Golk

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 31, 1987 - Fiction - 207 pages
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In midcentury America, the golden age of television, a man named Golk is wreaking havoc with the medium. Through a devastating series of exposures—"You're on Camera"—Golk manipulates the high and mighty, the lowdown and dirty, and the outrageous weird; all are within the compass of Richard Stern in this early novel, a comedy with as many inspired maneuvers as its rambunctious protagonist has for taking the measure of a profligate world.

"Golk is a rich and marvelously detailed novel by a man with a cultivated intelligence; it is also the first really good book I have read about television."—Norman Mailer

"An original: sharp, funny, intelligent, rare. . . . Working in a clean, oblique style reminiscent of Nathanael West, Mr. Stern has written in Golk a first-rate comic novel, a piece of fiction that is at once about and loaded with that kind of recognition that junkies call the flash."—Joan Didion, National Review

"Golk is fantastic, funny, bitter, intelligent without weariness. Best of all Golk is pure—that is to say necessary. Without hokum."—Saul Bellow

"Golk (like Golk himself) is a wonderous conception. Its world responds to personification, not analysis, and personify it Mr. Stern has done. A book in a thousand."—Hugh Kenner

"What I like about Mr. Stern's fantasy is that it has been conceived and written with so much gaiety. Far from a political melodrama, it reminds me of a René Clair movie, and even the surrealist touches needed to bring out the power and pretense of the television industry are funny rather than symbolically grim."—Alfred Kazin, Reporter

"A mighty good book, altogether alive, full of beans and none of them spilled."—Flannery O'Connor
 

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Contents

FOREWORD
vii
CHAPTER ONE
7
CHAPTER TWO
29
CHAPTER THREE
68
CHAPTER FOUR
88
CHAPTER FIVE
116
CHAPTER SIX
142
CHAPTER SEVEN
184
CHAPTER EIGHT
192
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About the author (1987)

Richard Stern, professor of English at the University of Chicago, is the author of many works of fiction, including Other Men's Daughters, Natural Shocks, and the recent, much-acclaimed A Father's Words.

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