The Serialist

The Serialist

by David Gordon


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Harry Bloch is a struggling writer who pumps out pulpy serial novels—from vampire books to detective stories—under various pseudonyms. But his life begins to imitate his fiction when he agrees to ghostwrite the memoir of Darian Clay, New York City’s infamous Photo Killer. Soon, three young women turn up dead, each one murdered in the Photo Killer’s gruesome signature style, and Harry must play detective in a real-life murder plot as he struggles to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

Witty, irreverent, and original, The Serialist is a love letter to books—from poetry to pornography—and proof that truth really can be stranger than fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439158487
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 378,060
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Gordon is the author and illustrator of the critically acclaimed The Ugly Truckling and The Three Little Riggs. His first book for Simon & Schuster was the adorable Smitten. He has done concept work for Pixar’s Toy Story; Toy Story 2; A Bug’s Life; Monsters, Inc.; and Cars; as well as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. He also did character design work on Blue Sky’s Robots. He lives in New York City. Visit him at

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The Serialist 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
drneutron on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meh. That's about the best I can do to sum my thoughts on The Serialist. What started out with promising reviews and an interesting blurb on the back became moderately interesting in the end. But frankly, it's just not worth the effort to get to the ending.The premise is that Harry Bloch, a second-rate writer making a living through sf and vampire porn, is contacted by a serial killer about to be executed. He wants his story told, but first he want Harry to contact a few of his more "interesting" fans. About halfway through the book, this turns into a rather conventional mystery with a couple of twists at the end. Unfortunately we have to wade through some overblown prose to get there. I get that it's supposed to be funny - it wasn't. It's supposed to be literate - it wasn't. At least the ending was good.Sorry, can't recommend this one.
pharrm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gosh, I loved this book and can't wait for another one by this author. Harry Block does a little of everything - author of vampire books under his mother's name; raunchy porn articles; and detective fiction all under other names. He takes a job as a tutor for a privileged 14 year old girl and becomes under her influence (in a good way). During one of his sessions he opens a letter penned from prison (his primary readers of the porn) and finds a letter addressed to him to write a memoir of a serial killer who dismembers and poses his victims producing eerie photographs.He begins by interviewing women who write to the killer and prison. Suddenly they show up dead and he is thrown into solving the crimes.This books is funny, witty, sexy and just everything a great read should be.
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Too gory, but otherwise wonderful writing, and I loved the narrator.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found The Serialist to be an amazing book. My problem is how to make it sound as amazing here as it was to read. Written by David Gordon this first book covers so much material that it is hard to slot into any one genre. It is a thriller, a mystery, a pop culture homage to books and writers. Irreverent, different, humorous and addictive, I would be laughing out loud one minute then, turning the page and shuddering with horror and revulsion the next.The plot revolves around Harry Bloch a writer that has almost given up trying to produce anything even resembling the Great American Novel. Instead he is a master of turning out pulp fiction: vampire stories, detective stories, light pornography, and sci-fi series, all produced under different pseudonyms. He accepts a contract to ghost-write a convicted serial killer¿s memoirs, but soon bodies become turning up, all killed in the serial killer¿s style. Other than a slight lagging in the middle of the book, this was a fast paced, excellently presented story that grabbed me from the first sentence and kept me glued to it¿s pages until the end. The author actually uses clichés to his advantage, poking fun at writing and writing styles, all the while advancing his plot. A fun read and a great introduction to an author that I will always have room on my shelves for. I can¿t wait to see what he produces next.
DHealy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gory, funny and philosophical. All the characters, but the serial killer are a bit whiny and the stories within the story go over the edge of parody to pathos, but it's generally a fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waiting for more from him.
AshleyReader More than 1 year ago
This is definitely not fine literature but it is very entertaining and reads fast. A great book to bring on a plane or train.
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Gaz More than 1 year ago
Yuk! Send this novel to some intergalactic jail house and never allow it to return to earth again. Unlike the vampire characters I just couldn't sink my teeth into this novel. It took half of the book to arrive at the primary plot. The nonsense side bar stories were ridiculous unless you enjoy far out sci-fi comic books with a dab of porn. Too unconventional in style for me. Rambles like a lost soul seeking closure. In my opinion, Mr. Gordon should retrace his steps and re-enter the worlds of film, fashion and publishing. Scratch this author from my list.
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grumpydan More than 1 year ago
David Gordon's The Serialist is humorous, witty and gory. Not for the faint-hearted. Harry Bloch is an author is on the edge of actually making the big time. He writes a lot of schlocky novels, but thinks he will get is big break write the biography for a serial killer. Instead the serial killer, Darian Clay wants him to write little vignettes involving women who have written to him while in prision before he will reveal himself to Bloch. The only problem is that after Bloch interviews these women and writes his little porn stories, they end up dead. Now, to avoid prison, Harry takes it upon himself to find out who is murdering these women and stop from getting killed himself. As mention above, this novel has it's funny and witty moments but can be pretty graphic.
barb1wired More than 1 year ago
I found this book by chance when searching for something at the library. What a pleasant surprise. Harry Bloch ekes out a living as a writer, just not under his own name (He dresses in his mother's clothes for one author photo). He supplements that by "tutoring" high school students (writing their papers). He sees the chance to make a name for himself, under his own name, penning the story of The Photo Killer, a serial killer on death row. Harry begins by interviewing the killer's groupies who start turning up dead, murdered in the same manner as the killer's previous victims. Then Harry becomes the prime suspect. What remains is a somewhat standard whodunit, but I was intrigued and entertained, especially by the author's choice to insert "excerpts" from some of Harry's stories in the story. An entertaining read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Harry Bloch is an author who works in many genres, but each book he writes have in common one thing: none were published under his real name. His first gig was writing porn for Raunchy magazine. While at a back cover photo shoot, he receives a letter from death row inmate Darien Clay, who offers to tell Harry a true story of his life if he visits him in Sing Sing. Darien explains further that he will talk to Harry if the writer will interview his groupies and writes a story about them with the convict as the star and each woman having a chapter. Harry interviews three women, but after leaving the third female, he goes back to her place only to find her cut to pieces with her hand missing; just the way Darien described how he tortured and killed his victims. Harry calls the police who inform him the first women were killed in the same gruesome way. The cops believe Harry killed the three victims until he is shot at and almost killed. As the police look for new suspects, Harry also seeks the culprit before more of Darien's darlings turn up dead. Told by Harry in the first person, The Serialist is an exciting but grim dark thriller that reads somewhat like an action-packed pulp tale. The protagonist is an average person except for his writing skill who finds himself in an extraordinary situation that requires him to rise to the occasion to extract himself from a deadly horrific mess. Even he is unsure he can do it, but like many a hero before him, Harry knows he must overcome his fears and shortcomings to face the enemy who is taking a page out of Darien's book. Harriet Klausner