That familiar British export is at it again. From her go-go days at
Tatler to her now infamous turn at the helm of The New Yorker, Tina
Brown has finally produced a magazine she can call her own.
Over the past few months in New York, the buzz surrounding Talk has been
deafening, with the editor as famous as the people she profiles. The
rumour that Hillary Clinton would be on the cover of the first issue and
that she would announce her candidacy for the Senate merely fuelled the
So, of course, the launch issue would be a sell-out and a smash. And, of
course, advertisers were smart to buy space in the issue, despite the
fact that Talk’s salesforce demanded four extra buys over the next
Even if Talk turned out to be a dud, these white-hot coat-tails would be
worth riding for the foreseeable future.
This reader, however, doesn’t like a lot of things in Talk. Too many
fonts, too many text boxes on one page and too many words.
For example, ’The conversation’ at the front of the book is a rip-off of
The New Yorker’s ’The talk of the town’. Except that the latter offers a
clean and neat three-story amuse-gueule, whereas Talk has five unruly
article-ettes written by juvenile nom-de-Tina’s such as Vox Talkuli.
This verbosity wouldn’t be a problem if the stories were more
Instead, reading them was a bit like trudging through the fourth chapter
of Ulysses. But, as the features begin, some humour slips in -
especially the hysterical spread on Rupert Everett as a bisexual 007.
And the faux letters-to-the-editor that Chris Buckley squeezes in on the
penultimate editorial page had this reader in stitches.
So, perhaps, the hype wasn’t delivered on - that would have been near
impossible (although the Peter Beard photos came pretty damn close). But
the vital signs are there. If Talk finds its legs by the sixth issue and
really does collide the world of low-brow wrestle-mania with high-brow
Martin Amis-style ’I don’t like dad’ articles, Brown could fill a niche
that we media junkies didn’t know existed. Fingers crossed.