Possibly the Most Humorous Thing You Will Read All Week

Voice over:

There once was a boy band called SWAGGER who had a couple of hits in the late 80's, were very big in Japan and were once described by MTV as 'the reason why god invented dayglo'. Their debut album 'Batteries Not Included' went double platinum (in Norway) and they lived the high life, hanging out with Hefner at the mansion, opening for Frank Sinatra (Jnr) on his ill-fated 'Old green eyes is back' tour and trading gags with a comatose John Belushi and a bemused Orson Wells on Carson.

They had it all, they wanted for nothing and they were all set to take their career to the next level.

It really couldn't go wrong.

Until it did.

On the eve of releasing their much-awaited second album, 'Metrosexual' they disbanded suddenly after some serious 'musical differences'. The exact circumstances are now the stuff of myth but are thought to have involved a drum machine, Carole King, Perry Como and a jumbo-sized bucket of chicken wings.

Whatever it was that really happened we will never know but what we DO know is that at 4am one Thursday in June the three of them left the studios in Nashville in four limos - one heading North, one South, one East and one West.

And then they vanished.....

Maybe they were dead.

Maybe they were in rehab.

Or maybe they were just biding their time.

Over the years rumours abounded about their real whereabouts -

Simon W had apparently been variously spotted swimming the Atlantic, singing in the chorus line of the ill-fated musical adaptation of the Oxford English Dictionary and working in a gentle men's outfitters in Rhyll.

Martin R had been spotted working as a Max Headroom tribute act on the Northern Club circuit, selling truffles from the back of a camper van in downtown Vegas and as a gladioli wrangler for Dame Edna.

And Simon T had disappeared completely after his attempt to be the first man to single-handedly climb Anna Nicole Smith (without the use of oxygen) ended in public shame and the complete loss of all of his body hair.

Now thirty years later they have been tempted out of retirement by 'public demand' because one of their songs has been used in a straight-to-DVD episode of Glee.

The two Simons hate Martin because he still has all his own hair (and some of theirs) and Martin hates the two Simons because they have all the royalties.

But after an ice-breaking lunch at River Cafe they agreed to be photographed together for the first time....

pink pants

Coming soon to a venue near you in 2014.

Contact: Suzanne Gluck at WME for availability for weddings, funerals, barmitzvas and circumcisions.

 
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Tedxeast Talk: “How Technology United the States”

My new Tedxeast talk on "How Technology United the States."  Click to learn about the eccentrics that helped make America exceptional.

 
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Simon’s ATLANTIC now in paperback


Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories was published in hardback by HarperCollins, London, October 11th 2010, and by HarperCollins, New York, November 2nd 2011. Paperback editions came out in London in July 2011 and in the US on 5th November 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Why I’m Becoming an American

 
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The Alice Behind Wonderland due out in March
UK Tour – April

Tour dates coming soon

 
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North American Book Tour for The Atlantic

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, PHILADELPHIA

Free Library of Philadelphia, Montgomery Auditorium

@ 7:30pm, 1901 Vine St.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, NEW YORK

Barnes & Noble, Upper East Side

@ 7:00, 150 E 86th St.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, WASHINGTON, DC

Politics & Prose

@ 7:00pm, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, NORFOLK, VA

J.M. Prince Books Ltd.

@ 6:00pm, Nauticus, 1 Waterside Dr.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, BOSTON

Borders Books & Music

@ 1:00pm, 10-24 School St.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, PORTSMOUTH, NH

Writers on the New England Stage

@ 7:30pm, 28 Chesnut St.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, NEW CANAAN, CT

Elm Street Books @ The New Canaan Library

@ 7:30pm, 151 Main St.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, CAMBRIDGE, MA

Porter Square Books

@ 7:00pm, 25 White St.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, SAN FRANCISCO

Bookshop West Portal

@ 7:00pm, 80 W. Portal Ave.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, LAFAYETTE, CA

Commonwealth Club @ The Acalanes Performing Arts Center

@ 3:00pm, 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, SAN FRANCISCO

Mechanics Institute

@ 12:30pm, 57 Post St.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, MENLO PARK, CA

Kepler’s Books

@ 7:00pm, 1010 El Camino, Ste. 200

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, CORTE MADERA, CA

Book Passage

@ 1:00pm, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, SAN FRANCISCO

National Geographic Expedition @ The Herbst Theater

@ 6:00pm, 401 Van Ness Ave.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, SEATTLE

University Bookstore @ Town Hall

@ 7:30pm, 1119 8th Ave.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, LOS ANGELES

Live Talks Los Angeles @ Track 16 Gallery, Bergaamot Station

@ 8:00pm, 2525 Michigan Ave., Bldg. C-1

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19, DENVER

Tattered Cover Bookstore

9315 Dorchester St.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, MIAMI

Miami Book Fair International

Miami Dade College

Monday, November 22, Toronto

Simon Winchester in conversation with CBC Radio’s Bob McDonald (Free)

@7pm, Toronto Reference Library

For more information call: 416-395-5577

Tuesday, November 23, Ottawa

Simon Winchester in conversation with author Charlotte Gray

@7pm, Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street

Tickets: $15 / $10 for students and seniors

(Free for Festival Members and Carleton Students)

For more information call: 613-562-1243

Wednesday, November 24, Halifax

@7pm, Keshen Goodman Public Library (Free)

For more information call: 490-5738

Thursday, November 25, Saint John, NB

Simon Winchester in conversation with CBC journalist Lisa Hrabluk (Ticketed)

Books at the Bistro

@ 5pm—7pm, 60 Prince William Street

For more information call: 642.2822

Friday, November 26, St. John’s, NL

Simon Winchester in conversation with CBC Radio's Angela Antle (Free)

Johnson Geo Centre

@ 7pm, 175 Signal Hill Road

(709) 737-7880

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, MILLBROOK, NY

Merritt Books @ The Cary Institute

@ 7:00pm, 2801 Sharon Turnpike Rd. (Route 44)

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, SHEFFIELD, MA

Sheffield Library

@ 6:00pm, 48 S. Main St.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, HILLSDALE, NY

Hillsdale Public Library

@ 2:00pm, 9091 Route 22

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, NEW YORK

Society Library

@ 6:30pm, 53 E. 79th St.

