The author of Stark Raving Elvis writes a riotous literary tour de force. An erstwhile Hemingway scholar/literary hack agrees to ghost a manuscript for an irascible 60-year-old derelict, who claims Hemingway, his alleged protege, was a plagiarist. When the book becomes an instant bestseller, the remorseful writer must try to harness the forces he ...
The author of Stark Raving Elvis writes a riotous literary tour de force. An erstwhile Hemingway scholar/literary hack agrees to ghost a manuscript for an irascible 60-year-old derelict, who claims Hemingway, his alleged protege, was a plagiarist. When the book becomes an instant bestseller, the remorseful writer must try to harness the forces he helped to unleash, as the media turns scandal into history revised.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-01-25 Henderson, who milked America's Presley-passion in Stark Raving Elvis , considers mortality and our culture's lust for celebrity as he transforms another legend, that of Ernest Hemingway. His dementedly comic, ribald foray into fiction and fact may alter forever the way we perceive the delicate art of biography. In a manuscript sent to the Manhattan publishing company Warren & Dudge, 93-year-old Eric ``Pappy'' Markham claims that Hemingway's 1961 suicide was actually a murder--and that he was the one who pulled the trigger. In virile, charismatic Pappy's version, he punished Hemingway for plagiarizing not only his prose but also his manly image. Warren & Dudge sends former Hemingway scholar Elliot McGuire to Key West to verify Pappy's story; down-and-out Elliot ends up ghost-writing the ``memoir,'' even adding his own embellishments to Pappy's tales of Ezra Pound and other Lost Generation figureheads. Only when the book is published does Elliot realize, with remorse, that he has conspired to kill his old hero both literally and figuratively. Henderson skewers people's fascination with true crime--Pappy earns fame rather than punishment; a key courtroom-style scene takes place on a TV talk show--and mocks celebrity wannabes with an all-too-real Hemingway look-alike contest. His ability to shatter an icon, then glue the pieces back together, unnerves his readers as surely as it does his exhausted, desperate characters. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-02-27 In this dementedly comic, ribald foray, the author of Stark Raving Elvis transforms the suicide of literary legend Hemingway into a murder. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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