From the author of Henry and Clara, a dazzling, hilarious novel that captures the heart and soul of New York in the Jazz Age.
Bandbox is a hugely successful magazine, a glamorous monthly cocktail of 1920s obsessions from the stock market to radio to gangland murder. Edited by the bombastic Jehoshaphat "Joe" Harris, the magazine has a masthead that includes, among many others, a grisly, alliterative crime writer; a shy but murderously determined copyboy; and a burned-out vaudeville correspondent who's lovesick for his loyal, dewy assistant.
As the novel opens, the defection of Harris's most ambitious protégé has plunged Bandbox into a death struggle with a new competitor on the newsstand. But there's more to come: a sabotaged fiction contest, the NYPD vice squad, a subscriber's kidnapping, and a film-actress cover subject who makes the heroines of Fosse's Chicago look like the girls next door. While Harris and his magazine careen from comic crisis to make-or-break calamity, the novel races from skyscraper to speakeasy, hops a luxury train to Hollywood, and crashes a buttoned-down dinner with Calvin Coolidge.
Thomas Mallon has given us a madcap and poignant book that brilliantly portrays the gaudiest American decade of them all.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Mallon is, to steal one of the many effervescently clever phrases tossed about by his irresistible Jazz Age characters in his delicious sixth novel, absotively posilutely a pleasure to read....Strongly plotted and laced with witty wordplay and covert social critique, this tale of ambition, betrayal, and love is pure joy.
A new, gleeful exuberance infuses Mallon's latest novel, in which he turns his talent for fastidious historical detail (Dewey Defeats Truman, etc.) to the elaboration of a comedy of errors set in Manhattan during the 1920s.....Mallon has never before employed his wit and humor to such good effect; he writes with comic brio, indulging in clever repartee and nimble farce.
Bandbox pulses with a comic energy and detail reminiscent of T.C. Boyle at his most entertainingly manic it's a wonderful ride, and a quantum leap beyond Mallon's earlier fiction. Ragtime in double-time.
It's 1922 and Martin Finch is on the case of a lifetimeto determine whether a beautiful Philadelphia socialite is able to contact the spirit realm. He is prepared to debunk a fraud but instead the man of science falls in love with the medium in this debut historical thriller.
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