Between the Bridge and the River: A Novel

Between the Bridge and the River: A Novel

3.8 93
by Craig Ferguson
     
 

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Bawdy, joyous, messy, hysterically funny, and guaranteed to offendregardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or professionBetween the Bridge and the River is the debut novel by Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's The Late Late Show. Two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the American South sufferSee more details below

Overview

Bawdy, joyous, messy, hysterically funny, and guaranteed to offendregardless of religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation, or professionBetween the Bridge and the River is the debut novel by Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's The Late Late Show. Two childhood friends from Scotland and two illegitimate half-brothers from the American South suffer and enjoy all manner of bizarre experiences which, as it turns out, are somehow interconnectedand, surprisingly enough, meaningful. An eclectic cast of characters includes Carl Jung, Fatty Arbuckle, Virgil, Marat, Socrates, and Tony Randall. Love, greed, hope, revenge, organized religion, and Hollywood are alternately tickled and throttled. Impossible to summarize and impossible to stop reading, this is a romantic comic odyssey that actually delivers—and rewards.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A gallery of grotesques slogs through the sewers of the entertainment industry toward redemption in this exhilarating debut novel from the host of The Late Late Show. Leading the pack are Fraser, a Scottish "phony TV evangelist... drunken, selfish media prick... gossip and sot" who has been disgraced in a sex scandal; his cancer-stricken boyhood pal, George; vapid sit-com star Leon; and Leon's 300-pound, sexually perverted Svengali brother, Saul. They make their separate but linked ways through a world populated by snake handlers, serial killers, dead-eyed whores and hack studio executives pushing formulaic action films, while they take hallucinatory side trips. The sprawling tale, with plenty of Scottish backstory, casts a jaundiced eye on media debaucheries and petty vanities, throwing in miscellaneous riffs on everything from Starbuck's to escort ads, but Ferguson is particularly sharp-and funny-on Hollywood proper. For every satire of organized religion or a Vegas that's "as glitzy as a trailer park at Christmas," however, he delivers an injunction to "help others" or an ode to Paris in springtime that somehow sounds fresh. The result is a tour de force of cynical humor and poignant reverie, a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by way of the profane. (Apr. 10) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the American South, twins Saul and Leon are born, Leon blessed with a voice that entices alligators from the swamp. Meanwhile, in Scotland, George learns he has cancer and sets off to commit a protracted suicide. Then there's Fraser, a British televangelist revealed as a sex pervert, who escapes to a new life in the United States. And so it goes. These stories are picked up and dropped with the rapidity of a tennis ball in lively play, serving as a platform for launching pithy and whimsical satirical volleys at religion, the entertainment industry, and things in general. The U.S. mantra is "Sanitized for your convenience," covering everything from Playboy photos to Hooters, hookers, and toilet seats. There is an ugly British composer by the name of Anthony Boyd-Webster who caters to bourgeois tastes (any similarity to an actual composer is surely accidental). As host of CBS's The Late Late Show, Ferguson knows how to keep people awake, and he does just that with his lively first novel. Name recognition, plus jacket quotes from Mitch Albom and Lawrence Block, should ensure this one gets noticed. For all larger public libraries.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ferguson (host of CBS's The Late Late Show) takes us on a wild ride in his scintillating debut, a combination caper/morality tale with the barbed comic energy of a Carl Hiaasen novel. We begin in the author's native Scotland. Fraser and George are teenaged buddies, fishing in a canal, when George saves Fraser from the local bully. Fast-forward some 20 years. George is a criminal-defense lawyer with a wife (unloved) and a daughter (adored); he has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Without telling his family, he splits for London, contemplating suicide. Fraser, more of a reprobate, is a cynical evangelist on Scottish television who cannot keep his hands off the ladies. A sex scandal ends his gig at the same time he's invited to a convention of Christian broadcasters in the States. The invitation comes from Ferguson's two other leads, Leon and Saul, offspring of the same mother but different fathers (Sinatra and Peter Lawford, respectively). The well-hung Leon has his father's great voice; fat, physically repellent Saul has the brains, recognizing Leon as his meal ticket. After escaping the orphanage, they wind up in backwoods Florida, adopted by snake-handling Pentecostalists. Ferguson deftly juggles his three storylines. George, postponing suicide, travels to Paris and falls in love with gorgeous Claudette, the ultimate femme fatale (her six Great Loves have all died); she will help him find his "inner Frenchman." The hard-drinking, whoring Fraser will be mugged in Miami and have a near-death experience. Leon and Saul will make a bundle in Hollywood (Ferguson looks balefully at its shark-infested waters) before scoring big on the religious circuit. There will be happy endingsfor everybody except the hateful, manipulative Saul. Profane on its surface, ethical at its core and always fun, this debut marks the arrival of an important comic talent.
From the Publisher
A gallery of grotesques slogs through the sewers of the entertainment industry toward redemption in this exhilarating debut novel from the host of The Late Late Show. Leading the pack are Fraser, a Scottish "phony TV evangelist... drunken, selfish media prick... gossip and sot" who has been disgraced in a sex scandal; his cancer-stricken boyhood pal, George; vapid sit-com star Leon; and Leon's 300-pound, sexually perverted Svengali brother, Saul. They make their separate but linked ways through a world populated by snake handlers, serial killers, dead-eyed whores and hack studio executives pushing formulaic action films, while they take hallucinatory side trips. The sprawling tale, with plenty of Scottish backstory, casts a jaundiced eye on media debaucheries and petty vanities, throwing in miscellaneous riffs on everything from Starbuck's to escort ads, but Ferguson is particularly sharp-and funny-on Hollywood proper. For every satire of organized religion or a Vegas that's "as glitzy as a trailer park at Christmas," however, he delivers an injunction to "help others" or an ode to Paris in springtime that somehow sounds fresh. The result is a tour de force of cynical humor and poignant reverie, a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by way of the profane. Publishers Weekly, starred review

