John Welter Begin to Exit Here

ISBN 13: 9780425162620

Begin to Exit Here

3.8 avg rating
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9780425162620: Begin to Exit Here

Kurt Clausen has worked as a salad girl, a porn salesman, and - prehaps most reluctantly - a journalist. In this "terminally irreverent" ( "Richmond News-Leader" ) novel, he finds himself taking on everyone from his editor and his girlfriend to the fundamentalists and vegetarians covered on his beat - and along the way, learns some surprising (and hilarious) lessons about life, love, and the press. Welter's "I Want to Buy a Vowel," also a Berkley Signature Edition, was named one of "Booklist's" Best Books of 1996. Great reviews in the Berkley Signature Edition tradition. The author has been compared to everyone from John Irving to Jonathan Swift, Frank Capra to Carl Hiaasen, John Kennedy Toole to Dave Barry.

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About the Author:

John Welter began his writing career as a newspaper copy boy, buying cigarettes for the city editor. Since then he has worked as a reporter at newspapers in the Midwest and the South and published humor sketches in The Atlantic. His first book, Begin to Exit Here: A Novel of the Wayward Press, was widely praised and selected by Library Journal as a "Word of Mouth" recommendation for 1991. He lives in North Carolina, where he writes a humor column for The Chapel Hill Herald and is a manager for a mail-order company. He has never been a Secret Service agent, but sometimes wears dark glasses.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Humorist Welter's laugh-out-loud first novel looks at the pain of life and the absurdity of journalism through the eyes of a (chronologically) grown-up Holden Caulfield. Kurt Clausen gets by in North Carolina on one-liners and routines; in his company, other people join in the irreverent, wacky mood, but the offbeat humor that makes him initially attractive to women and editors soon palls: Kurt keeps getting fired, and women keep leaving him. He's a vulnerable, brokenhearted, unemployed journalist who's recently acknowledged his alcoholism when he meets Janice. Soon he's deeply in love and in a new job, taking a blithely unconventional approach to the news stories that come his way: a KKK march, a gay police-chief, a kindergarten teacher accused of making a violent threat. Behind the upbeat account of a bright romance and the often hilariously on- target gibes at journalistic practice, it's clear that Kurt is headed for trouble again: he rattles on with goofy humor even when Janice is trying to articulate her confusion about life; his reporting begins to border on the glib and callous. What has seemed like Kurt's poignant and legitimate protest against contemporary values begins to look like the sneering of a troubled outsider, oblivious to the way he reduces all concerns to an amusing game for himself. Welter admirably balances humor with serious feeling, while Kurt--who sees both clearly and not at all--is maddening, lovable, and possibly capable of change. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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John Welter
Published by Berkley (1998)
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