Synopses & Reviews
Fiction. A reprint of the fifth of Stanley Elkin's 17 published works, originally published in 1970, this novel anticipates talk radio and its crazed hosts. Characters include Arnold the Memory Expert, Bernie Perk the burning pharmacist, Henry Harper the 9-year-old orphan millionaire, a woman obsessed by pierced ears, an evil hypnotist, various con men and swindlers and Dick Gibson himself, a character who understands exactly what Americans want and gives it to them. "Stanley Elkin's imagination should be declared a national landmark" (Paul Auster).
Look who's on the "Dick Gibson Radio Show": Arnold the Memory Expert ("I've memorized the entire West Coast shoreline - except for cloud cover and fog banks"). Bernie Perk, the burning pharmacist. Henry Harper, the nine-year old orphan millionaire, terrified of being adopted. The woman whose life revolves around pierced lobes. An evil hypnotist. Swindlers. Con-men. And Dick Gibson himself. Anticipating talk radio and its crazed hosts, Stanley Elkin creates a brilliant comic world held together by American manias and maniacs in all their forms, and a character who perfectly understands what Americans want and gives it to them.