The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin
(American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

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“Elkin’s . . . best—a funny, melancholy, frightening, scabrous, absolutely American compendium that may turn out to be our classic about radio.” —The New York Times Book Review Since childhood, Dick Gibson has longed for a successful radio career to make him a household name. Seeking to hone his craft, Dick travels from stations in Nebraska and New Jersey to the Armed Forces Radio in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War, interviewing crooks, con artists, and hypnotists along the way. His show ignites the imaginations of all who listen to it—until one fateful night when a studio guest’s irresistible influence on Dick and all those listening to him will change their lives forever. Spirited and compelling, The Dick Gibson Show is a laugh-out-loud journey through the world of talk radio and a compulsively readable account of one man’s descent into the dark echo chamber of American media. This ebook features rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate and from the Stanley Elkin archives at Washington University in St. Louis.



About Stanley Elkin

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Without a bestseller to his credit or a lot of critical attention, Stanley Elkin has steadily, quietly worked his way into the higher ranks of contemporary American novelists. He was born in New York, but grew up in Chicago and has spent most of his life since in the Midwest, receiving his Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois with a dissertation on William Faulkner and teaching since 1960 at Washington University in St. Louis. Reviewers found Elkin's first novel, Boswell: A Modern Comedy (1964), the story of an uninhibited modern-day counterpart of the eighteenth-century biographer, hilarious and promising, while the stories in Criers and Kibitzers, Kibitzers and Criers (1966) established Elkin as a writer capable of writing short stories of textbook-anthology quality. The ironically entitled A Bad Man (1967) is about a Jewish department store magnate who deliberately arranges to have himself convicted of several misdeeds so that he can experience the real world of a prison and carry on his own war with the warden in what takes on the dimensions of a burlesque existential allegory. The Dick Gibson Show (1971) uses the host of a radio talk show as a way of showing fancifully what it means to live "at sound barrier," and both Searchers and Seizures (1973) and The Living End (1979) are triptychs of related stories verging on surrealism. The Franchiser (1976), generally considered Elkin's best novel before George Mills, uses the story of a traveling salesman of franchises to show the flattening homogenization of American life. But as usual, what happens in this Elkin novel is less important than the way in which the story is told.
Published October 26, 2010 by Open Road Media. 356 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, War. Fiction

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