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Download The Dick Gibson Show (American Literature) ePub

by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt,Stanley Elkin

Download The Dick Gibson Show (American Literature) ePub
  • ISBN 1564781984
  • ISBN13 978-1564781987
  • Language English
  • Author Christopher Lehmann-Haupt,Stanley Elkin
  • Publisher Dalkey Archive Press; 1st Dalkey Archive ed edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Pages 335
  • Formats lit doc mobi mbr
  • Category Fantasy
  • Subcategory Fantasy
  • Size ePub 1325 kb
  • Size Fb2 1901 kb
  • Rating: 4.9
  • Votes: 309

National Book Award finalist: 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.

Stanley Elkin’s third novel, The Dick Gibson Show.

Stanley Elkin’s third novel, The Dick Gibson Show. squeezes the blackheads behind the ears of your imagination; it’s a Diane Arbus walk on the unreconciled side. The contents of Elkin’s novel leave you a bit sick. Dick Gibson is the radio name of a radio personality whose life we follow from the 1930's into the late 60s or early 70s. Although we know a few of his other radio names we never learn his birth name.

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.

For the American historian, see Stanley Elkins. The Dick Gibson Show (1971). Dictionary of Midwestern Literature. Volume One: The Authors. For the American mystery writer, see Stanley Ellin. This article needs additional citations for verification. Elkin won the National Book Critics Circle Award on two occasions: for George Mills in 1982 and for Mrs. Ted Bliss, his last novel, in 1995. The MacGuffin was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award for Fiction. However, although he enjoyed high critical praise, his books have never enjoyed popular success. The Franchiser (1976). The Living End (novella) (1979).

Lehmann-Haupt was born on June 14, 1934 in Edinburgh, Scotland, while his parents were visiting his mother's family.

Stanley Elkin (1930–1995) was an award-winning and critically acclaimed novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Treat yourself to a great read.

Recent and archived work by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt for The New York Times. Mr. Berger was known as the author of Little Big Man and books that explored the American West, but his body of work was broader than that. By Christopher Lehmann-Haupt and William McDonald. Continue reading the main story. Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86. Matthiessen’s nonfiction explored the remote endangered wilds of the world, and his fiction often placed his protagonists in the heart of them. By Christopher Lehmann-Haupt. Paul Fussell, Literary Scholar and Critic, Is Dead at 88.

The Dick Gibson Show - Stanley Elkin.

This ebook features rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate and from the Stanley Elkin archives at Washington University in St. Louis. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. The Dick Gibson Show - Stanley Elkin.

Stanley Elkin; Christopher Lehmann-Haupt. Stanley Elkin; Rick Moody; Rick Moody. The Dick Gibson Show. Stanley Elkin; David C Dougherty. Stanley Elkin; MR William H Gass; MR William H Gass. Stanley Elkin; Sam Lipsyte.

The Dick Gibson Show (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)).

I read The Dick Gibson Show immediately after finishing Elkin's 1976 novel The Franchiser.

Talk about The Dick Gibson Show (American Literature)

Slowly writer
I happened to read a brief reference to this novel in a New Yorker article a couple of weeks ago so I picked it up. I confess I don't get the excellence of this book, which was nominated for the National Book Award back in 1972.

Dick Gibson is the radio name of a radio personality whose life we follow from the 1930's into the late 60s or early 70s. Although we know a few of his other radio names we never learn his birth name. He starts out working on small radio stations in the mid west serving his self-termed apprenticeship. After serving a stint in the army during WWII he becomes a bigger name hosting a couple of late night talk shows; first a nightly panel and finally an all night call in show called Night Letters.

Dick Gibson is a funnel for story telling and personal histories. Through his listening to others' stories we get a broad slice of Americana in the early and mid twentieth century. We read about a nurse he hooks up with on a bus and lives with at a nursing facility for a few months. He has a fantastical stint on an island during the war where the Dodo bird is featured. He develops (he thinks) an enemy in one of his panelists - Behr-Bleibtreau who may or may not follow him on the radio for years. We learn of Arnold, a memory expert whose career falters when he becomes far-sighted and can only memorize mountains and curves on the Grand Canyon.

