Famous After Death

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Jun 17, 2000 - Fiction - 224 pages
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A brilliant and wickedly comic novel about fame and its discontents, now available in paperback with a provocative essay by the author.

Noel Hammersmith has two dreams: to bring his weight down to a slim 138 pounds and to be famous. Despite being a diet book editor and exercising regularly, he can't lose a pound, and his hilarious timidity insures that he has a hard time getting attention at all, let alone fame.

To express his growing frustration, Noel begins to write angry letters-to Brooks Brothers when they discontinue his favorite shirt, and to Golden Rule Vitamins, who makes fake promises of easy weight loss. Coincidentally, bombs start exploding after each of his letters, the most notorious leaving a seven-year-old chess prodigy dead. When one of Noel's authors, "Che Guevera," claims to know where the mysterious bomber will strike next, Noel's world gets turned upside down...until a series of riotous and unexpected twists helps Noel attain his dreams, but at a strange price.

Expertly skewering the cult of celebrity, this darkly comic satire is even more true-to-life than we might like.

 

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FAMOUS AFTER DEATH

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

John Cheever's son (The Partisan, 1994, etc.) follows in the footsteps, if not quite in the spirit, of his father in this witty send-up of politics, publishing, and crime—and of the synergy they ... Read full review

Famous after death: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

How did Noel Hammersmith, a pudgy, underappreciated diet book editor, become the Wordsworth Bomber? Noel is a compulsive runner and a compulsive eater. His life is so boring that he can't recall ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

MURDERERS ARE OAFS
9
SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH
14
THE BOY SAINT
19
ADAPT OR DIE
25
WHAT THOSE PEOPLE DID FOR GOD
29
WHAT A CUNT
37
FUR COAT FOR DOLL NOT INCLUDED
41
ARE YOU A COP?
50
A COBRA IN THE SUPPLY CLOSET
124
THE LAW OP CONTRARY
127
SOMEBODY ELSES HALLWAYS
130
TANT MIEUX
132
ARE YOU ASKING ME TO LIE?
136
I BELIEVE I N HEROES
140
KILLED BY ROCKS
147
SKIP DESSERT
151

THE SON OF MAN
55
CREATE A DOCUMENT
63
MEANINGFUL CHANGE
69
FOR WHOMSOEVER BEATH ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
75
GOOD BUSINESS
81
PUSSY LITE
92
THE SLIGHTLY WHITE PAPERS
95
KNOWING IS FOR GOD
101
HOMEWARD BOUND
108
THE HAIR STAYED
114
PUTTING ON AIRS
117
LIT THE BOY FIGURE IT OUT FOR HIMSELF
120
A TRAITOR TO MY SEX
153
THE JAVA IS A SACRAMENT
158
A TV CREW
160
THEY ARENT SHIITES
163
CATCHING UP OH MY READING
168
OUR HERO HE SAID
172
A CRY FOR CIVILITY
189
PRIZE PIG
198
MANY MANY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN
202
I WAS RIGHT
209
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About the author (2000)

A former editor at Reader's Digest, Benjamin Cheever is the author of the acclaimed novels, The Plagiarist and The Partisan, and the editor of The Letters of John Cheever. He lives in Pleasantville, New York.

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