When legendary Hollywood and Broadway press agent, Geoffrey Putnam dies unexpectedly, his lawyers inform C. R. Holloway that Putnam has bequeathed his notes for a tell-all memoir, with the implication that Holloway should get it published. Surprised and flattered, Holloway soon realizes Putnam's 21 legal-sized pads, though wildly bizarre and outrageously funny, are a veritable snake-pit of slander and rife for libel suits. Privately, Putnam referred to his favorite clients as his 'BCs' and left his listeners to figure out the meaning of that titillating acronym. Holloway's dilemma: How to fulfill Putnam's final wishes and not get sued?
For more than a decade, Holloway slaved over the hand-written pages and marginalia, endeavoring to hone down the hyperbole, parse the prurient and decipher the significance of 'BCs'. The breakthrough came when Holloway leased a second home in New Orleans' storied Pontalba Apartments and began to assimilate that city's laissez-faire attitude and exultation in the unorthodox. "Get out of the way," it seemed to whisper. "Leave your small-town judgments back in New Jersey." On heeding The Big Easy's siren-call, the book finally took shape and with it, the meaning of 'BC' came into full focus.
The result is Wretched Excess, nine loosely related short-stories, sure to enrage the aggressively pious, raise the bar on Schadenfreude and delight all who take pleasure in harpooning the hypocritical.
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December 08, 2009
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