Through it all he discovers that "Radio has badly prepared him for his new life. He had never suspected the enormous chasm between the world of radio with the sane, middle-class ways of its supposed audience and the genuine article." (p 92)

I kept threatening to put it down and start something else but I found it just interesting enough to keep plugging through. There are enough clever events and people to keep it in my hands. He describes going to a town picnic with other members of the nursing facility: "I entered all the contests and potato-raced my heart out, finishing in the money. No mean feat, for a lot of these fellows had been born with only one leg and until you've potato-raced against a congenital one-legged man in a sack you haven't potato-raced." (P 69)

One of his callers has been abducted by aliens:
Herman Becendiest: "The Martians chose me. They come down to my field while I was plowin' and taken me aboard. Then, whoosh, up we went to Saturn. I'd say it taken 'bout half an hour. We didn't land. I ain't claimin' we ever landed. Not on Saturn proper we didn't. But we set down on one of the rings. The blue one. Yes sir.
Dick Gibson: Then how do you know they were from Mars?
Herman Becendienst: Well, I seen their license plates." (P 142)

This is fantastical satire; not realism. As I write the review I see it more clearly and with a more open mind then when I read it. It certainly received rave reviews when it was published. My reservations may very well stem from my expectations and frame of mind when reading (cooped up with a broken leg). As I read it I was rating from 1 to 3 stars; so take my 2 stars with a grain of salt and see if you might like it.
A series of interconnected vignettes about a radio announcer, his audience, and his broadcast. Most run the gamut to just plain stupid to so what? Some are gross. In the meantime, there is a vendetta that makes no sense and an ending that was phoned in. So, there are three possible ways this book was written:

1. Elkin was undergoing career rehab at a writing clinic. You know the kind--where the instructor says, "Give me 600 words on the last cave man to emerge from the neolithic era into our world" or, "I want 200 words on what happens when your brother steals your girl." Then you share with the rest of "the group" who act sympathetic and interested. You phone in the stuff hoping the next day's assignment will be better.

2. The book records the result of a party game. Each guest pulls a card from a stack. The card gives him or her the premise for a story--characters, context, situation. The guest must then spin out a story. While none of the guests is particularly talented, some are better than others. Sort of like pictionary without crayons.

3. Elkin needed to pay off a bar tab before a mob hit man broke his fingers, rendering him incapable of typing and thus ruining his career. It didn't matter what he wrote, just that he earn enough of an advance to keep the wolves at bay.
If you're an ultra radio head, this is the book for you. Starting with early days of radio, Elkin tells a bizarre tale of one of the weirder heroes in modern American literature. Lots of radio history mixed up with the cultural satire. The unifying theme is the one-host late-night radio call-in show. The sort will with us but now dominated almost entirely by rightwing ideologues funded by rightwing money.
Elkin is not an easy read, but he's funny, brilliant, dazzling and dizzying, the kind of writer that might emerge if Proust were cloned with I.B. Singer, or maybe Damon Runyon. This book shows him at the top of his game. His sheer energy and love of language blasts through on every page. Forget about plot. Elkin is to writing what Cirque du Soleil is to entertainment. If you like well-plotted books that will leave you with a moral or a memorable story, Elkin may not be for you. If you like language for language's sake and appreciate sentences sculpted by a lingual Michelangelo and marvelous displays of craft, try this book. Elkin is a limited writer and an acquired taste, but within his limitations he was the best. I know of no other writer who could, for example, write a novel about terminally ill children (The Magic Kingdom) and make it funny and moving without ever getting anywhere near sentimentality or the kind of somber earnestness you'd expect. If you like this book, try Magic Kingdom and also Criers and Kibbitzers, a short story collection of his.
A forgotten masterpiece -- at least in my literary circles.

I learned about this fine book by chance and was fascinated at how realistic it portrayed American radio personalities in the 1930s and 1940's. Close to stream of consciousness, but a triumph of writing.

Robert C. Ross
December 2015
Interesting insights into 1940s/50s talk radio. Issues like the advent of tape delay and the frustration of the tubes warming up before the program could be heard, and how it was solved by the instant on transistor radio. As a former radio announcer I can sense the sad and unfulfilled life of the itinerant radio announcer, moving from small town to small town, never the big time.
An astonishing trip through the forties, fifties and into the sixties with a quirky radio announcer. I had forgotten what it was like: music and talk all night, people calling in anonymously to tell about their problems and more!
David Letterman, meet your Godfather Dick Gibson.