In Gotham Tragic, the New York-based writer skewers celebrity culture with dead-on humor and deft plotting. Wenzel's subject, Kyle Clayton, is an author whose drunken escapades draw as much interest as his novels. But when he attempts to turn over a new leaf, he finds that years of excess are not so easily left behind. His engagement to a Turkish woman and conversion to Islam are threatened by an old flame and by militant Muslims who declare a fatwa against him.
Kyle Clayton, a once-hot-now-not young author/provocateur moves through the New York nightlife in an inebriated haze until he meets his literary hero, the dyspeptic and obscure novelist Richard Whitehurst, who tries to set him right. Whitehurst is suffering his own form of breakdown, due to years of public ambivalence to his work and his own neglect of his much younger wife. As the two spirits collide, they find in the other the crutch they've both been seeking.