Filter by

Any questions?

contact@bs2bo.com

This week hand-picked selection

Browse by Theme

+ More themes

How it
works?

  • Stay connected all year to the literary world
     
  • Receive every week our selection of adaptable titles that will be published
     
  • Ask complete reading reports and manuscripts
     
  • Be introduced by BS2BO to audiovisual rights holder
     
  • Find your next story in the database of more than 8,000 titles
     

See Membership & Pricing

Available languages:

ALMA COGAN

Gordon Burn

  • Original Title: ALMA COGAN
  • Publication date: December 1991
  • Publisher: Secker and Warburg
  • Country: GB
  • 210 print pages
  • Crime fiction/Noir

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Social climbing

Pitch

Alma Cogan, one of Britain's biggest pop stars of the 1950s, gets involved with mass murderer Myra Hindley through a twist of fate. Fictional characters jostle for space with real life stars - from John Lennon to Doris Day and Sammy Davis Jnr - as Gordon Burn reinvents the popular culture of the post-war years.

Comments

Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel in 1991

Gordon Burn (1948 - 2009) was an English writer, the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction. His novels deal with issues of modern fame and faded celebrity as lived through the media spotlight. In 2013 the Gordon Burn Prize was launched "to reward fiction or non-fiction written in the English language, which in the opinion of the judges most successfully represents the spirit and sensibility of Gordon's literary methods".

Summary

In real life, Alma Cogan was a well-known British light pop singer of the 1950s and early 1960s, known as "The Girl with the Giggle in Her Voice." A friend of the Beatles and many other pop acts of the era, she died of cancer in 1966 at the age of 34.

In Gordon Burn's novel, however, Alma Cogan does not die in 1966, but retires from show business sometime thereafter to a quiet solitude near the English seashore, living neither in luxury nor poverty. In contrast to Cogan's bubbly public persona, Burn's Alma, who narrates the book from 1986, is an arch, dry-witted, highly intelligent observer of the world around her, mildly dismissive of, even jaded by, her showbiz past (but not entirely disdainful of it). She recounts with equal detachment the heady days of celebrity and the sordid backstage cruelties - including bouts of unexpected violence - as she muses on the nature of stardom and its many pitfalls, which entrap the worshipper as much as the worshipped. But her residual fame proves a gruesome and unwanted relic as it serves to tie her, through her fans, to an unforeseen encounter with evil.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Gordon Burn (1948 - 2009) was an English writer, the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction. His novels deal with issues of modern fame and faded celebrity as lived through the media spotlight. His novel ALMA COGAN (1991), which imagined the future life of the British singer Alma Cogan had she not died in 1966, won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel. He contributed to The Guardian regularly, usually writing about contemporary art. In 2013 the Gordon Burn Prize was launched "to reward fiction or non-fiction written in the English language, which in the opinion of the judges most successfully represents the spirit and sensibility of Gordon's literary methods".