Fiction Thomas Berger Who is Teddy Villanova?

ISBN 13: 9780440095460

Who is Teddy Villanova?

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9780440095460: Who is Teddy Villanova?

In Who Is Teddy Villanova? Mr. Berger turns for the first time to the private-eye thriller, which, as practiced by the masters Hammett, Chandler, and Ross Macdonald, was for many years his voracious addiction as reader. The seedy office; the down-at-heel shamus; the procession of sinister, chicane, or merely brutal men and scheming, vicious, but lovely women; the sequence of savage beatings, apparently unmotivated except by the typically human urge to bring pain; and especially the Byzantine plot, trying to unravel which (at any time before the magical denouement) would be as if to attack the Kremlin cipher with a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring-all these, and more, are in Who Is Teddy Villanova? The cast of characters would seem taken from the roster of known sex offenders maintained by the police of every major American city-the giant sadist Gus Bakewell; Donald Washburn II, perhaps the scion of a wealthy family, certainly an exhibitionist; quaint slumlord Sam Polidor; sleek, blonde Natalie Novotny, surely more than the airline stewardess she pretends to be; pneumatic Peggy Tumulty, who hails from Queens; Russel Wren, reluctant hero and garrulous narrator of the tale (in a rococo style reminiscent by turns of Thomas DeQuincey, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Sir Thomas Malory, but nothing like that of Thomas Berger's previous work); a covey of depraved school girls; and a styful of undercover cops, to name only some of the principals. But over them all falls the evil shadow of the elusive Teddy Villanova, master criminal, underwear fetishist, archenemy of social meliorism, and, though presumably a foreigner, a habitue of a diseased Manhattan that Mr. Berger (who felt thoroughly at home there) drew from the living model before rusticating himself on an island in Maine.

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Berger, Thomas
Published by Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawren (1977)
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