Hello. I’m Gavin Edwards, the public speaker and the New York Times-bestselling author of The Tao of Bill Murray, the ’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy series, and Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever. If you’re interested in hiring me, click here for more information.

R.I.P. Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan died last week. He was the main singer, songwriter, and creative force behind the Pogues, and given his reckless abandon towards his own health, it’s a miracle he made it to the age of 65. I put together a playlist for The New York Times compiling ten of his greatest tracks, with and without the Pogues, telling the story of his musical life strapping a punk-rock engine onto Celtic traditional music. It was a strange day—I never met the man, and although I loved his music I never thought of myself as a super-fan—but at various moments, I found myself wracked by high-speed grief. I hope you spend some time listening to his music and raising a glass in his honor.

posted 4 December 2023 in Articles. no comments yet

Holiday Shopping 2023

Face front, true believers! It’s December, which means it’s time to gear up for gifts for your loved ones! And what better way to let them know that you care about them in a profound way that can’t be expressed by socks or a fruit basket than to get them a book? Maybe a book that has prose in it by me?

I contributed to two books this year. One of them is Overlooked, a collection of the New York Times column of obituaries about people (mostly women or people of color) who didn’t get proper obituaries in the paper when they died because of institutional sexism and racism. I’ve been proud to write installments of the column and I’m delighted that editor Amisha Padnani included my writeup of Rose Mackenberg, Houdini assistant and “ghost-buster,” in this gorgeous volume collecting the stories of dozens of people who are overlooked no more. You can buy it anywhere books are sold, including your local bookstore.

I also, of course, cowrote MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios with the estimable Joanna Robinson and Dave Gonzales. The book was an instant New York Times bestseller and has gotten many positive reviews, a majority of them from people who are not in my immediate family, using phrases like “compulsively readable.” Again, you can buy it from anywhere books are sold (the good people at Norton helpfully compiled lots of links to various sellers).

If you’re looking for a copy of MCU that was signed by all three of us, I believe that The Book Loft in Columbus and the Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn still has copies left over from our whirlwind book tour: I’m sure they’ll be happy to sell you a copy and ship it to you. (You might want to call first to check that they still have what you’re looking for.)

Park Road Books in Charlotte, my hometown indie bookstore, will also be happy to sell you a copy of any of my books, including catalog titles like The Tao of Bill Murray and Kindness and Wonder, and ship it to you or a loved one. And I will happily personalize it and inscribe it for you before they send it out!

Friendly reminder: As always with holiday shopping, it’s better to order sooner rather than later so you’re not at the mercy of our nation’s overstrained delivery service.

posted 2 December 2023 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

MCU Reviews

It’s been almost a month since the publication of MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios—by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and me—and we’ve been lucky enough to have many people write thoughtful reviews of the book. If you haven’t already picked up a copy from your local bookstore, there are links to many retailers assembled here.

But perhaps first you’d like to read what somebody else has said about it?

Publishers Weekly (starred review): “a superb chronicle of how Marvel Studios conquered Hollywood.”

The New York Times (review): “The book’s admiration for Marvel movies works in its favor, freeing the writers to skip straight to the gossip, like the relative who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving to whisper about your cousin’s divorce.”

The New York Times (a roundup of recent recommended books): “This engaging book captures how movies based on comic-book properties came to dominate pop culture — at least until now.”

The Washington Post: “Robinson, Gonzales and Edwards set out to write ‘the most thorough, authoritative history of Marvel Studios to date,’ and that is exactly what they have done.”

Library Journal (starred review): “With comprehensive research and no small amount of wit, the authors detail the corporate strategies that led to the expansion of Marvel Studios.”

Agents of Fandom: “necessary reading for anyone who fancies themselves an MCU fan.”

PopMatters: “essential reading for any fan of blockbusters or Hollywood history.”

The Cosmic Circus: “The earth-shattering production revelations uncover the most controversial topics Marvel fans have always wanted to know.”

CBR: “MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios isn’t just an entertaining and informative story; it’s an essential chronicle of cinematic history.”

posted 5 November 2023 in Reviews. no comments yet

River Phoenix, 1970-1993

River Phoenix died thirty years ago today, on a Hollywood sidewalk outside the Viper Room, in the early hours of Halloween. Costumed partygoers stepped around his body as he thrashed on the concrete and his younger siblings tried to keep him alive.

If River were alive today, he would be 53 years old. I still see shadows of him everywhere, especially in the careers of Leonardo diCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix. Even now, it’s impossible for me not to wonder about a world in which he’s walking red carpets (reluctantly) and appearing in A24 films and advocating for veganism.

Ten years ago, my book about Phoenix, Last Night at the Viper Room, was published. When I wrote it, I hoped that it would spark a rediscovery of Phoenix and a reassessment of his too-brief career. I don’t think that happened, for a variety of reasons (five years ago, I wrote about some of them for Vanity Fair). There’s an economy of celebrity in death, just as there is in life.

