Famous People I Have Known

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Overview

Ed McClanahan's hilarious classic introduces us to writers and revolutionaries, hippies and honkies, gurus and go-go girls, barkeeps and barflies, as well as Carlos Toadvine, aka Little Enis, the All-American Left-Handed Upside-down Guitar Player, among the characters he has encountered in thirty peripatetic years of wandering the fringes of the academic and literary worlds -- "working the Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing circuit" -- from his native Kentucky to the West ...
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Overview

Ed McClanahan's hilarious classic introduces us to writers and revolutionaries, hippies and honkies, gurus and go-go girls, barkeeps and barflies, as well as Carlos Toadvine, aka Little Enis, the All-American Left-Handed Upside-down Guitar Player, among the characters he has encountered in thirty peripatetic years of wandering the fringes of the academic and literary worlds -- "working the Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing circuit" -- from his native Kentucky to the West Coast and back again.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mr. McClanahan makes us laugh with his recollections of the innocent beginnings of the 1960s…and that laughter is a value all by itself." — Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"McClanahan's picaresque account of his immersion into the revolutionary excesses of the 1960s — the consciousness expanded 'through the miracle of chemistry,' endless parties, many protests — reminds readers that at the heart of that frequently maligned decade was a great deal of fun." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"McClanahan's pungent tales of the fools he's known and the fools he's been will linger long in the reader's mind." — Newsweek

"A curious combination of raw four-letter explicitness and high literary style…. The combination is exhilarating." — People

"McClanahan's autobiographical accounts are so lively that they sound more like fiction; his outrageous experiences with trendsetters and cultural luminaries of the 1960s are reported with the detail of a retrospectively clear-headed but capricious artist." — Publishers Weekly

"Your 'Ken Kesey, Jean Genet, the Revolution, et Moi' is fabulous. I had never heard of Kesey's encounter with Genet before, but in your pages I could see and hear it all. You've captured both of them perfectly. 'Furthurmore: An Afterword' is great stuff, too. In fact, the whole book has a wonderful rollicking momentum." — Tom Wolfe, from a letter to Ed McClanahan

"As a product of literary art, Famous People I Have Known is unique and great. As autobiography, it is peerless. As social history, it is an act of sanity redeemed by humor. As comedy, it is ever nourished by good sense. Please bring it back into print and keep it in print, so that it will be always available to the people of Kentucky, whose treasure it rightfully is." — Wendell Berry

"Most people who have had as much fun as Ed McClanahan are dead." — Bob Edwards

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McClanahan, whose first novel, The Natural Man, was greeted with considerable praise, delivers an odd assortment of reminiscences of his youthful adventures in the late '50s and '60s as a graduate student and erstwhile visiting lecturer in creative writing at ``the Harvard of the West'' (Stanford), and other stops (primarily at bars), including several escapades in his home state, Kentucky. The famous people McClanahan has known in literary circles will not find themselves in this book. As the author quotes Marcus Aurelius: ``All is ephemeralfame and the famous as well,'' and as mentor Ken Kesey blurts within: ``Fame is a wart.'' Rather, McClanahan spins nostalgic tales of the golden days of California hippies, recounting memories such as the recovery of his stolen typewriter from the likes of a motley crew of Doonesburyesque characters: ``Wheatgerm,'' ``Yogurt'' and ``Beast''all of which adds up, disappointingly, to little more than a mildly amusing diversion. First serial to Esquire and Playboy. Foreign rights: Harold Matson. November
Library Journal
Those who enjoyed McClanahan's novel, The Natural Man , will be scratching their heads over the meaning and purpose of this book. He has dusted off and repolished a number of thoroughly dingy articles that he wrote over the years for such magazines as Esquire and Playboy. They deal in a sort of autobiographical way mostly with people, famous and not so famous (Jimmy Sacca, Elvis Presley, Jean Genet, Ken Kesey) and phenomenons (revolutions, rock and roll, hippies) of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The result is a whirling sideshow of a book, a peculiar mixture of anecdote, dialogue, description, travelogue, and (here and there) serious evaluation. The pieces are essentially the stuff that magazines are made ofthey don't endure. A.J. Anderson, Graduate Sch. of Library & Information Science, Simmons Coll., Boston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813190693
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Series: Kentucky Voices Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introducing ... Jimmy Sacca? 1
2 The Day the Lampshades Breathed 23
3 A Misdemeanor against Nature 37
4 Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age! 51
5 Ken Kesey, Jean Genet, the Revolution, et Moi 75
6 Little Enis: An Ode on the Intimidations of Mortality 97
7 Drowning in the Land of Sky-Blue Waters 131
8 Tune Out, Turn In, Drop Off 151
Furthermore: An Afterword 163
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