 
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British Book Tour for ATLANTIC

Monday, October 4, 2010

Speech at the Royal Geographical Society

Where:  Kensington Gore, London

Time:  6:30pm

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Book–signing in Bristol Waterstones

Where:  Unit 33 Lower Mall, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol

Time:  5pm

Bristol Festival of Ideas

Where: Watershed Media Centre, Bristol

Time:  6pm

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Where:  Prospect Place, West Hoe, Plymouth

Time:  3pm

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book-signing in Waterstones and Blackwell in Oxford

Where: Oxford

Time:  3pm

Talk at St. Catherine’s College

Where: Oxford

Time:  5pm

Friday, October 8, 2010

Seminar, National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton

Where:   Southampton

Time: 4pm

Public Event, Waterstones

Where:  National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton

Time:  6:30pm

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cheltenham Literary Festival

Where: Cheltenham

Time:   2pm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book-signing at Topping and Co. in Bath

Where: Bath

Time: 8pm

 
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Simon Winchester to receive Order of Magellan

The International Board of Governors of the Circumnavigators Club is pleased to announce that distinguished author Simon Winchester will receive the 2010 Order of Magellan.

The Order of Magellan is bestowed on individuals who are dedicated to advancing peace and understanding in all parts of the world. Mr. Winchester joins outstanding individuals such as General Douglas MacArthur, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and broadcaster Walter Cronkite in receiving the honor.

Mr. Winchester has written many notable books and articles about global events and has made a great contribution to world understanding. His new book The Atlantic, a biography of the Atlantic Ocean will be released on November 2.

The Circumnavigators Club, founded in 1902, is the only organization devoted to bringing together men and women who have circumnavigated the globe. The Club is dedicated to bringing the world together through fellowship and understanding.

Mr. Winchester will receive the Order of Magellan at the Union League Club in New York on December 10.

For more information, go to www.circumnavigators.org. or contact David Mink at 484-612-3242 or by email davidamink@comcast.net.

 
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Melbourne Writers Festival

Simon will be appearing at the Melbourne Writers Festival August 27th-29th.

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Signed First Editions Available at BookLoft.com

1st Edition Hard Covers Signed by Simon Winchester

The Meaning of Everything - Signed Copy The Meaning of Everything - Signed Copy
A Crack in the Edge of the World - Signed Copy A Crack in the Edge of the World - Signed Copy
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded - Signed Copy Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded - Signed Copy
The Man Who Loved China - Signed Hard Cover The Man Who Loved China - Signed Hard Cover
 
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September in Australia and New Zealand

The Atlantic book tour kicks off in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during the first fortnight in September. British publication is 11th October and the American pub date is 2nd November. Canada following shortly thereafter. More precise dates when my various publishers let me know.

 
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Charity event for Haiti victims, New York, 4th March

haiti-project

 
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Literary Festival, Cologne, 19th March

In German only, I am afraid; but I am sure most will get the gist. 1064

 
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Public Lectures in Western China, late March

I will be giving talks in the cities of Chongqing, Kunming and Chengdu on 29th - 31st March, to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-establishment of the British Council in Western China. Specific details of the times and places to follow. Do please come if you can - an excellent time to see Yunnan and Sichuan.

 
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Public Lecture at Princeton, 11 February

The Man Who Loved China
February 11, 2010. Spencer Trask Lecture: 8pm, McCosh 50

Seldom can it be said that any one person ever managed to change the outside world’s perception of an entire nation, an entire people. But, beginning in 1954, Joseph Needham (1900–1995), a Cambridge biochemist, a figure dauntingly eccentric and brilliantly polymathic in equal measure, did just that.  In this talk Simon Winchester, who spent two years tracing Needham's footsteps across wartime China, when the idea was born, will tell his remarkable story.

A graduate of Oxford University, Simon Winchester began his career as a journalist in 1967 and has covered numerous stories for The Guardian and The Sunday Times, including the Ulster crisis, the creation of Bangladesh, the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos, the Watergate affair, the Jonestown massacre, the assassination of Anwar Sadat, and the Falklands War. He has worked as a free-lance writer for more than 20 years, contributing to Harper’s, Smithsonian, National Geographic, The Spectator, Granta, the New York Times, and The Atlantic, and publishing several best-selling books. He has written The River at the Center of the World, about China’s Yangtze River; the bestselling The Professor and the Madman; The Fracture Zone: My Return to the Balkans, which tells the story of his journey from Austria to Turkey during the 1999 war in Kosovo; and The Map That Changed the World, about 19th-century geologist William Smith. In addition he is the author of the best-selling Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 and A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. His latest book - and from which this talk is drawn - is The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (May 2008).

 
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Benefit for Haiti

On Tuesday evening in Manhattan - exactly one week after we first heard intimations of the dreadful news from Port au Prince - there will be a benefit for the victims at Idlewild Books, on 19th Street in Chelsea. I do hope those of you who can come, will come: we need to do everything and anything to help.

 
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