Bandbox by Thomas Mallon
A Novel

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Synopsis

From the author of Henry and Clara, a dazzling, hilarious novel that captures the heart and soul of New York in the Jazz Age.

Bandbox is a hugely successful magazine, a glamorous monthly cocktail of 1920s obsessions from the stock market to radio to gangland murder. Edited by the bombastic Jehoshaphat “Joe” Harris, the magazine has a masthead that includes, among many others, a grisly, alliterative crime writer; a shy but murderously determined copyboy; and a burned-out vaudeville correspondent who’s lovesick for his loyal, dewy assistant.

As the novel opens, the defection of Harris’s most ambitious protégé has plunged Bandbox into a death struggle with a new competitor on the newsstand. But there’s more to come: a sabotaged fiction contest, the NYPD vice squad, a subscriber’s kidnapping, and a film-actress cover subject who makes the heroines of Fosse’s Chicago look like the girls next door. While Harris and his magazine careen from comic crisis to make-or-break calamity, the novel races from skyscraper to speakeasy, hops a luxury train to Hollywood, and crashes a buttoned-down dinner with Calvin Coolidge.

Thomas Mallon has given us a madcap and poignant book that brilliantly portrays the gaudiest American decade of them all.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Thomas Mallon

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Thomas Mallon is the author of eight novels, including Henry and Clara, Fellow Travelers, and Watergate. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review and other publications.




Author Residence: Washington, D.C.
 
Published August 8, 2012 by Pantheon. 320 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bandbox

Kirkus Reviews

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And when Bandbox subscriber dewy-eyed Indianan John Shepard arrives in NYC and meets his raffish journalistic gods, an indiscreet remark prompted by his overindulgence in “near-beer” gets the kid kidnapped by Rothstein’s goons and spirited away to a California ranch.

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Publishers Weekly

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A new, gleeful exuberance infuses Mallon's latest novel, in which he turns his talent for fastidious historical detail (Dewey Defeats Truman , etc.) to the elaboration of a comedy of errors set in Manhattan during the 1920s.

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Star Tribune

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From the outset we are aware of the brutal competition between Bandbox and its rival, Cutaway, edited by Jimmy Gordon, formerly Harris' right-hand man at Bandbox.

Jan 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Bandbox: A Novel

Book Reporter

Thomas Mallon's new novel begins with an epigrammatic definition of its title: Referring neither to music nor to boxing, a bandbox is, he quotes Webster's, "a neat box of pasteboard or thin wood, usually cylindrical, for holding light articles of attire."

Jan 06 2004 | Read Full Review of Bandbox: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Set in 1928 at a boozy New York men's magazine called Bandbox, GQ contributor Mallon's madcap novel boasts a cast of characters that will look very familiar to media-world insiders.

Jan 09 2004 | Read Full Review of Bandbox: A Novel

Reader Rating for Bandbox
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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