Frank Lloyd Wright designing a house for Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe wearing her tightest and sexiest dress for Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev having a stand up row with Labour politician George Brown, George Brown provoking a different stand-up row with Eli Wallach on the night JFK is assassinated, Eli Wallach being greeted by Frank Sinatra, Sinatra dealing with Dominick Dunne and so on.In his satire, Brown (Craig, rather than George) is superb at the grotesque exaggeration, but here he plays it dead straight – and the result is a joy. There are 101 mini essays in this book (each of them lasting 101 words, so there is an anal quality to it) and all are amazingly entertaining and include beautiful and amusing nuggets of information. This is a book where even the footnotes are wielded with consummate skill, and one of my favourite passages occurs in those footnotes – the author briefly detailing a meeting (he was actually present at) between Anthony Burgess and Benny Hill! So I suppose that’s 102 encounters, each one very surprising but deeply amusing.

  • Sarah83 L
    2019-01-20 16:21

    Ein tolles Buch, welches einem einen Einblick gibt, welche Personen sich in der Vergangenheit wirklich kannten und wie ihr Verhältnis zu einander war. Wer Biographien liebt, unbedingt lesen. 🖒

  • Parham
    2019-01-01 18:10

    توجه: لطفا برای درست دیدن این متن کلیک راست کرده، جهت متن را تغییر دهید. باتشکر! کتاب اصلی (one on one) شامل 101 برخورد تاریخی بین افراد مختلف است که در متن ترجمه شده (به گفته مترجم) به علت ناشناخته بودن بعضی از اشخاص یا "مشکل آفرین" بودن برخورد آن ها فقط 36 تا از این برخوردها آمده! گرچه در پشت کتاب به نقل از جولیان بارنز نوشته شده "کتابی که بیش از همه چیز مرا خنداند" اما شاید در هنگام خواندن این کتاب حداکثر چند بار لبخندی ملایم بر لبتان بنشیند. اما ارزش کتاب برای خود من از لحاظ اطلاعات تاریخی (هر چند شاید بتوان آنها را حاشیه ای نامید) بود!برخورد ولز با استالین ، پروست و جویس ، مریلین مونرو و خروشچف و ... . تنها مشکلی که داشتم این بود که بعضی جاها درست متوجه منظور بعضی جملات نمی شدم: این که عیب از من بوده یا جناب کامشاد یا خود نویسنده ، نمی دانم.

  • Charles
    2019-01-18 16:57

    Craig Brown's insight as a humorist is that Marcel Proust lived in the same world as Simon Dee, that Churchill and Janis Joplin would have walked the same streets, might have known the same songs, or could have compared views on restaurants. Such clashes - of our expectations more than anything else - have proved fertile ground for Brown's Private Eye diaries, his column in the Daily Mail and numerous other works. But in One on One, he sets out to prove some of the links between unlikely pairs in a self-disciplined, almost scientific way. As he commented himself, he wanted to write a book that "played to my weaknesses".The result is a chain of 101 meetings between famous individuals, each described in exactly 1001 words (he claims: he anyone counted?) So, starting and ending with Adolf Hitler, the book traces a circle which includes the relatively modern (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Michael Barrymore), the grand (Tsar Nicholas II, the Queen Mother), the venerable (Leo Tolstoy, Sigmund Freud), the glamorous (Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin) and the cool (Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol).Each described meeting is researched from sources listed at the back, so one doesn't need to worry that he's fooling us with imagined encounters. Indeed, after a while, I found myself trying to spot a weak link between strong lines of meetings - but I couldn't find one. Each 1001 words is a little gem in itself, with Brown skilfully giving us just enough background to fill in the context, but satisfying our gossipy interest with the tiniest details of the particular occasion he picks. It's a strange format for a book, and at first I wondered whether it was going to prove better as individual bites than as a whole meal. Did its self-imposed structure deny it any other kind of coherence as a book? But after a while, I began to detect a subtle flow in the chapters, as they ran from Tsarist Russia to Hollywood, and thence to sixties Britain, each with its own set of characters and social mores. It is in fact, a wonderful education in politics, literature and history, where one's accidental familiarity with one subject quickly gives way to ignorance about an equally well-known character.Above all, it is funny, sometimes in the kind of details that dignified celebrities want forgotten, but also in more subtle ways: would we ever otherwise have heard how H.G.Wells spent three hours sucking up to Stalin, concluding: "I have never met a man more candid, fair and honest"?One on One could become a classic: a 1066 and All That which somehow finds its way into the national consciousness as its reputation spreads. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it, and its rigid organisation gives it a uniqueness that might just be a passport to immortality.

