Christopher Silvester

Loser Lit

The Sound of No Hands Clapping: A Memoir

By

Abacus 279pp £11.99 order from our bookshop

For several years now, Toby Young has been engaged in an experiment of indeterminate social value. He has been charting his efforts to make a success out of being a loser. His first book, a memoir like this one, told of his failure to break into the world of celebrity journalism at the New York magazine Vanity Fair, and of the partial renunciation of the desire for fame through the redeeming process of falling in love. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic despite the American incapacity for celebrating failure, has been adapted for the stage and, as I write, is waiting to be filmed next year with Simon (Shaun of the Dead) Pegg cast as the hapless protagonist.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,
    • The author 'seethes with contemptuous indignation at the shiny junk that an unregulated construction industry dumps… ,
    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,
    • 'Keynes predicted that future generations would enjoy such an improved standard of living that they might work just… ,