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Evening's Empire

Evening's Empire

A Novel


In England, and around the world, rock music is exploding—the Beatles have gone psychedelic, the Stones are singing "Ruby Tuesday," and the summer of love is approaching. For Jack Flynn, a newly minted young solicitor at a conservative firm, the rock world is of little interest—until he is asked to handle the legal affairs of Emerson Cutler, the seductive front man for an up-and-coming group of British boys with a sound that could take them all the way.

Thus begins Jack Flynn’s career with the Ravons, a forty-year journey through London in the sixties, Los Angeles in the seventies, New York in the eighties, into Eastern Europe, Africa, and across America, as Flynn tries to manage his clients through the highs of stardom, the has-been doldrums, sellouts, reunions, drug busts, bad marriages, good affairs, and all the temptations, triumphs, and vanities that complicate the businesses of music and friendship.

Spanning the decades and their shifting ideologies, from the wild abandon of the sixties to the cold realities of the twenty-first century, Evening’s Empire is filled with surprising, sharply funny, and perceptive riffs on fame, culture, and world events. A firsthand observer and remarkable storyteller, author Bill Flanagan has created an epic of rock-and-roll history that is also the life story of a generation.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 656 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439158807 | 
  • January 2010
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Read an Excerpt

I don’t know where my life has gone. I was a young attorney in London when the senior partner asked me to run an embarrassing errand for an important client. Next thing I knew I was in Barcelona, up a tree with a camera. That led to my stuffing a bunch of drugs in my pockets as the border guards came down. Then I was in California and I was rich. I was married and I was not married anymore. My children have no use for me. My oldest friends blame me for their self-inflicted failures. I look around and forty years have passed and I am old and I don’t know where it went. Now I am a wealthy old man on top of a mountain in Jamaica and I... see more
Mr. Difford was a senior partner and he wanted to see me. I was a young lawyer. Ah, but you see, I am transposing my memories into American. I was not a young lawyer then. I was a young solicitor. When I began dealing with Americans, they thought a solicitor was someone who hired a prostitute. A solicitor was not a lawyer; a solicitor was someone who needed a lawyer.

I was a young attorney with an old London firm called Difford, Withers & Flack. Mr. Flack had gone to his reward the year before I was hired, and when I saw Mr. Difford pass in the hall he looked to be only half a step behind him. I was just out of university and had an... see more

About the Author

Bill Flanagan

Bill Flanagan’s books include the novels New Bedlam and A&R.  His work has appeared in Esquire, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, Spy, and many other publications.  He is executive vice president and editorial director of MTV Networks, and an on-air essayist on CBS News Sunday Morning. He lives in New York City with his wife and their three children.




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