  • Wastrel
    2018-12-30 14:55

    A really great conceit, and an amusing and educational execution. Suffers a bit from repetition and lack of direction - may be better read chapter-by-chapter, now-and-then, rather than in one go. Fuller thoughts here.

  • Self-propelled
    2019-01-17 13:15

    James Joyce doesn't say much to Marcel Proust! Hemingway is nasty to Ford Madox Ford, but only behind his back! Gorky thinks Tolstoy is wonderful, but then changes his mind, we don't know why! When two famous, interesting people meet, nothing much happens. 101 times, in 101 words each.

  • Mancman
    2018-12-24 16:58

    Such an interesting concept, the book contains stories of two personalities meeting, and the results of it. It then links via one of those people interacting with someone else, and so on.Starting with someone almost killing Hitler this is certainly like no other book.Of course there are meetings which leave you cold, or are less interesting, but that's inevitable in this kind of work,There are plenty of interesting encounters though, and I learned a lot through them.

  • Mary Lijnzaad
    2019-01-11 12:55

    An utterly charming book! Cleverly constructed, witty, and very entertaining.

  • Derek Collett
    2019-01-06 13:57

    Approached this with a lot of expectation, which was not really fulfilled. Many of the encounters are quite inconsequential, there is an unresolved) dispute about who said and did what and much of each 'one-on-one' is taken up by Brown filling in the background to each meeting. Inevitably, there is great variability in the interest and enjoyment evoked by each encounter. In general, I much preferred the late 20th-century ones to those from the early 1900s.Nigel Balchin once said this: "The dangerous thing [for a writer] is when you reach the stage where you say 'I must write another book. What shall it be about?' Book-writing, then, is just a habit - and a bad one."This is very much a piece of book-making, done perhaps to please Brown's publisher. It doesn't really have anything to say beyond "Famous people meet a lot of other famous people"; the constant footnotes are irritating, add next to nothing and badly disrupt the flow of the text; the fact that each one-on-one is exactly 1001 words long is an unnecessary conceit; and the length and the relentless nature of the book makes it exhausting to read (it might perhaps be best to limit oneself to the reading of one encounter a day on the toilet!).That said, individual one-on-ones are excellent (highlights include Chandler and Hitchcock, Chandler and Howard Hawks, Joyce and Proust, Kingsley Amis and Roald Dahl and Sarah Miles and Bertrand Russell), one learns a great deal about 20th-century cultural history and the book picks up notably about two-thirds of the way through and maintains the same high standard until the end. Potential readers may therefore wish to start at about page 200 or else just to cherry-pick which accounts of meetings look most interesting to them. An index would have been a valuable addition. Exhausting, infuriating and fascinating in almost equal measures.

  • Susan
    2019-01-09 18:19

    This is really one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a long while. A book describing 101 chance meetings, each described in exactly 1001 words, making it perfect to dip into or read in it's entirety. The random encounters lead off each other - so, for example, the first meeting is between Adolph Hitler, who is knocked down by John Scott-Ellis in 1931. This leads into John Scott-Ellis meeting Rudyard Kipling and Rudyard Kipling meeting Mark Twain, etc etc. The whole book comes full circle, ending with Hitler meeting The Duchess of Windsor.Just about everyone is in this book - these are famous people who are truly famous, not the wannabee's of today. Everybody from the Royal family, philosophers, authors, actors and singers are represented and you will know them all: from Jackie Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe, Paul McCartney to Frank Sinatra, Rasputin to Stalin. Some of the encounters are funny, others bizarre, some touching. There is Michael Jackson locking himself in the toilets at the White House, Andy Warhol's feud with Jackie Kennedy, Richard Burton misbehaving at a dinner party with the Duchess of Windsor, a creepy premonition at a meeting between Alec Guinness and James Dean, Evelyn Waugh giving out a public persona which says, "I am bored, you are frightened," Frank Sinatra being greeted with the words, "Make yourself at home, Frank - hit someone!" and H.G. Wells asserting that Stalin "owes his position to the fact that no one is afraid of him," which leads on to the chilling death of Maxim Gorky. This really is a gem of a book and would make a great present, as the reader is sure to be intersted in at least some of the people included. Fantastic stuff, not serious but entertaining and highly enjoyable.

