Tune In….In 1960s New York, radio is king, and Elkin and Fox are the hottest morning team in town. Jerry Elkin is the funny halfa genius at dialects and double-talk, zingers and zany characters. Sinatra flies him to Vegas on his private plane, and Rocky Graziano drinks with him (and punches him). But Jerry’s life? That’s no laughing matter. Secretly, he seethes at his straight-man partner, Ted Fox, a handsome rake who’d rather shtup a secretary in the studio than entertain TV offers, a guy who makes Jerry feel less a star and more a schmuck.
Turn On….And that’s before Jerry ever hears the name Sari Rosenbloom. The stunning eighteen-year-old is a mystical American dream, irresistible to menand her most obsessed admirer is Jake, Jerry’s son. With the 1960s world spinning out of control, Jake is fighting for a girl who can have anyone she wantsfrom the world-famous artist who has sketched her nude to bon vivant Ted Fox, who’s singing her name on air.
Drop Out….And that’s before Jerry gets a gander at Sari’s father. Max Rosenbloom works in “salvage”in other words, he burns down factories, sells poisoned pajamas to Chinese children and sometimes buries his enemies in cement. If Jake doesn’t stop going after his princess daughter, Max might make Jerry’s son, Jerry’s career and Jerry’s whole post-war world disappear right off the dial….
Schmuck. A raucous, wild novel of love, war, rioting and radio that’s as funny as a heart attack and as serious as hell.
Praise for Schmuck
“A madcap morning-radio team hanging with Sinatra, intimate father-and-son conversations at the Friars Club, a mystery woman swiveling everyone’s head.... Ross Klavan was raised on this canvas. No wonder I felt in such expert hands.”
David Pollock, author of Bob and Ray, Keener than Most Persons
“Klavan’s light touch and sharply drawn characters echo Carl Hiaasen, and are also very much his own.” Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones
“I laughed out loud and also wept reading this fast-paced novel of a Jewish Holden Caulfield.” W. M. Bernstein, author of The Realization of Concepts
“Delightful reading, but be forewarned. There is often seriousness beneath a tale whose Yiddish title means roughly ‘a dope.’ It’s Jewish New York and will make you laugh one minute, wince another, but will let you find yourself in it, no matter who you think you are.” John Bowers, author of The Colony
About the Author
Ross Klavan’s work spans film, television, radio, print and live performance. His original screenplay for the film “Tigerland” was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, he recently finished an adaption of John Bowers’ The Colony, and he has written scripts for Miramax, Paramount and TNT, among others. The “conversation about writing” he moderated with Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer was televised and published as Like Shaking Hands with God, and his short stories have appeared in magazines and been produced by the BBC. An earlier novel, Trax, was published under a pseudonym. His play “How I Met My (Black) Wife (Again),” co-written with Ray Iannicelli, has been produced in New York City, and he has performed his work in numerous theaters and clubs. He has acted and done voice work in TV and radio commercials and has lent his voice to feature films including “Casino,” “You Can Count On Me” and “Revolutionary Road” and the new Amazon web series “Alpha House,” written by Gary Trudeau. He has worked as a newspaper and radio journalist in London and New York City. He lives in New York City with his wife, the painter, Mary Jones.