At the annual convention of the American Booksellers Association Convention, everything goes wrong. Julia Child's cooking demonstration in the Random House aisle blows up and catches fire. A top New York editor catches a pie in the face. Invitations to the most exclusive publisher's party are stolen and all the wrong people show up. Worse, Heidi Yamada, the world-famous poet, is found dead, spread over the late Elvis Presley's king-sized bed. It's all caught on film by a busy photographer from Publishers Weekly, a woman soon kidnapped. When the Las Vegas Police shrug their shoulders, Guy Mallon, Heidi's first publisher (and a discarded lover) wonders what to do. Poor Guy. He's a bookman from Santa Barbara who, despite Ross Macdonald and Sue Grafton, never felt inspired to be a sleuth, but he feels he owes it to Heidi. Besides, catching her killer may be his only chance to leave Las Vegas alive.... The Poet's Funeral is a romp rich with poetry, publishing, book collecting, and literary gossip. Its cast ranges from smalltime players to the famous Rock Bottom Remainders. It's a story of ego, love, art, and murder during four hot days at the 1990 ABA.
Preface to the Trade Edition
What you have in your hands is the trade edition of The Poet's
Funeral. If you're looking for the Ongepotchket Press edition,
complete with pictures of the dead poet and all her friends,
and including a bunch of previously unpublished, posthumous
poems of obscure origin, let me know and I'll give you your
money back. This is the first and perhaps the only sincere tribute
to the poet Heidi Yamada.
Included are eulogies by several of Heidi Yamada's associates, people who knew her well, some even before she became a celebrity. I have annotated these testimonials with what I know about those speakers, and I have also tied the speeches together with the thread of what really happened during the last few days and evenings of Heidi's life.
Finally, I must say I take umbrage at John Daniel's statement that the characters in this book are fi ctitious. Believe him if you want to, but I'm telling you that ...
This delightfully sharp and sardonic send up of the book trade is a shoe-in for bibliophiles who are also aficionados of cozy mysteries.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (286 words).
The ABA Convention is now
known as BEA (Book Expo America). It's the
largest book show in the USA, with about
35,000 people attending each
year. Most are connected with
the book industry in some shape
or form, but it also attracts
many savvy members of the public as
The key attraction for many are the approximate 1,000 authors (many of whom are household names) who autograph their books at each BEA, often giving away free copies in the process.
In 2005, industry sources ...
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