  • Susan Rose
    2018-12-31 20:05

    This book is a description chain of historical figures/famous/celebrated people meeting each other. For example the first entry is about how Adolf Hitler met John Scott-Ellis, the next John Scott-Ellis meeting Rudyard Kipling and so on. The sections are always interesting, sometimes funny and occasionally bizarre and are all exactly 1001 words long (about four and a half pages long).I've been reading this book a few pages at a time since I got it at Christmas. This feels like the kind of book I'll pick up now and again to reacquaint myself with the fun tidbits of information. Here are some of the entries I found most interesting from the book:* When Alec Guinness met James Dean, predicted/warned him about a car accident, (the one that a few weeks later killed him). * Phil Spector pulled a gun on Leonard Cohen during a recording session. * Salvador Dali sketching Sigmund Freud after begging to meet him for years. * J. D. Salinger being a 'phony' about how much he enjoyed Lawrence Olivier's acting. * How meeting Elvis Presley really overwhelmed The Beatles. As well as learning new pieces of information about people I already knew about, this book also made me learn about connections between historical figures that I wasn't previously aware of. My only quibble with this book is that I would have liked for there to be more flexibility in the amount of words used to describe the encounters. Sometimes the 1001 word limit felt like too much/too little, I understand that the regimented structure of the book led to a good rhythm so that might be a matter of personal taste. I gave this book 4/5 stars and I would recommend it to everyone.

  • Jim
    2019-01-23 12:12

    This is a selection of pieces written to portray an instance from history when somebody famous bumped into somebody else famous and recorded the event. I struggled with this book at the start, as I am used to Craig Brown writing and taking on the persona of the person he's viewing the world from. So, were these meetings between the great and the good "encounters" made up, embellished, wished for or just a straightforward true account? Once I got my head around the fact that it was the latter case - these are well researched and objective vignettes drawn from primary sources - I enjoyed the book much more. However,it's a bit too clever for its own good and often assumes we'll know more about history or the people involved than we actually do. I would also have liked a bit more of Brown's voice and observations to come through as he can be an extremely funny writer, but he has restricted himself due to some self-imposed "rules" he applied when writing each episode, including restricting the number of words he'd employ. I wasn't sure why he did this - some are consequently too long and others not long enough. Maybe he was worried that if he didn't, he'd find it hard to stop. There's probably a book about the collapse of Western Civilisation in Nancy Reagan meeting Michael Jackson, for example.Ultimately this is a book to dip in and out of, interesting, amusing and whimsical, and it was an inspired idea. But, I felt, it was also a bit of a lost opportunity for Craig Brown to have a sarcastic swipe at some of the so-called icons of our age.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-06 13:18

    You have to admire the construction of this book. I would love to see it depicted visually as the web it is. The careful counting of 1001 words per encounter and 101 words for each additional element may be overegging the pudding.Another reviewer describes the experience of 'falling into a Wikipedia rabbit hole' which is spot on for the experience of reading this book except for a key difference, although some meetings are more slight than others, the quality of each 'entry' is more even than you'd get from Wiki-hopping.I suspect there's a minimum age for most people to appreciate the book fully through having at least dimly heard of all the individuals who link up. I found it fascinating to reflect on how people were rude when they should not have been and polite when they should not have been and sometimes two faced in the extreme, in a way which I don't think would happen now, the strange nature of admiration and how disturbingly gushing people could be. There is a strong message that the 'stars' cannot sparkle all the time, perhaps especially in close proximity to one another.I feel that although we're really talking here about a particular sort of society, it makes a kind of 3 dimensional (where the depth is time) richly woven tapestry which provides an appreciation of the world which is hard to grasp and which we are so rarely offered by historical accounts.

