Fast Copy

Fast Copy

by Dan Jenkins
     
 

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In 1935 Betsy Throckmorton’s father lures her from a New York job with Time magazine back to Claybelle, Texas, with the promise that she can be the editor of his Claybelle Standard-Times. Betsy brings along her husband, Ted Winton, an easterner and Yale graduate to whom she is constantly explaining Texas. Ted will run BenSee more details below

Overview


In 1935 Betsy Throckmorton’s father lures her from a New York job with Time magazine back to Claybelle, Texas, with the promise that she can be the editor of his Claybelle Standard-Times. Betsy brings along her husband, Ted Winton, an easterner and Yale graduate to whom she is constantly explaining Texas. Ted will run Ben Throckmorton’s radio station, KVAT, where Booty and Them Others sing in rivalry with the better known WBAP Light Crust Doughboys.

In Texas, it’s the middle of the Depression and the Drought. And Prohibition is barely over, liquor still a controversy. Every city has its hobo camp, and Claybelle has the Star of Hope Mission. But it is also the time of new oil money, high living, infidelity, and tangled love triangles. Betsy and Ted chain-smoke and drink often and long, they wouldn’t miss a Paschal High School or TCU football game, they party at the Casino on Jacksboro Highway, and dine at Claybelle’s Shadylawn Country Club.

Betsy is a serious journalist though, and she sets out to change the paper, clashing with the managing editor when she claims international not state news belongs on page one. She clashes with the columnists when she tries to sharpen their leads.

The Texas Murder Machine becomes her big story, when she suspects that Texas Rangers may be killing innocent young men to collect rewards offered by the Texas Bankers Association. Betsy’s journalistic determination leads to a personal tragedy that changes her life forever—and makes her a determined, relentless newswoman.

Fast Copy is a page-turner that combines romantic comedy with the best of the thriller genre. But it’s much more. Dan Jenkins captures Texas in the mid-1930s with a clarity that brings it alive, and his affection for Texas, Fort Worth, and TCU are revealed on every page. Only a native like Jenkins would include the minute details of a TCU-SMU game, the new zephyr stainless steel railroad train, the T&P railroad station, the Fort Worth Cats, and LeGrave Field. His portrait of Claybelle and its leading society folks is tongue-in-cheek funny and right on the mark. Texans should treasure this book for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The central character in this energetic tale set in the Depression era is a brainy, resourceful beauty who ``has it all,'' including, at the start of the story, a brand-new husband and her father's small-town Texas newspaper to run. But Betsy Throckmorton also has courage, which proves a dangerous commodity as she uses her paper to expose a ``Texas Murder Machine,'' a scheme masterminded by a Texas Ranger that lures unsuspecting hobos into masquerading as bank robbers so they will be shot for the bounty money, and that is also responsible for the murder of Betsy's husband. The writing is fast and punchy, and the story, which is full of spicy characters, has much to say about the day-to-day routine of a small newspaper, the Texas passion for football and the Depression's rough times. Jenkins probably has another bestseller to join Semi-Tough and Life Its Ownself. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Beautiful, brainy, brassy Betsy Throckmorton, journalist and daughter of Ben, media magnate of Claybelle, Texas, has it all, until her ``perfect'' mate is mysteriously killed. His death spurs Betsy to a first Pulitzer, but not before she's experienced lots of football, lots of drinking, lots of living. Setting his novel in Depression America, Jenkins attempts a raucous, at times poignant, picture of the period. But what he delivers is a jumble of enticing themes that don't come together. Part of the problem is the interjection of news reports, game stats (great for football sillies), and letters, which interrupt the flow. The book does have its moments: the scathing, yet funny, look at Time magazine; the sympathetic view of hobos, the era's homeless; and the rambunctious portrait of post-Prohibition New York. Overall, though, this is not fast copy. Michelle Lodge, New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780875652405
Publisher:
Texas Christian University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Series:
Texas Tradition Series, #30
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
404
Sales rank:
951,647
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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