Gefilte Fish in the House of Bedlam

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9780615224800: Gefilte Fish in the House of Bedlam
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Synopsis: Gefilte Fish in the House of Bedlam is a collection of eleven short stories harnessed together with pearls of pathos and dementia by modern-day poet-putz Larry Baumhor. Baumhor himself is the protagonist of all the stories, which blur art and reality in a manner not unlike the work of the late comedian Andy Kaufman. In the belly of each story is an unveiling of emotions and humor, suffering and pleasure, desperation and satire, but foremost, a connection to the human experience. Titles of Short Stories: 1. Looking for Mr. Salinger: A desperate comedic search for recluse and literary icon J.D. Salinger. 2. The House of Bedlam: Three weeks in a mental hospital unravels institutional scams, and the chief psychiatrist's mental illness. 3. Livin and Lovin in a Reverie: Larry becomes a character in the movie The Visitor, falling in love with Mouna, (Hiam Abbass). 4. Pick Your Nose in New York: Larry was thrown out of a cab in New York for picking his nose. 5. The Bizzaro World: Larry enters a topsy-turvy world where the opposite appears to be good, sardonically justifying President Bush as the leader of our Bizzaro World. He is thrown out of a New York deli for eating a corned beef sandwich while buying photos, dines with a toy fox terrier, and breathes in clouds of secondhand smoke in a No Smoking section. 6. Our Western World: A stream-of-consciousness satirical rant about the ills of Western society. 7. Poems for Strippers: Writing poems to a stripper in exchange for a couch dance. 8. Children of Baseball: Larry coaches Little League baseball while playing Lombardi-type football. 9. Gefilte Fish: Passover dinner with a psychologically disturbed family and a grandmother who served gefilte fish as she wore her brassiere with a Viceroy cigarette dangling from her lips. 10. Your Disco Buddy: In 1977 Larry was a disco dancer. He decided to contact his disco buddy after thirty years of not talking to her. 11. So Your Kid Wants to be a Sportscaster: Larry mailed 497 resume packages for his son to obtain a job as a sportscaster, with harsh and comical results.

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About the Author:

Biography: Larry Baumhor's eleven short stories are a labor of love that began twenty-one years ago when he penned his first story. He fell in love with writing, and continued to pursue his dream of being published. He has written novels, a nonfiction manuscript, articles, letters, poems, and short stories. He began to accumulate rejections, but continued to pursue his dream. As Larry's life twisted and turned, his writing followed this journey, observing and documenting the disturbances, nuances, epiphanies, and fantasies that were exclusively his. He accumulated more rejections and then gave birth to Gefilte Fish in the House of Bedlam. Baumhor's next book, SexPsyche, is a novel about a manic-depressive multimillionaire lawyer, who leaves his wife for a stripper. SexPsyche will be published in February, 2009.

Review:

No one sees the universe like Larry Baumhor. His perspective on life, love, living, and the burdens of being a modern-day poet-putz is as refreshing as a firm slap to the punim. He sees things through a chaotic miasma of pain that we only dream about in our most hideous bed-sweaty nightmares that we can't wake up from. Bravo, Larry! Better you than us! ---------Steve Bannos --Steve Bannos

Looking for Mr. Salinger is a comedic inside look into a desperate man's search for justification in the sometimes cruel and selective world of publishing. ---------Kathryn Mackie---- Baumhor's exceptional combination of pathos and dementia are harnessed together to create a kind of salmagundi for today's troubled world. ---------Janet West --Kathryn Mackie, Janet West

Baumhor reveals himself as one of his best characters, to whom we feel quite close, as he has the capacity to evoke our empathy each time he says and writes 'I.' It's definitely a literature which has to do with Jewish-American writers at their very best, where intimate things are mixed with sudden reflections on the tragedy and the beauty of life. ---------Pierre Moreau-Peron---- Looking for Mr. Salinger is the piece de resistance. I could not read it fast enough. I felt like I was there witnessing Baumhor's attempt, desperate but sincere, to find J.D. It was exciting and believable, compelling and poignant. I did not want this story to end. ---------Jackie Woods---- Gefilte Fish gives its readers a keen sense of the humor and sadness that make up many families struggling to connect with one another year after year. Baumhor's recollection of Passover dinners evoked memories of my own childhood experiences. --------Arlene Pollack --Pierre Moreau-Peron, Jackie Woods, Arlene Pollack

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