Imagine a game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon that winds through a series of interlinked connections between hundreds of historical figures and you start to get a picture of Craig Brown’s clever new book “Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings.” Brown’s premise references a series of actual meetings between people in which the second person in the meeting is the first in the next, creating an interconnected circle of encounters that skips around decades and across continents.
Along the way, all manner of interpersonal connections are made and every meeting has a story; songwriter Leonard Cohen shares an intimate moment with Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley meets Richard Nixon at The White House and Marilyn Monroe meets Frank Lloyd Wright to convince the famed architect to design a mansion that never gets built. To add another element of inspired literary prowess, Brown wrote every chapter to fit into a neat numerological pattern – the circle begins with Adolf Hitler, progresses through 101 meetings, with each chapter composed of exactly 1001 words that winds its way back to Adolf Hitler to close the circle 101,101 words later.
Have you ever wondered how many degrees you are from your heroes?
Craig Brown, author of “Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings”