Welcome to Yesterday

Welcome to Yesterday

by Ian Spiegelman

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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman.

Pop quiz — who’s the new President of France? Who was appointed war czar to handle things in Iraq? Which pop star just got out of rehab and is playing short concerts at the House of Blues to warm up her lip syncing skills?

I guess the bigger question is why it’s more interesting to find out if Lindsay remembered to wear underpants than keep track of who’s who in the Kremlin. Okay, that’s kind of an easy one — ‘news’ news is generally depressing information about things I can’t change. Gossip is shiny, doesn’t make me want to cry myself to sleep, and is good for reinforcing the idea that all the money, fame and looks in the world can’t buy class.

Lately there’s been an explosion of celebrity gossip bloggers, with the juvenile but addictive Perez Hilton leading the charge. I can always count on a revolving cast of characters — most of whom I have never seen actually act, sing, or whatever it is they’re supposed to be famous for — Vanessa Minillo, I’m looking at you, honey — involved in hijinks at bars, in cabs, poolside, and occasionally in an unflattering mugshot, in photos taken by paparazzi around the world. It’s like a soap opera, the cast is just as artificial, the events are just as scripted, and at the end of the day, no one gets hurt.

In Ian Spiegelman’s Welcome to Yesterday, someone does get hurt. After an unflattering article appears in the press, sleazy agent Kyle Prince winds up dead on the kitchen floor. But was it self inflicted? Leon Koch is the cynical gossip reporter with a tiny flickering flame of romance in his soul, and he’s in a race to find the woman who called him from the crime scene before the cops find her. The mystery of the dead agent is a lurid and twisty one, but for my money, the real pleasure of this book is following Leon to nightclubs and restaurants and listening in as he chronicles the rich and infamous. It’s no surprise but in fact weirdly satisfying that the movie star, the celebrity journalist, the supermodels, are just as — more — screwed up, lost, miserable and unhappy as the rest of us poor slobs. They just look a lot better doing it.

Ian Spiegelman knows his subject, as a long time reporter for Page Six in the New York Post. It’s a sign of something I guess that Page Six now has its own web site. Gotta keep up.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman.

It’s no newsflash that we are obsessed with gossip. The trashier the better, and if it ruins a few lives and destroys a few careers, well, they aren’t really real people any way. Leon Koch is a gossip columnists in New York, and his last scoop just wound up dead on the kitchen floor. But did Kyle Prince kill himself? Or did he have some help? In Welcome to Yesterday, we meet not only Leon, but his coworkers, the agents and publicists, and the movie stars and supermodels that fill the gossip pages. To the author’s credit, none of the characters are obviously any real person, maybe with the exception of two very young sisters — that seemed pretty obvious — but they are all a very sorry lot. Spiegelman tries to figure out why we want to know about celebrities, while Leon tries to figure out what happened to the dead man in this extremely well written and very timely novel. Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman.

This book, a mystery set in the world of newspaper gossip columnists, made me play a game called Who’s The Most Awful? Is it Leon, our cynical but ultimately romantic narrator? The vindictive super publicist and rumor spreader Meredith? No, I think the worst was handsome young journalist Billy, who has decided that his plagiarism is actually art that none of us are smart enough to appreciate. Welcome to Yesterday is full of the characters that we see on the gossip pages, and the dead agent at the center of the mystery, I am creepily certain, is based on a name we all know.  As in so many newspaper novels and of course novels about celebrity, the characters drink so much I needed a day off to recover from reading about them. This is an extremely well written novel, a very thoughtful look at something that only seems unimportant. Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman.

This novel is set in the world of gossip — trashy and spiteful, fake and fantastic. It’s also a mystery — did the dead agent overdose or was he murdered? Leon Koch has the gossip desk at the paper, and he also is in a race to find the mystery woman who called him from the crime scene before the police find her. Welcome to Yesterday is full of famous faces you almost recognize, made barely fictional. And if you want to you know what goes on inside those glamorous Manhattan velvet rope parties that go on until morning? Well, the celebrities are all so boring and venal that you can’t blame them for drinking so much. There are a few good-hearted characters set in among the rest, but it seems like everyone has something to hide and everyone is working an angle. It made me feel a little guilty about hitting the gossip web pages, but of course I did it anyway.  Welcome to Yesterday by Ian Spiegelman. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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