Ferguson (host of CBS's The Late Late Show) takes us on a wild ride in his scintillating debut, a combination caper/morality tale with the barbed comic energy of a Carl Hiaasen novel.

We begin in the author's native Scotland. Fraser and George are teenaged buddies, fishing in a canal, when George saves Fraser from the local bully. Fast-forward some 20 years. George is a criminal defense lawyer with a wife (unloved) and a daughter (adored); he has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Without telling his family, he splits for London, contemplating suicide. Fraser, more of a reprobate, is a cynical evangelist on Scottish television who cannot keep his hands off the ladies. A sex scandal ends his gig at the same time he's invited to a convention of Christian broadcasters in the States. The invitation comes from Ferguson's two other leads, Leon and Saul, offspring of the same mother but different fathers (Sinatra and Peter Lawford, respectively). The well-hung Leon has his father's great voice; fat, physically repellent Saul has the brains, recognizing Leon as his meal ticket. After escaping from the orphanage, they wind up in backwoods Florida, adopted by snake-handling Pentecostalists. Ferguson deftly juggles his three storylines. George, postponing suicide, travels to Paris and falls in love with gorgeous Claudette, the ultimate femme fatale (her six Great Loves have all died); she will help him find his "inner Frenchman." The hard-drinking, whoring Fraser will be mugged in Miami and have a near-death experience. Leon and Saul will make a bundle in Hollywood (Ferguson looks balefully at its shark-infested waters) before scoring big on the religious circuit. There will be happy endings for everybody except the hateful, manipulative Saul.

Profane on its surface, ethical at its core and always fun, this debut marks the arrival of an important comic talent. Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Happily going along for the ride

There's a good chance that after reading Craig Ferguson's impressive debut novel you'll want to tune in to CBS' "The Late Late Show" simply out of curiosity. It isn't often that one comes across a talk show host who can hold his own as a literary storyteller.

Imagine Johnny Carson crossed with Kurt Vonnegut. Although that analogy isn't perfectly accurate, it is the kind of colorful merger that would be right at home in the pages of Ferguson's colorful chronicle, "Between the Bridge and the River."

The story of four (ultimately interconnected) characters and their life journeys begins simply enough. Two 13-year-old boys, George and

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811873031
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
07/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
200,760
File size:
6 MB

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