Today I’m delighted to be on tour with the rather fabulous #Zero by Neil McCormick and oh my, is it the craziest road trip going.
Zero is a drug fuelled, burnt out pop star who has one of the most recognisable faces on the planet. Every second of his life is played out for the fans to watch, every moment perfectly choreographed for the best publicity to keep him shining, keep him (and those around him) at the very top. Yet in reality he’s hit rock bottom and suddenly wants nothing more than to escape it all, to disappear into obscurity whilst running towards the woman he loves. The only problem is that the woman he loves just happens to be a world-famous actress currently filming in the depths of the jungle, who is old enough to be his mother, and reported to be cheating on him with her current co-star.
Undeterred, Zero escapes the clutches of his entourage and keeps on running, trying to make his way across America without being killed, kidnapped or recognised. As he steps away from the bubble of life at the top he begins to search for the young Irish boy with the big dreams he once was. The boy who is disgusted with what and who he has become and questions if he truly deserves the adoration that comes with his success. What follows is a crazy, drug-fuelled week with a whole host of characters, each screwed up in their own individual ways but all instrumental in his pilgrimage to find himself again. Zero wants to gain back a sense of worth, a sense of control and most of all a sense of freedom.
#Zero is a story about fame, selling your soul to the devil (your manager) and finally finding what really matters. It’s a story that highlights just how far we have gone with social media in a world where fame has become a form of ownership, where there seems to be no boundaries on privacy. Power comes in many forms. I remember reading that it was once believed that each time your photograph was taken a little piece of your soul was captured and stolen. I think that there is some truth to this. Being in the public eye, constantly photographed, filmed and shared all over the internet with no off button, must, at times, be all consuming. Yes Zero lives a life that most people only dream of but I think Neil has written a novel that shows that more often than not the reality is a far cry from what we dream it all be. Zero is a major success but those around him are not people who care and love him but simply see him as a product rather than a person.
Neil McCormick knows a thing or two about the music business (see about the author below). His previous book Killing Bono (originally published as I Was Bono’s Doppelganger) which Elton John was quoted as calling ‘The best book I have ever read about trying to make it in the music business.’. Well #Zero seems to me about surviving once you’ve made it. Isn’t it the dream of so many kids? The adulation, the money, the popularity, the making a mark on the world, perhaps even giving yourself some form of immortality. Yet #Zero shows just what it can cost.
There is not much that is beautiful about Zero’s life but within this novel, beneath all the drugs, sex and hedonism there is a rather beautiful message and the last few pages were incredibly moving but oh. my. god. the ride getting there was a blast. Funny, fast and furious. This is an awesome read.
Thank you to the wonderful Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. Such an amazing read.:)
Zero is the latest craze. Young, sexy and brilliant, he is a multi-hyphenated (singer-songwriter- rapper-producer) superstar for the digital generation. According to his publicist at least. He’s also a narcissistic, insecure, hyperactive, coke-snorting, pill-popping, loud-mouthed maelstrom of contradictions skating over the thin ice of terminal self-loathing.
He has touched down in New York with his sycophantic entourage for the launch of a new single/album/movie/tour. It is countdown to Year Zero. But the boy at the centre of the media feeding frenzy is cracking up. Inside the echo chamber of his own skull, he isn’t sure he deserves all the attention, doesn’t even know if he wants it anymore and is being driven half-mad by the mysterious absence of the love of his life.
As the crucial hour approaches the young star cuts and runs, setting off on a wild trip across America pursued by paparazzi, fans, fortune hunters and his Mephistophelian manager, Beasley. He’s about to find out that when you have the most famous face in the world, you can run… but you can’t hide.
About the author
Neil McCormick is the Daily Telegraph’s chief pop and rock music critic. He is an author, radio pundit and television presenter, with his own music weekly interview show, Neil McCormick’s Needle Time, broadcast on Vintage TV. His memoir, Killing Bono (originally published as I Was Bono’s Doppelganger) was turned into a feature film in 2011. He lives in London.
You can follow Neil on Twitter at @neil_mccormick
#Zero is published by Unbound.
For those of you wishing to purchase via your local independent bookshop the ISBN no is: 9781783526628.
Or you can purchase on all online bookshops such as Waterstones.