Summary and book reviews of The Poet's Funeral by John Daniel

The Poet's Funeral

by John M. Daniel

The Poet's Funeral
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 257 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 257 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A romp rich with poetry, publishing, book collecting, and literary gossip. A story of ego, love, art, and murder during four hot days at the 1990 ABA.

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Press edition, complete with pictures of the dead poet and all her friends, and including a bunch of previously unpublished, posthumous poems of obscure origin, let me know and I'll give you your money back.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 ...

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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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 Members Only (99 words).

Media Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Dick Adler

Daniel knows how to take the shenanigans of a book convention and turn one of those basically dreary (and often depressing) occasions into a bright, funny, brain-twisting mystery.

Booklist - Jenny McLarin

Daniel ladles plenty of tasty publishing tidbits into his narrative stew but never at the expense of the suspenseful plot. An affectionate look at the publishing industry from one who clearly knows that world.

Kirkus Reviews

Nonstop wisecracks and an amiable tweaking of the publishing world add up to a highly entertaining debut, mystery aside-which, for the most part, it is.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Daniel turns the 1990 Las Vegas ABA convention (now known as BEA) into a murder site in this delicious sendup of the book trade....Daniel's sharp, sardonic wit and insider's view of book industry foibles are sure to make this bibliomystery a hit.

Reader Reviews

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!

Beyond the Book

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 well.  

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 ...

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Poet's Funeral, try these:

  • Murder at the 42nd Street Library jacket

    Murder at the 42nd Street Library

    by Con Lehane

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Murder at the 42nd Street Library opens with a murder in a second floor office of the iconic, beaux-arts flagship of the New York Public Library. Ray Ambler, the curator of the library's crime fiction collection, joins forces with NYPD homicide detective Mike Cosgrove in hopes of bringing a murderer to justice.

  • Gentlemen and Players jacket

    Gentlemen and Players

    by Joanne Harris

    Published 2007

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A murder-mystery set in an exclusive English boarding school, where somebody's dark past may lead to the school's destruction.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

The silence between the notes is as important as the notes themselves.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.