'He was the quintessential young fop, often seen wandering around the streets alone, eating caviar from a jar with his finger.' Tara Browne was an extraordinary, glamorous figure for a brief moment. He grew up in aristocratic and bohemian luxury (his mother was a Guinness heiress); he walked out of school at eleven and never went back; he moved to Paris, where he knew the backstreet jazz bars like a local. At seventeen, he arrived in London, just as the Sixties were beginning to swing, and became part of a new elite cultural world. His friends included, of course, the Beatles and the Stones, as well as figures from film, fashion, photography and high society, and a few more dubious sorts on the fringes of the criminal and low-life worlds. Tara Browne died tragically young, at twenty-one, and became a symbol of the loss of innocence of this era of optimism. His widow Nicki (he managed a marriage, a family and a separation in this short life) said, 'Tara was the 1960s. He was what it was supposed to be about, which was optimism and happiness and living without a thought for tomorrow. And he died before it all turned bad - which is why, I think, so many people like to remember him.
Because remembering Tara is remembering the 1960s while we were all still so innocent.' Bestselling Irish author Paul Howard has interviewed more than one hundred people who knew Tara Browne, including his widow Nicki and his brother Garech, to piece together the extraordinary story of his life and produce I Read the News Today, Oh Boy, the first full biography of a man like no other.
The extraordinary life and times of the Irish aristocrat who inspired the Beatles' greatest song.
Tara Browne was the golden boy around whom, for a short while, the entire extraordinary world of Sixties London seemed to revolve. Tara knew everybody and they all loved him, not for his money, as he feared, but because he, above them all, embodied the spirit of the age. I absolutely loved this book. It's a brilliant, vivid portrait of extraordinary times -- Miranda Seymour, author of In My Father's House After all these years, we at last know about the real life of the lucky man who made the grade. I found it fascinating to discover the true story of Tara Browne, a legend in a lyric. -- Hunter Davies, author of The Beatles: The Authorised Biography I loved it! Howard's skilful evocation of an extraordinary turning point in cultural history is an absolute joy to read. The life of Tara Browne offers the perfect conduit into a psychedelic world populated by a legendary cast of characters that you simply couldn't make up. While it's clear that Howard undertook years of rigorous original research, his prose is always gripping and never laboured. The deep but slightly exasperated affection Howard feels for Browne injects pathos into this highly entertaining account of an extraordinary, chaotic, high-octane life -- Eleanor Fitzsimons, author of Wilde's Women: How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew Tara Browne held the rare quality of romance. A figure of intense but passive glamour, he stood at the epicentre of the bohemian Anglo-Irish aristocracy and 1960s London at its most swinging, yet somehow gave the air of merely passing through life. In a wonderfully readable book, gleaming with detail, Paul Howard evokes the splendid vanished worlds that Browne inhabited and - no easy thing to do - makes us believe in his elusive, imperishable enchantment -- Laura Thompson, author of Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters I read - no, devoured - I Read the News Today, Oh Boy. It's an absolute gem. Great humour is balanced with the sadness, and the writing is so deft with all that research woven so lightly into the mix. I can only imagine how much labour is involved in making it all flow so effortlessly -- John Butler, writer and director of The Stag This is a wonderful book about the Swinging Sixties; it opens a door into an extraordinary world that we all clung to long ago, and dreamed of remotely, at the other end of our tiny transistor radios. Back then we only knew the sound track. But this is the real thing. Man -- Michael Harding, author of Staring at Lakes: A Memoir of Love, Melancholy and Magical Thinking A vivid and immaculately researched account of a remarkable life. A fascinating journey through post-war Irish and English society, in the company of a cast of extraordinary characters. -- Antony Edmonds, author of Oscar Wilde's Scandalous Summer I was fascinated to read this beautifully written book, which gripped me on many different levels. Vividly telling the extraordinary story of Tara Browne, a mythical figure through the Beatles' song, showing how extremes of love with no rules combined with limitless funds, is as disastrous as it is glamorous. Paul Howard documents in detail through his exacting conversations with many of the people in Tara's life, the post war/pre 60s British aristocratic attitudes - illuminating a life that seems more like centuries ago, than decades. Having been to Luggala as a child, and remembering my meeting with Oonagh, Paul brought her to life for me, told me much I had absolutely no idea about, showing both her brilliance and originality - and also the tragic outcome of many of her choices. It is a compelling read and a story that is only possible to believe because it is actually true. I can only hope that Julian and Dorian live more peaceful, if less exciting lives. -- Julia Samuel, founder of Child Bereavement UK and author of Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving
Paul Howard is a multi-award-winning journalist, author and comedy writer. He is probably best known in Ireland as the creator of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, a fictional rugby player whose exploits have been the subject of many books. The Ross O'Carroll-Kelly books have sold close to one million copies. He is a three-time Irish Book Award winner.