Released on 01 June 2017.

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I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

The short and gilded life of Tara Browne, the man who inspired The Beatles’ greatest song

4.19 based on 163 ratings & 17 reviews on

2016 Winner

Bord Gáis Energy National Book Tokens Nonfiction Book of the Year


Few people rode the popular wave of the sixties quite like Tara Browne. One of Swinging London's most popular faces, he lived fast, died young and was immortalized for ever in the opening lines of 'A Day in the Life', a song that many critics regard as The Beatles' finest. But who was John Lennon's lucky man who made the grade and then blew his mind out in a car?

Author Paul Howard has pieced together the extraordinary story of a young Irishman who epitomized the spirit of the times: racing car driver, Vogue model, friend of The Rolling Stones, style icon, son of a peer, heir to a Guinness fortune and the man who turned Paul McCartney on to LSD.

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy is the story of a child born into Ireland's dwindling aristocracy, who spent his early years in an ancient castle in County Mayo, and who arrived in London just as it was becoming the most exciting city on the planet.

The Beatles and the Stones were about to conquer America, Carnaby Street was setting the style template for the world and rich and poor were rubbing shoulders in the West End in a new spirit of classlessness. Among young people, there was a growing sense that they could change the world. And no one embodied the ephemeral promise of London's sixties better than Tara Browne.

Includes a sixteen-page plate section of stunning colour photographs.

In the media

The devastating crash that killed him has become near folkloric, not least because of the Beatles song that is the title of this book. But for many people who read the news that day, Tara is alive and golden, beautiful and poetic, somewhere deep in their hearts today
A compelling, sympathetic and unusually poignant book about someone whose star may have burned briefly, but who has left an indelible impression on almost everybody he left behind
Daily Mail
A masterpiece
Irish Times