Boswell is Stanley Elkin's first and funniest novel: the comic odyssey of a twentieth-century groupie who collects celebrities as his insurance policy against death. James Boswell - a strong man and professional wrestler (his most heroic match is with the Angel of Death) - is a con man, a gate crasher, and a moocher of epic talent.
Miami Beach is the haven of a quirky cast of characters in Stanley Elkin’s wry vision of contemporary culture that won the National Book Award. In this Florida, the bright sunlight is shared by drug lords, health food fanatics, wealthy socialites, and refugees from the Midwest. Why are so many men interested in Mrs. Ted Bliss, newly widowed from a Chicago butcher? Is it her smile, her flawless Buick Le Sabre, or her late husband’s business connections?
"Mrs. Ted Bliss a Smash"
Stanley Elkin’s The Living End is a marvelously funny novel about life and death, heaven and hell. In it, the National Book Award-winning author sets into motion a divine comedy that will have you chuckling at his wry visions of celestial affairs. Ellerbee, the unassuming owner of a small liquor store, is fatally shot in a holdup. First, the Angel of Death ushers him into a wondrous heaven, but St. Peter has other, more infernal plans for this hero. After his transfer, Ellerbee discovers that hell is a busy place. Even God pays an occasional visit there.
For the better part of the 1970's, entrepreneur Ben Flesh could expand his business kingdom with the snap of his fingers. His fast food restaurants and electronics stores were all a part of his rapidly growing domain, remaking America one enterprise at a time. But when a series of personal and professional catastrophes strike unexpectedly, Ben finds himself on the verge of losing it all.
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.
In Searches & Seizures, Elkin tells the story of the criminal, the lovelorn, and the grieving, each searching desperately for fulfillment - while on the verge of receiving much more than they bargained for. Infused with Elkin's signature wit and richly drawn characters, "The Bailbondsman," "The Making of Ashenden," and "The Condominium" are the creations of a literary virtuoso at the pinnacle of his craft.
"a truly subpar reading"
Rabbi Jerry Goldkorn resides in Lud, New Jersey, where Jews from the surrounding states come to bury their dead. Distressed by the lack of living children in the area, the Rabbi's daughter Connie creates a scandal that livens up the town of Lud when she testifies to meeting the Virgin Mary
Breaking the law in a foolhardy attempt to accommodate his customers, unscrupulous department store owner Leo Feldman finds himself in jail and at the mercy of the warden, who tries to break Leo of his determination to stay bad.
At age 58, Robert Druff’s destructive alter ego has begun to take over his life. Frustrated with his job as Commissioner of the Streets and desperate to protect his aura of power, Druff injects himself into the middle of a conspiracy revolving around the death of his son’s girlfriend - and everyone, from his employees to his mistress, seems to be complicit in the plot. Deeply humorous and engaging, The MacGuffin is a striking exploration of obsession and the imaginative story of a man struggling against his own frailty to regain control of his life.