The Franchiser

Overview

Ben Flesh is one of the men "who made America look like America, who made America famous." He collects franchises, traveling from state to state, acquiring the brand-name establishments that shape the American landscape. But both the nation and Ben are running out of energy. As blackouts roll through the West, Ben struggles with the onset of multiple sclerosis, and the growing realization that his lifetime quest to buy a name for himself has ...

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The Franchiser

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Overview

Ben Flesh is one of the men "who made America look like America, who made America famous." He collects franchises, traveling from state to state, acquiring the brand-name establishments that shape the American landscape. But both the nation and Ben are running out of energy. As blackouts roll through the West, Ben struggles with the onset of multiple sclerosis, and the growing realization that his lifetime quest to buy a name for himself has ultimately failed.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Time
“The Franchiser has what few novels have any more: the ability to astonish and delight and a totally conscious hero who proves that the unaudited life is not worth living.”
Booklist
“In his principal character, Elkin represents the tragic panorama of an ailing America reaching out for stabilizers that aren't there; and the void beckons.”
The Nation
“Crowded with cunning shifts of meaning and extravagant deployments of wit.”
Best Sellers
“The Franchiser is a fine portrait of America today with insights that are humorous, significant, and poignantly real.”
Saturday Review
“A frenzied parable, rather as though the Wandering Jew and Willy Loman had gotten together on a vaudeville act.”
Washington Post
“Elkin takes an almost tactile pleasure in language, piling up words and phrases, reaching for every available joke and pun, until his sentences threaten to topple of their very weight.”
The New York Times
“The prevailing dialect of The Franchiser is Ben's own free-wheeling and exuberant Jewish-American—a tribal dialect in which Elkin can achieve effects worthy of S. J. Perelman and Wallace Markfield.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564783059
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: American Literature Series
  • Edition description: 1ST DALKEY
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 1,410,154
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley Elkin—a two-time recipient of the National Book Critics Circle
Award—is widely regarded as one of America's most important contemporary writers. During his lifetime he wrote more than a dozen novels and short-story collections, including The Magic Kingdom, The Franchiser, and The Dick Gibson Show.

William H. Gass—essayist, novelist, literary critic—was born in Fargo,
North Dakota. He has been the recipient of the first PEN/Nabokov Award,
the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the Art of the Essay, three
National Book Critic Circle Awards for Criticism, a Lannan Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award, the Award for Fiction and the Medal of Merit for Fiction from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations. He lives in
St. Louis.

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