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Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos

Best Nonfiction

A few years ago, Christopher Buckley wrote of Bruce Jay Friedman in the New York Times Book Review that he "has been likened to everyone from J. D. Salinger to Woody Allen," but that "he is: Bruce Jay Friedman, sui generis, and no mean thing. No further comparisons are necessary." We are happy to report that he remains the same Bruce Jay Friedman in his unique, unblinking, and slightly tilted essays—collected here for the first time—in Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos.

A butler school in Houston, a livestock auction in Little Rock, a home for "frozen guys" in California, JFK’s humidor in Manhattan—all are jumping off points for Friedman’s baleful and sharply satirical scrutiny of American life and behavior in the second half of the twentieth century. Travel with Friedman from Harlem to Hollywood, from Port-au-Prince to Etta’s Eat Shop in Chicago. In these pieces, which were published in literary and mass-circulation magazines from the 1960s to the 1990s, you’ll meet such luminaries as Castro and Clinton, Natalie Wood and Clint Eastwood, and even Friedman’s friends Irwin Shaw, Nelson Algren, and Mario Puzo. Friedman is a master of the essay, whether the subject is crime reporting ("Lessons of the Street"), Hollywood shenanigans ("My Life among the Stars"), or his outrageous adventures as the editor of pulp magazines (the classic "Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos"). We could sing his praises as a journalist, humorist, and social critic. But, as Buckley tells us, being Bruce Jay Friedman is enough.

Bruce Jay Friedman is the author of seven novels (including The Dick, Stern, and A Mother’s Kisses), four collections of short stories, four full-length plays (including Scuba Duba and Steambath), and the screenplays for the movies Splash and Stir Crazy.

Read Some Thoughts on Clint Eastwood and Heidegger.

237 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2000

Literature and Literary Criticism: Humor

Table of Contents

Some Notes on the Contents
Part One: The Literary Life
"Don’t Dare Put Me in Your Play!" (or Story, Novel, Etc.)
Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos
Algren and Shaw
Tales from the Darkside
Don of a New Age
Part Two: Celebrities and Others
Some Thoughts on Clint Eastwood and Heidegger
The Imposing Proportions of Jean Shrimpton
To Cigars, with Love and Devotion
Yank Paparazzo
Frozen Guys
Requiem for a Heavy
School for Butlers
A Champion for Bismarck
Part Three: Lessons of the Street
Charge: Murder
Lessons of the Street
Who’s Watching the Border?
Tom Noguchi
Part Four: Elsewhere
My Life among the Stars
My Jerusalem
Dark Watercolors from Port-au-Prince
Prague—the Gray Enchantress
Little Rock


ForeWord Magazine: ForeWord Magazine Book Awards

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