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The Extra Manby Jonathan Ames
Synopses & Reviews
"A storyteller of refreshing inventiveness and subtlety" (San Francisco Chronicle), Jonathan Ames has won critical raves for this delightful "comedy of impeccable manners with a debauched '90s spin" (Elle).
Meet Louis Ives: well-groomed, romantic, and as captivating as an F. Scott Fitzgerald hero. Only this hero has a penchant for ladies clothes, and he's lost his teaching post at Princeton's Pretty Brook Day School after an unfortunate incident involving a colleague's brassiere.
Meet Henry Harrison: former actor, failed but brilliant playwright, and a well-seasoned escort for New York City's women of means. He dances alone to Ethel Merman records, second-acts operas, and performs his scrappy life with the dignity befitting a self-styled man of the world. What can this ageless Don Quixote of the Upper East Side have to offer a young gentleman such as Louis? What, indeed.
Well, the answer lies somewhere between the needs of an irascible mentor and the education of his eager apprentice...between cocktails on the Upper East Side and an even more intoxicating treat along the secret fringes of Times Square...and between friendship and longing.
"A sure-footed exploration of sexual confusion and a loopily elegant, surprisingly moving urban comedy of manners." The New York Times Book Review
"Ames makes it clear that his protagonist's sexual tentativeness and anxiety are really just flimsy covers for his passion and warmth. That's what makes The Extra Man work so well. Louis may feel as awkward as Milton Berle in drag, but inside he's really Fred Astaire he just doesn't know it yet." The New York Times
"Ames follows I Pass Like Night with a gentle account of a burgeoning friendship between two likable oddballs....Henrys unpredictability and benign theatricality make [their] outings hum, but Louis is also winning on his own terms up-front about his hunger to be liked, unfazed by squalor, endlessly appreciative of Henry's spirit and kindness. The sexual-confusion subplot is murky and entirely lacking in resolution, but who cares? It's just plain fun to watch these quasi-misfits fall for each other." Kirkus Reviews
"An endearing, entertaining story." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Makes verbal high jinks look almost as easy as pie in the face....An urban confection." The New Yorker
"A miracle....This novel is not to be missed." Booklist (starred review)
"Ames has the one thing Fitzgerald lacked: a sense of humor...The Extra Man wins us over with its sheer energy and good will, its confidence in the ability of its own humor and intelligence to widen our ideas about the possibilities of love, and about the permissible range of inner and outer lives to which today's young gentleman may properly aspire." Francine Prose, The New York Observer
"The Louis and Henry show is honest, funny, and original, making the meaning of 'human' deep and strange in the best way." The Village Voice
About the Author
Jonathan Ames is and a columnist for New York Press. He lives in New York City, where he performs frequently as a storyteller in theaters and nightclubs. He is the winner of a Transatlantic Review award and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is also the author of I Pass Like Night, available from Washington Square Press.
Table of Contents
There's to Be No Fornication
The Young Gentleman
The Next Event
The Extra Man
Otto Bellman and His Gang of Swiss Yodelers
I Felt Connected to Women All Over America
Porky Pig Fell Off a Cliff
An International Agreement on the Virtues of Chastity
The Recession Spankologist
Hot for Cockroach, Cold for Lead
Are You Jewish?
One of the Greatest Hoaxes of All Time
We All Wanted to Be That Femme Fatale
I Met Someone Jewish
Americans Are Too Concerned with Athletics
Deep in Queens
The Jewish Duke of Windsor
Were There Animals?
This Is Only a Tape Recording
The Queen Has Fifty Rooms
Four Gap-Toothed Dairy Maidens
Cut Off Your Hair Like Salome
You'll Get an Erection and Then What Will I Do?
You've Brought So Much Toilet Paper into My Life
Fleas, Cars, and Florida
The Whole City Has Fleas
He Saw a Piece of Cheese and Made Havoc with It
My Analyst, Gershon Gruen
I Felt Something Under My Rear
Are You Having BMs?
The Essential Man
Whatever Happened to Danny Kaye?
The Men Are Still in Charge Down There
She Wanted Me
People Are Dying, New Ones Are Coming Up
Otto Bellman Collects His Mail
Deep in Bay Ridge
All the Queens Were Dead
I Was Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
That's All I Have to Say About America
The Life of a Fugitive
I Was Like Lady Macbeth
That's Very Good Cheese He's Eating
Lagerfeld Is Back In
A Tie Is Dipped
It's Your Fellow Old People Who Tear You Down
Daphne Wants to Drink Cough Medicine and Smoke Cigarettes
Thank You, Dear Boy
Life Rushes By
You Look Practically Middle Class
A Girl as I Must Have First Imagined Girls
What Our Readers Are Saying
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