Excerpt from Bandbox by Thomas Mallon, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bandbox

by Thomas Mallon

Bandbox
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2004, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


It all made Harris dizzy. From his long-ago days on the Newburgh Messenger until this past fall, when Oldcastle had moved the company a few blocks up from its old quarters and into the gleaming new Graybar, Harris had always climbed a single flight of stairs to reach his job. Now every morning and evening his stomach endured the fast jumps and drops of the Graybar's elevator, the trip made worse if he happened to be sharing the car with Jimmy Gordon, who'd be on his way to and from the Graybar's fanciest floor—reserved by Condé Nast even before the building went up, thus exciting Oldcastle's competitive relocation.

Harris took a gulp of the countess's hooch and opened up the Evening Graphic to a cartoon panel above the "Aviation News" column, a few square inches he liked to settle into for a moment or two each evening as the clouds began turning pink outside his skyscraping aerie. Tonight—January 13, 1928—"New York's Gas Lit Life" featured the sketch of a buxom "stagestruck damsel," a young Lillian Russell type, auditioning for a well-fed theatrical manager. Little more than her parasol and bloomers shielded her ample virtues.

Harris sighed, recalling the days of his youth, the long-ago eighties and nineties, an era before big trenchermen had ever heard of exercise and before bosoms had deflated to the pitiful boyish protuberances on modern girls like Hazel Snow. He closed his eyes and, for a few seconds, took himself back to summer nights alive with the tootlings of oompah bands instead of the discordant, mystifying notes of jazz; to the orating politician's thrilling cry for free silver instead of Everyman's current pursuit of ubiquitous easy money.

Harris was sixty years old and, in truth, as much a throwback to the age of McKinley as the old Bandbox had been. But in order to sustain his reanimating magic, he had to keep current with all the flat chests and blues singers and tennis champions driving this frantic new age into which he'd outlived himself. If only he could bring himself to leave the game, gracefully conclude his career by editing Knife and Fork, Oldcastle's food magazine, for a couple of years. All he'd have to do for each month's cover was find a good-looking pork chop or strawberry cake, neither of which, unlike Waldo Lindstrom, would have a cocaine habit.

Excerpted from Bandbox by Thomas Mallon Copyright© 2004 by Thomas Mallon. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: My Name Is Leon
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.