In the late 1980s Jon Ronson was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong.
Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band. Frank is set for release in 2014, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie is a memoir of funny, sad times and a tribute to outsider artists too wonderfully strange to ever make it in the mainstream. It tells the true story behind the fictionalized movie.
Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of four best sellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The Psychopath Test and Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, and two collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness. He lives in London and New York City.
©2014 Jon Ronson (P)2014 Audible Ltd
This one is shorter than the rest and more about Jon’s own history. He uses his witty style to remember the days he was in a band with ‘Frank’. It was also made into a movie and it’s very clever! Loved it!
"Now, looking forward to the movie!"
Jon Ronson narrates this as well, and it is excellent, mostly because of his own insights as he reads his own words. This is my 4th Audible purchase of his books here. I would also have purchased The Men Who Stare at Goats, but the narrator is not Jon Ronson, and lacks the quality of his readings.
"Not My Favorite"
I love Jon Robson's books, but this short little story was lacking something. I'm not sure what. I do know this was 10 times better than that God awful movie which I bought before listening to the story, but watched just a day or two later. Don't bother with that.
"Jon Ronson can do no wrong!"
Yes, he is relevant and provocative. Great writer.
His gentle irony.And what a great story.
I chuckled throughout, but also resonated with the sadness.
"Jon Ronson fan # (?)"
I really like Jon's voice. There is a really sensibility, and honesty to it.
The reflection on marginal artists
"The weakest of Ronson's works"
A real story
The story was far fetched and only marginally interesting
Focus on another story
This might have made an interesting 30 minute or 1 hour story. It was appropriate as an anecdote not a full-length story.
Even Ronson fans (as I am) should avoid this one.
"An interesting look at Frank Sidebottom"
Yes, I love hearing Jon Ronson read his work.
The tales of the long nights in the Van, Spent with Chris still dressed as Frank.
Yes, I did intact listen to it all in one sitting
Please more, I would love to have some his earlier works released on audiobook, I can see there are 3 books that haven't so far been released.
"Wonderful little story"
This is a wonderful little story about a strange man. Written as always with wit, style and a great sense if humor. You gotta love Jon Ronson
"Interesting but short"
I'm not sure what I thought this book was about, but it was oddly entertaining. I almost couldn't stop listening until it was over.
"I love Jon Ronson"
Listen to the Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson for a hysterical journey. He narrates his own work and is perfectly droll. Frank was a fascinating story of a quirky "outsider" artist.
"Interesting little tale"
Yes, great fun and interesting.
Frank . . . . .
Laid back? Dead pan? Some i am sure will find his delivery boring. Myself, after i have got over the first five minutes, i find his delivery to be a major part of my enjoyment. In large part i think his lack of "colour" enhances his non-judgemental narrative of events. Strange also how his love and fascination of people shines through this dead pan delivery.
Just a short little tale , but full of lotd of interesting people
I really enjoy Jon Ronsons work and narration my only criticism of this eotk is that it just too short. Certainly left me wanting more
"The the really interesting part of the 80s"
Listening to Jon Ronson tell a story is like being lucky enough to sit next to the most charismatic guest at a wedding. Don't kid yourself that this is a one trick pony. In a very short time he covers a wide range of anecdotal stories about the outsiders of the music scene. Some are funny, some are sad and some are simply astonishing. I can't wait to see the film.
I defy anybody listening to this not to want to investigate further into The Shaggs.
"Looking forward to seeing the film now"
This was short, interesting and read well. The voice was gripping and really drew me in.
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the film now.
A quick listen and makes me smile 👍
I love Jon Robson. I loved Frank Sidebottom. I loved this. A must listen xxx
"A charming, minor entry in the Robson oeuvre"
Having seen the movie and being vaguely aware of Jon's link to the real life Frank Sidebottom this sounded like an interesting tale. The book chronicles the bizarre story of how Jon stumbled into the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band, and how whilst those around them succeeded, the core band struggled to garner even a cult following. The movie is touched upon briefly, but I would have liked to have heard more.
This is a very short book, but entertaining all the same and for Ronson fans, an easy purchase.
"Seen the movie, read the book"
I never knew Frank the movie was based on a real character. Who'd have thought? Jon has an interesting style - no ego - just tells it like it happened.
"Jon Ronson is the best on Audible."
His voice, his story, his humour and his wit... Left me with no choice but to renew my monthly subscription.
I really liked it and how it was told in the style of a classic fable. Good but not great
"A must read for those who loved the movie ☺"
Awesome to hear about the inspiration behind one of the years best films. I always enjoy Jon Ronson's anxious delivery.
"What's not to love?"
Jon Ronson at his warm, funny & insightful best. If you don't know about the marvel that was Frank Sidebottom you're in for a treat.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.