  • Hannah
    2019-01-09 15:53

    Have you ever fallen into a Wikipedia rabbit hole, where you start out reading about, say, Winston Churchill, and an hour later, after having clicked from entry to entry, find yourself learning about the medicinal qualities of mulberries? This book is sort of like that: reading about one historical figure who met another historical figure, and then that second figure who encountered yet another... And on. Which is a pretty interesting concept for a book, but I think that it suffers both from many of the anecdotes being too brief (Craig Brown chose 101 anecdotes and related each one of them in 1,001 words [he even goes so far as to keep his acknowledgments to a strict 101 words]), and from there simply being too many of them to get through. 101 anecdotes is a lot, and some of them are significantly more interesting than others. In fact, in some chapters, the footnotes were nearly as long as the chapters themselves- evidence of how much research Brown put into this book, and how many fascinating bits of information he found about some of his subjects- and I admit that after hopping about so much from subject to subject I hardly remember any of them.

  • Charlotte (Buried in Books)
    2019-01-20 12:19

    101 meetings, a chain of people, each meeting described in exactly 1001 words. My main problem with this book is that there is a lot of filler in each encounter. In some cases there's very little that actually concerns the time each pair spend together.There's very little that sticks in my mind with this book, but the main things are:Elvis believed that the Beatles were to blame for everything that was wrong with the youth of America.Alec Guinness had a premonition of James Deans death.In fact that's the central thing that sticks in my head. A week before his death James Dean showed Alec Guinness the brand new car he'd just brought. Guinness replies "It's now 10 o'clock, Friday the 23rd September 1955. If you get in that car you will be found dead in it by this time next week". Dean's death was so untimely, Guinness really wanted to get to know him better, but it wasn't to be.

  • Longtallfran
    2018-12-31 13:14

    Consisting of 101 meetings between the famous and the notorious, each detailed in 1001 words, Craig Brown's 'One on One' is an entertaining light read.Zig zagging back and forth in time from 1876 (Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky) to 2007 (Dominick Dunne and Phil Spector), each encounter is linked to the next via one of its participants. Starting and ending with Hitler, Craig Brown judges his audience deftly, and is happy to used each meeting as a device to speak broadly about it's participants and their backgrounds if the encounters themselves don't provide enough meat for the chapter. You probably won't have heard of everyone in the book, but each chapter is interesting and fleshed out with enough observations and detail to leave you with a good idea of the reputations they left behind.Easy to pick up and put down, I think most would find something of interest here.

  • CuteBadger
    2019-01-09 11:56

    At first glance this seems to be a bit of a gimmick of a book - it describes 101 meetings between the great and the good each in 1001 words, with the last meeting joining up with the first. In short a La Ronde of the famous.Some of the individuals included are less well-known than others, but ever when a hugely famous figure is discussed there's generally a new angle or some previously unknown behaviour displayed so it's interesting even if you're quite familiar with all the people included.With this many meetings in the book there are inevitably longuers, but there aren't as many as you might expect.This is a great book to dip into over a period of time, rather than sitting down to read from cover to cover.

  • Annie Harrison
    2019-01-11 14:55

    I thoroughly enjoyed One on One - for its sharp writing style, the intriguing insights into people who have shaped modern history and the underlying humour. We live in a world of celebrity and media hype. The images of world leaders, rock stars, royalty, actresses and influencers are portrayed with a layer of gloss. Craig Brown removes the veneer and shows that underneath all the hype, they are flawed humans just like the rest of us. This is as close as one can get to being a fly on the wall in a meeting where two people come together, and in most cases don't get on. The concept of linking each of the 'protagonists' and flitting backwards and forwards in time is original, and I felt I got to know a whole raft of new people.

  • Whitley
    2018-12-29 14:10

    What a delightful surprise! I read a review of this is the UK Spectator, and I could not be happier that I bought it from (It is not published in the US). It consists of short anecdotes about meetings--often moving, always enlightening and revealing--between famous people. For example, did you know or ever even imagine that a young English aristocrat knocked Adolf Hitler down with his car in 1931--and regretted for the rest of his life that the then minor German politican was not killed? The book is just full of stories like that. The meeting between Helen Keller and Martha Graham is unforgettably moving, a glorious three pages of exquisite human drama. I'm in love with this book!

