14.17 Bill Scheft The Ringer: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060512583

The Ringer: A Novel

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9780060512583: The Ringer: A Novel

Morton Martin Spell -- a once-brilliant, now-infirm seventy-five-year-old writer -- is sliding into delirium. He thinks Mount Sinai Hospital is an exclusive golf course and his catheter is a gym bag. His only link to reality is his thirty-five-year-old nephew, who makes his living as a hired gun for thirteen softball teams and still goes by the name College Boy.

But College Boy's body has begun to betray him -- almost as much as his lack of ambition. (His only legitimate paycheck comes from a gig as a laugher on a morning radio show.) Not only that, the Dirt King, a small-time gangster who controls all the replacement soil in Central Park, is after College Boy. As their lives collide, College Boy takes refuge in the arms of Sheila -- his uncle's cleaning woman and a part-time call girl.

And then it gets weird.

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About the Author:

Bill Scheft is the author of The Ringer and The Best of the Show: A Classic Collection of Wit and Wisdom. He spent eleven years as head monologue writer for David Letterman. He lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

There is rarely even a snicker is this supposedly comic first novel by a monologue writer for David Letterman. And therein lies the problem: stand-up comedy material can sound good when delivered by a professional, while that same material on the page of a novel will appear forced and lifeless. Harvey "College Boy" Sussman is the ringer of the title; he is a 35-year-old goof who gets paid to play softball for a dozen or so teams in and around New York City. As College Boy's athletic prowess diminishes and his fondness for prescription drugs increases, he has no clue what he will do after softball, though he also has a gig as a professional laugher on a call-in radio show. Morton Martin Spell is his uncle, a long-retired magazine writer who, as the story opens, is rushed to the hospital suffering the effects of a long relationship with vodka and Valium. There is something smarmy about the narration of the irrational ramblings of this old man zonked out on drugs (and as if that isn't enough, he is saddled with prostate problems, Parkinson's disease and serious overmedication by incompetent doctors), which take up most of the novel and are decidedly not funny. Scheft also introduces a whore with a heart of gold; a petty gangster, the Dirt King, who controls all dirt movement in Central Park; and a loud, obnoxious radio talk-show host. These New York extras are well conceived, but even they can't keep Scheft's tale from falling flat.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Harper Paperbacks, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 200 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Morton Martin Spell -- a once-brilliant, now-infirm seventy-five-year-old writer -- is sliding into delirium. He thinks Mount Sinai Hospital is an exclusive golf course and his catheter is a gym bag. His only link to reality is his thirty-five-year-old nephew, who makes his living as a hired gun for thirteen softball teams and still goes by the name College Boy. But College Boy s body has begun to betray him -- almost as much as his lack of ambition. (His only legitimate paycheck comes from a gig as a laugher on a morning radio show.) Not only that, the Dirt King, a small-time gangster who controls all the replacement soil in Central Park, is after College Boy. As their lives collide, College Boy takes refuge in the arms of Sheila -- his uncle s cleaning woman and a part-time call girl. And then it gets weird. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060512583

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Book Description Harper Paperbacks, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 200 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Morton Martin Spell -- a once-brilliant, now-infirm seventy-five-year-old writer -- is sliding into delirium. He thinks Mount Sinai Hospital is an exclusive golf course and his catheter is a gym bag. His only link to reality is his thirty-five-year-old nephew, who makes his living as a hired gun for thirteen softball teams and still goes by the name College Boy. But College Boy s body has begun to betray him -- almost as much as his lack of ambition. (His only legitimate paycheck comes from a gig as a laugher on a morning radio show.) Not only that, the Dirt King, a small-time gangster who controls all the replacement soil in Central Park, is after College Boy. As their lives collide, College Boy takes refuge in the arms of Sheila -- his uncle s cleaning woman and a part-time call girl. And then it gets weird. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060512583

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