The Devil and Daniel Silverman [NOOK Book]


Silverman is a gay Jewish writer from San Francisco, so broke he takes a speaking gig in a Fundamentalist college in northern Minnesota. He plans to take the money and run...until he's trapped by a blizzard and forced to defend all he believes in--sexual equality, human rights, cocktails, inter-marriage, fellatio, coffee--to evangelical Christian academics preparing for the apocalypse.
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The Devil and Daniel Silverman

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Silverman is a gay Jewish writer from San Francisco, so broke he takes a speaking gig in a Fundamentalist college in northern Minnesota. He plans to take the money and run...until he's trapped by a blizzard and forced to defend all he believes in--sexual equality, human rights, cocktails, inter-marriage, fellatio, coffee--to evangelical Christian academics preparing for the apocalypse.
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Editorial Reviews

Kevin Greenberg
Roszak has already demonstrated his remarkable scope, moving easily between the bestselling social history The Making of a Counter Culture and graceful novels such as Flicker and The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein. His latest novel is a very funny satire with wisdom at its heart. Danny Silverman was once a promising fiction writer. His first book rose as high as No. 10 on the New York Times bestseller list, but he has since ebbed into middle-aged mediocrity. Then one day he receives a tantalizing offer: a tidy sum for a single speaking engagement at a Minnesota bible college, whose simple name does little to reflect the fundamentalist dogma of its administrators, the Free Reformed Evangelical Brethren in Christ. Danny is Jewish, and gay, but it's hard to walk away from the money. So he flies to Minnesota, where he's promptly trapped by a snowfall that leaves him at the mercy of the college's bible-thumping faculty, who force him during the course of his interment to defend his humanist position on everything from the Holocaust to dancing and drinking. Roszak has a delightful ear for dialogue, which he employs to great effect. It's fun to watch Silverman's politesse dissolve into sarcasm, then acrid disbelief, when confronted with his conservative captors.
Publishers Weekly
This story of a gay Jewish novelist's trip from San Francisco to a small religious college in the Midwest is an uneven, fitfully entertaining satire. Roszak, a social historian (The Making of a Counter Culture) and novelist (Flicker), begins with some witty jabs at the publishing industry. Daniel Silverman is a writer whose last success was nearly 20 years ago, when Analyzing Anna ("solid middle-brow exercises in mordant but good-humored social satire") spent one week at number 10 on the New York Times bestseller list. Now his job teaching university extension courses isn't paying the bills, and his agent has long since dumped him. When Minnesota's Faith College invites him to speak on humanism, he can hardly refuse-they're offering $12,000. When he arrives, he finds that the faculty members believe, among other things, that homosexuals are unclean and humanists are going to hell. To make matters worse, he is trapped by a ferocious blizzard for several days. At this point, the book becomes bogged down in broad, predictable sendups of the American religious right. Silverman has heated arguments with his bigoted hosts, who talk about "the nearly monopolistic influence your people hold over the mass media" and insist that evidence for the Holocaust is "exaggerated." Roszak does some damage control by turning to farce, as a liquor-soaked Silverman begins to suspect that his hosts are planning to kill him before the end of the storm. But the novel's intermittent pleasures are weighed down by the clumsy social critique. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Things would be better for Daniel Silverman, a gay, Jewish, middle-aged novelist, if his books would sell more and his partner Marty's TV series hadn't been canceled. They are scraping the bottom of the financial barrel when Danny is offered $12,000 for one speech. As he must make this speech in Minnesota at a Christian school over New Year's, he is reluctant. However, a combination of flattery, first-class travel, and Marty's dental bills impel Danny to accept. On arrival, he finds himself with four lone allies: the head of the college and the three students who invited him to be the first speaker of the Religious Humanism program. Everyone else is hostile-especially upon discovering that Danny is gay. When he finishes his speech, which involves outing himself and defending the existence of the Holocaust, he finds that he and the faculty have been snowed in and that everyone must deal with one another. During this time, Danny confronts many issues concerning his childhood, his personal views on God and religion, his role and identity as a gay man, and, of course, his position as a writer and educator. A two-time National Book Award nominee, Roszak (history, California State Univ., Hayward) presents a story that one wishes were parody-but it isn't. This important work is highly recommended for all public libraries.-T.R. Salvadori, Margaret Heggan Free P.L., Hurffville, NJ Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sinclair Lewis might have liked this ebullient lampoon, whose targets include writers' frail egos and crowded psyches, the publishing industry's deranged priorities, and the nuts and bolts (especially the nuts) of religious fundamentalism. Social critic Roszak (The Gendered Atom, 1999, etc.), whose unconventional fiction includes Flicker (1991) and The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein (1995), treats himself and us to a deliciously promising premise: gay San Francisco novelist Danny Silverman's trip to North Fork, Minnesota, to lecture (as a visiting "Jewish Humanist") at conservative Faith College, run by the Free Reformed Evangelical Brethren in Christ. Ignoring the pleas of his black partner Marty, Danny plunges into moral-majoritarian Middle America, predictably offends his dour hosts, then finds he's stranded among them when a monster snowstorm shuts down the entire region. If the FREBC takes artistic umbrage at Silverman's decreasingly popular rewritings of literary classics (e.g., Moby-Dick from the whale's viewpoint), his political and sexual liberalism raise beyond boiling point the hackles of such intemperate true believers as the school's motherly-bigot CEO Mrs. Bloore, a gay-bashing state senator, a pair of missionaries who luxuriate in gory details of African poverty and misery, and various other anti-abortionists, Holocaust-deniers, and haters of sex in almost all forms. The narrative bogs down in lengthy arguments between Silverman and selected North Forkers, but it does have a fairly lively plot, which gets cracking when the desperate Danny, having survived a guided tour of "one of the largest demonological libraries in North America," attempts escape, gets rescued by asquadron of "Snow Ghosts" (i.e., Christian snowmobilers), and, emulating Dante's epic journey, reaches his misadventure's climax on a frozen lake. Much too long and more than a little self-indulgent-but for most of its fractious, farcical length, most readers will be having too much fun to notice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979641565
  • Publisher: Leapfrog Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 407 KB

Table of Contents

12K Net to You 13
Number One Bestseller 20
The Whole World Isn't San Francisco 36
Our Glass Nose 46
Breakfast with Richard and Syl 57
When Your Peewee Is All Wrong 70
The Ambassador from Sin City 94
The Matriarch 108
Which Holocaust Did You Have in Mind? 116
The Blue Tattoo 125
A Good Word for the Monkeys 132
Video Nirvana 148
They Hate Jumanistic Hews 156
Male and Female Created He Them 173
The Mad Bomber 187
The Troubled Pilgrim 203
Concerning the Reality of Satan 211
The Underworld 219
The North Fork Gay and Lesbian Alliance 234
Murdering Mrs. Bloore 257
The Voice of the Devil 269
Blood 283
Quarantine 292
Arm Us, O Lord, Against the Enemy 300
World to Come 311
"Brilliant--The New York Times" 318
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012


    Apprentices den.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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