That makes it even more precious to me when people who weren’t alive during River’s lifetime connect with him and his beautiful work. Tonight watch Dogfight or My Own Private Idaho or Stand by Me and take a moment to reflect on what might have been, and who he might have been.

posted 31 October 2023 in Articles. no comments yet

New York Times Bestseller MCU

Yes! MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, the book by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and yours truly, hit the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list (online last week, in print next week). After all our hard work, I couldn’t be happier that so many people are reading and enjoying it—and it was an unalloyed delight to meet so many of you during our book tour the last couple of weeks.

If you’re interested in buying a copy for yourself or a loved one, your local bookstore should have it—or if you prefer online shopping, our publishers have set up a page with many links to various retailers.

Perhaps you would prefer to read an excerpt or three before you buy your copy? We can help you.

Rolling Stone hosted a long excerpt about the origins of Marvel Studios at a Mar-a-Lago lunch.

Vanity Fair reprinted a chapter about how Marvel cast its movies and the measures taken by its stars to make their bodies superheroic.

Time excerpted the story of Marvel Studios’ first feature film, Iron Man, and the freewheeling collaboration of Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.

And TVLine offered a taste of the book with a reprint of the section on the ill-fated Inhumans series.

(You may have paywall issues with Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair; my apologies if that’s the case.)

posted 30 October 2023 in News. no comments yet

MCU: Out Today

Why are you reading this blog entry when you could be buying and/or reading MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios? The book by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and your self-aggrandizing author is available now at all the places you like to buy books. (Bookstores, mostly.) If you’re interested even somewhat in the Marvel superhero movies and are curious about how they came into existence, we are here for you.

Lots of MCU media to catch up on soon, but I’ll give you two big items for now:

Rolling Stone ran an excerpt of an early chapter, about the creation of Marvel Studios—at a lunch at Mar-a-Lago. (There’s a paywall, sorry.) “The relationship between Arad and Maisel started tense and quickly got worse, stopping just short of a duel with sai blades in the parking lot.”

The New York Times ran a review of the book this morning, and they liked it! “The book’s admiration for Marvel movies works in its favor, freeing the writers to skip straight to the gossip, like the relative who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving to whisper about your cousin’s divorce.”

You can find lots of links to big online bookstores and your local indie (if you click on “Bookstore”) here. Enjoy!

posted 10 October 2023 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

One Day

MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios comes out tomorrow.

A starred review from Library Journal: “Marvel fans and film aficionados alike will appreciate this highly recommended, smashing insider look at one of entertainment’s greatest success stories.”

And a few interviews with the authors (Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and me, in various combinations):

A printed Q&A with Publishers Weekly.

A virtual book-tour launch at the Book Loft of Columbus, OH.

A conversation with the Agents of Fandom (available via your fave podcast purveyor or on video).

(We’ve done many many more–don’t be surprised if we pop up unexpectedly in your podcast feed this week.)

You can order the book at various purveyors (many links here) or you can start lining up outside your favorite bookstore now to make sure you get your copy first thing tomorrow!

posted 9 October 2023 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet

One Week

One week from today, the book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios will be on sale in a bookstore near you. It’s the story of Marvel taking over Hollywood—and then finding that its domination was more precarious than expected. It’s got over 100 original interviews with the people who made the movies, from studio head Kevin Feige to the man who played Doctor Strange’s cape. It has stories about purple pens, vision quests in the desert, and polka dot horses. It was a collaboration between Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and yours truly, and if you’re interested in the book, I’d love it if you preordered it today.

This is the official page for the book at W. W. Norton, which includes links to the bookstore of your choice.

This page has the most up-to-date information on the MCU book tour.

An excerpt from the book ran last week in Vanity Fair.

Joanna, Dave, and I did an early interview with SlashFilm.

The first review was a starred notice in Publishers Weekly: “This definitive account of the Hollywood juggernaut thrills.”

In addition, we’ve received some early blog reviews.

Agents of Fandom: “Not to skip to the post-credits scene, but the book is necessary reading for anyone who fancies themselves an MCU fan.”

The Cosmic Circus: “It is an absolute treasure trove of behind-the-scenes surprises, even for the most up-to-date MCU fans.”

PopMatters: “MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios is a highly entertaining, well-researched, wide-ranging, detailed, and objective examination of one of the greatest Hollywood success stories.”

More reviews coming soon, but until then, judge for yourself! Order MCU today!

posted 3 October 2023 in Buy My Stuff, Reviews. no comments yet

Eat a Peach

I recently had my first byline in The Wall Street Journal: a review of Brothers and Sisters: The Allman Brothers Band and the Inside Story of the Album That Defined the ’70s by Alan Paul. Which I enjoyed, even though I don’t think the album lives up to the subtitle. If you want to read the past the Bill Graham quote that opens the review — “Anyone can boil a potato, but not everyone can make gravy” — then you’ll need a WSJ subscription. (They do offer discounted introductory rates.) If you would like to read a crazy-long feature about the Allman Brothers I wrote for Rolling Stone back in 1999 — it launched my career at the magazine and resulted in a friendly email from Cameron Crowe — then you can click here. Either way, turn up “Whipping Post”!

posted 2 October 2023 in Articles. no comments yet

MCU on Tour

Team MCU is hitting the road! Some events are already sold out, but we’d love to see as many of you as possible….

posted 27 September 2023 in Buy My Stuff. no comments yet