Theme Song for an Old Show by Jeffrey Lewis

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A deeply felt homage to classic television from the author of Meritocracy and The Conference of the Birds.

One of the most beloved programs in the history of television, the cop show Northie, has fallen into a ratings slump. Will it be cannibalized by unscrupulous studio executives for one last burst of high scores? Or will it be allowed to conclude its run in dignity?

These are the questions faced by the protagonist Louie, now a television producer, in this third volume of Jeffrey Lewis's "Meritocracy Quartet". Zacky Kurtz, the "King of Television," who is obsessed by the possibility of being the first producer to get "bare ass" on network television, drives the plot toward a conclusion that is as passionate an indictment of our mass culture's coarsening as American literature has recently produced.

Yet Theme Song for an Old Show is about more than dirty business on television. It is an elegiac tribute to the medium, and to the kind of show of which Louie was a proud part, and to Louie's father, a television producer of an earlier, more naïve era.

About Jeffrey Lewis

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Jeffrey Lewis won two Emmys and many other honors as a writer and producer of Hill Street Blues. His "Meritocracy Quartet" is intended to chart the progress of a generation. The first book of the quartet, Meritocracy: A Love Story, won both the Independent Publishers Book Award for General Fiction and the ForeWord Book of the Year Silver Award for Fiction. He lives in Los Angeles and Castine, Maine.
Published April 24, 2007 by Other Press. 160 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Much less compelling is Louie’s marriage to Melissa, who never comes alive on the page and by the end is reduced to a prop, there to demonstrate our hero’s sensitivity by weeping and being consoled in her weeping when, post–memorial service, she urges Louie to warble “My Darling Clementine,” the ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Lewis's diverting third novel, a part of his ongoing Meritocracy Quartet (following The Conference of the Birds ), concerns a writer, Louie, working on the third novel of a series called the Meritocracy Quartet.

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