Three years ago, Darin Strauss made one of the most promising fiction debuts
of recent years. Giving voice to a strange pair indeed, Darin Strauss transformed
the lives of the original Siamese twins into "one of the most riskily imagined
and successfully realized novels I've read in years" (Joyce Carol Oates).
Short on the heels of Chang and Eng, Strauss published his second novel.
For The Real McCoy Strauss again returned to the nineteenth century to
reimagine the life of a larger than life character. Reed-thin Virgil Selby
otherwise known as Kid McCoy is a blue-ribbon boxer, world-class womanizer,
and championship liar. As he wends his crooked, bigamous way through tumultuous,
turn-of-the-century America, he provides a delightful tour through a defining
moment in American history. Called "one of the most quintessentially American
novels published this year" (San Francisco Chronicle) and named
by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books to remember from 2002,
The Real McCoy has cemented the reputation of this young writer as one
of the most sharp and spirited of his generation. Farley, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times Book Review
called Chang and Eng
, Darin Strauss's extraordinary debut novel, "a spirited story of heroic longing." Joyce Carol Oates called it "a remarkable first novel...one of the most riskily imagined and successfully realized novels I've read in years." Now this uncommonly gifted storyteller brings us another strikingly original novel.
Are you the Real McCoy?
Loosely based on the real life of a turn-of-the-century icon and charlatan, The Real McCoy introduces a character like no other in recent contemporary fiction. "Kid" McCoy was a man of many talents and faces: championship boxer, jewel thief, scam artist, and grifter extraordinaire. Unfolding against the tumultuous backdrop of history, his story becomes a fascinating mirror of the times as he moves from city to city in pursuit of the next con, always living life as he becomes a legend and a symbol of all that's true in America. An audacious and unforgettable novel about identity, illusion, and the search for love, The Real McCoy is bound to become another literary sensation.
"Strauss follows a brilliant debut novel (Chang and Eng) with more fictive doctoring of history in this daring, unique reenactment of the life of reed-thin, bone-weary Virgil Selby, who came to be known as Kid McCoy: a talented turn-of-the-century boxer, professional flimflammer and bigamist." Publishers Weekly
"Strauss remains one of the most interesting and promising of younger American novelists." Kirkus Reviews
"Highly imaginative." Vanity Fair
"The Real McCoy's strength, dynamism and sorrow will make it one of the most quintessentially American novels published this year." San Francisco Chronicle
"[A] muscular and entertaining novel about lies, scams, flimflams, and the inconvenience of truth." GQ
"[I]t does twinkle and glitter and dazzle with a writer's love for the written word." January Magazine.com
"Like his acclaimed first novel, Chang and Eng (2000), Strauss takes a curious historical footnote and carves from it a sprawling, quirky, and delightful story....this is the story of a real American dream, one where big plans and a laid-back conscience lead to linguistic immortality, if not happiness." John Green, Booklist
From the author of "Chang and Eng" comes a story loosely based on the real life of a turn-of-the-century icon and charlatan, "Kid" McCoy--a man of many talents and faces, including championship boxer, jewel thief, scam artist, and the most married man in America.
About the Author
Darin Strauss is the author of Chang and Eng.