Title: A Conversation with the Mann
Publisher: Warner Books June 2002
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by Author 0446528366 This hardcover book is Fine, being square and tight. The boards and spine have no wear with pristine lettering. The pages and endpages are clean, with no markings or folds. The dustjacket is As New. Original Price is intact. Not ex-lib. No remainder mark. This copy is signed by the Author on the title page without inscription. Bookseller Inventory # 007199
Synopsis: An evocative novel of an aspiring black comics rise to near-fame and fortune during the Rat Pack era, by the author of Everybody Smokes in Hell and Stray Dogs.What do you want?I want the Ed Sullivan Show.At the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, like a lot of black Americans, comedian Jackie Mann wanted to be somebody. And for him there was only one way to achieve that: to make it big. Make it, no matter the cost: friends, family, ones own self-esteem and self-respect. This is the story of a young mans journey from Harlem to stardom, a story of Hollywood royalty, New York glitterati, Vegas Mafiosi, Northern bigotry, and Southern racism. This is a story of love, honor, betrayal, and redemption; of fame bought and paid for by any means necessary. It is the story of one mans desire and an entire races demands, and the incredible moment when the two came together as one. This is the story of Jackie Mann.
Review: If the School of Hard Knocks has an arts program, Jackie Mann, the talented but unoriginal black comic at the center of John Ridley's fourth novel, A Conversation with the Mann, would have earned nothing but A's. A child of Harlem in the 1950s, whose loving mother died young and whose father was harsh and drug-addicted, Jackie's one ambition is to become famous--the only route, as he sees it, out of poverty and helplessness. He gets his break in after-hours performances at a run-down burlesque house in the Village, and, with the help of an equally run-down agent, eventually makes his way to the top of the marquee at the sparkling Copacabana Club. But no one, let alone a black man in 1950s America, rises that far without making enemies or dangerous friends. And Jackie eventually finds that what he has left behind may be more valuable than the fame he is so desperately seeking. As a former stand-up comedian, the author is able to add realistic details to this smooth and well-researched show-biz novel. --Regina Marler
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