Thanks PG! (Book Review)

Thanks PG! (Book Review)
Hi there!

Title: Thanks PG!

Author: John Isaac Jones
Publisher: Self-published
Published Date: 12th September 2014
Rating: 3 Stars
*Thanks to the author for the review copy*
Synopsis: Thanks,
PG!:Memoirs of a Tabloid Reporter recounts the life and adventures of reporter
Billy Don Johnson during his twenty 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 these pages, 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.
Review: I
wanted to read Thanks PG! because I
have read and previously enjoyed one of John Isaac Jones’s books before, and I
was eager to try another myself. I might not want to be a journalist in my
future as a career, but I have always had an interest in journalism myself, so
I was eager to read a bit more about it.
This one follows the story
of Billy Don as he works his way through several newspapers until he finds a
job working for PG. PG seems to have a reputation around him as being slightly
whacky… but nonetheless a genius. His paper sells, he has money and he knows
how to get the big inside scoops and hires the best investigators. Billy is
lucky to have his job, and then has to continuously prove himself by finding
plenty of cool stories and writing about them. He has to go to interesting
lengths to get some of his information and we learn all about it.
What I liked about the
beginning of this novel was the inside it gave into the journalism world. There’s
a lot more that goes into publishing a newspaper than some people could begin
to imagine, and it was interesting to follow along with Billy as he slowly
learns how everything works. He works quite a few smaller jobs before he joins
ranks with PG, so he gets to learn quite a bit. We get to see the point of view
of many of the different jobs required to make a paper come together.
However, that does make me
think that this book might not be for you if you have no interest in
journalism. I knew I was enjoying it because
I have an interest in journalism myself, and that might not be the case for
those who tend to find it boring.
There was such a wide
variety of news stories that Billy got to look into! And we get to hear about
all the most interesting ones here. My favourite had to be when he had to go to
China (which is my favourite country) and look into a story revolving around the
historical figure of Chiang Kai-Shek (who I know about because we’ve studied
him and China in history this year). But there are so many more… some revolving
around Elvis, others around celebrities that I had no ideas about. Billy really
does travel as he writes his stories too, so you’re never caught up in the same
place for too long.
What made me think about
this novel was that it really did push some of my morals. I couldn’t agree with
everything in this book. There are no vivid descriptions, but there is a
mention of sex at certain times and also the use of drugs. Then there is also
the issue of exploiting celebrities for the sake of news. Things like bugs and
hacking come into play, and sneakily taken photographs through what is supposed
to be private affairs. Don’t get me started on stories that cover murder issues
or the issues of deaths of celebrities. The families weren’t given peace, and I
felt like sometimes they weren’t always as respectful to the deceased as they
were dying as should be. But the thing is that, that’s how the journalism world
goes. It really got me thinking about the way we idolize celebrities and take
them off the pedestal that sees them as just another human as well. It also had
me thinking about how we sometimes will do anything to get what we want. Now,
this isn’t any criticism of the book itself – you’re not always going to agree
with everything you read – but this book is thought provoking in that sense.
One thing that I wanted
more of in this story is how the profession affected Billy’s life. It’s
strictly all work and it makes it seem like his life was work and nothing else.
Once he leaves his family, there is little mention of him ever going back there
and visiting them. He goes through some girls but there is no mention of him
wanting to ever settle down with one. And while this does focus on the
journalism side of things, I wanted to see how his career bled into his normal
life and what it cost him to be so focused on his work. I was hoping to see
more of that.
All of this aside though,
John Isaac Jones knows how to write. The story caught me in from beginning to
end and I was intrigued all the way through!
Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: Do you
have any interest in journalism? Do you think we sometimes will go to any
measures to get the information we want?

Olivia-Savannah x

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