  • Khairul Hezry
    2019-01-08 18:59

    Another title for this book could be "A Hundred and One Degrees of Separation". Beginning with Hitler getting knocked down by John Scott Ellis (who? He was also known as Baron Howard de Walden...yeah, that name means nothing to me either), it links a myriad of famous and infamous people throughout 20th century Western history through their brushes with each other.Each entry is short (the author claims each and every entry contains exactly 1001 words), filled with interesting tidbits and many irreverent footnotes. This book is perfect for the bog while waiting for that curry dinner to work its way down the pipes.

  • Emma
    2019-01-07 18:01

    I started reading this book thinking how clever it was. a 1001 words on meetings between certain people through time, all of whom are linked to the next person in some way.Some of these chapters/vignettes are really interesting and amusing but, after a while it seems more a book to dip into, rather than to read through.Some of the meetings seemed quite unlikely and very interesting historically from that point of view.Seems to me to be the sort of book to put in the spare bedroom for guests to dip into.

  • Cms
    2019-01-14 14:18

    This is a peculiar, mannered, compelling book. I read it end to end in two long sittings, at a somewhat deliberate pace. It made me feel at once like I was trawling through a middlebrow celebrity lifestyle omnibus of something like Heat magazine, whilst retaining an undeserved sense of self-regard about embarking on something rather more intellectually valuable than such. Compulsively digesting every page, enjoying the callbacks and repeated themes, never really with a firm grasp on where we were heading next or what I was learning. Enjoyably provocative..

  • Howard
    2018-12-30 15:51

    Hugely entertaining collection of anecdotes from 2012 involving meetings of 2 figures from across various fields - painting, films, music, royalty etc. - from mostly C20th. Usual suspects like Churchill, Groucho, Dali, Houdini and Howard Hughes rub shoulders with less well known but equally fascinating characters such as the guru Gurdjieff and the 'muse' Isadora Duncan. A meets B, B meets C and so on. Brown packs each 1001 word sketch with juicy quotes and bizarre details.

  • James Robertson
    2019-01-06 14:08

    I didn't think that the notion of linked encounters between famous individuals would hold my attention and interest for long, but about 50 pages in I found I was completely hooked, and read rapidly and keenly to the end. A dazzling and at times very funny, though also sympathetic and even moving, exploration of human vanity and folly. I learned a great deal too, but never felt I was being anything other than entertained.

  • Drew Buddie
    2019-01-05 20:11

    I really like books that make you think differently. This book which features fictionalised accounts of well known, and not so well known historical encounters between famous people, hit all the right spots with me. It consists of 101 chapters each of which contains 1,001 words and begins where it ends. A nice easy read, which although I read it in 2 consecutive sittings, could also be dipped into on a more drawn out basis.

  • Johanne
    2019-01-02 17:08

    Clever idea - it takes 6 degrees of separation and makes a whole book out of it, each piece is about the meeting of two famous people people and each is linked to the next by one of those people like a story telling daisy chain. The vignettes are often fascinating and make you want to read more about that person (& just ocassionally less!) and there are some really funny bits (which are sometimes tucked in the foot notes.

  • Terry Clague
    2019-01-11 18:51

    A one-hundred-degrees-of-separation anecdote-gasm care of Private Eye's in-house satirical diarist Craig Brown , which takes the reader on a journey (yes, a journey Simon Whitmore) around meetings (some rather unlikely) between the famous and the infamous. It's very enjoyable, though loses a couple of marks for strenuously sticking to the present tense throughout which is never anything other than irritating. Highly recommended though - thanks Hywel!

  • Michael Sanderson-green
    2018-12-29 13:07

    I have steadily ground to a halt with this badly written drivel , such a great idea and I started off reading with such great enthusiasm but his stupid idea of making each chapter 1001 words long and monotonous style of each chapter has left me cold and half way. I will proberly finish it chapter at a time over the next year so I don't believe I'm waiting too much time.

  • Venuskitten
    2019-01-17 12:59

    An intriguing, original and fascinating book comprising 101 factual accounts of meetings between two well known people, ranging from Hitler to the Queen Mother to Madonna. Each chapter comprises exactly 1001 words and one of the parties is a party to the next meeting, and so on, so the book forms a sort of daisy chain. Recommended.