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The Franchiser
     

The Franchiser

by Stanley Elkin, William H. Gass (Foreword by)
 

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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

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.

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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564783059
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Series:
American Literature (Dalkey Archive) Series
Edition description:
1ST DALKEY
Pages:
342
Sales rank:
899,153
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Stanley Elkin (1930-1995) was an award-winning author of novels, short stories, and essays. Born in the Bronx, Elkin received his BA and PhD from the University of Illinois and in 1960 became a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis where he taught until his death. His critically acclaimed works include the National Book Critics Circle Award-winners "George Mills" (1982) and "Mrs. Ted Bliss" (1995), as well as the National Book Award finalists "The Dick Gibson Show" (1972), "Searches and Seizures "(1974), and "The MacGuffin" (1991). His book of novellas, "Van Gogh's Room at Arles", was a finalist for the PEN Faulkner Award.

William Gaddis (1922-98) stands among the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. The winner of two National Book Awards (for "J R" [1976] and "A Frolic of His Own" [1995]), he wrote five novels during his lifetime, including "Carpenter's Gothic "(1985), "Agap? Agape" (published posthumously in 2002), and his early masterpiece "The Recognitions" (1955). He is loved and admired for his stylistic innovations, his unforgettable characters, his pervasive humor, and the breadth of his intellect and vision.

William Gaddis (1922-98) stands among the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. The winner of two National Book Awards (for "J R" [1976] and "A Frolic of His Own" [1995]), he wrote five novels during his lifetime, including "Carpenter's Gothic "(1985), "Agap? Agape" (published posthumously in 2002), and his early masterpiece "The Recognitions" (1955). He is loved and admired for his stylistic innovations, his unforgettable characters, his pervasive humor, and the breadth of his intellect and vision.

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