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The Comedian

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New English Library, London, 1970
(first published in the USA by Gold Medal Books, 1953)
price: 5/- (25p); 128 pages

The blurb on the back:

The laugh was on Joey - the multi-million dollar TV sensation.
Joey French was TV's most popular comedian - his ratings were always top. Joey was the clown that everyone loved.
But there was another Joey, the one his fans didn't see. The Joey that was a nervous wreck when the show finished. The Joey that had problems with drink and women that were to lead to a shocking tragedy.
Morton Cooper - famed author of
The King and The Love Survey - turns his spotlight on the fake glamour and phoney loyalties of the TV and shobiz world in this frighteningly authentic novel written prior to The King.

opening lines:
He sat at the bar on the fast moving train and watched the sun-parched fields clattering by the window.

I know those Gold Medal novels from the 1950s have a devoted following in the States, but I have to say that their appeal passes me by entirely. And I'm even more puzzled by the idea that a British publisher would pick up on them nearly two decades later and reprint them as though they're of any value. Still, that's exactly what NEL did, and here's a novel that must seemed crap in 1953 re-appearing in 1970 when it would have been even worse, and being reviewed here 32 years later, when there's definitely nothing left worth preserving. I apologize for wasting your time.

But, having got this far, take a moment to admire the skill of the blurb-writer. Makes the book sound like it might almost be worth reading. Don't be fooled - it isn't.

not like that
Morton Cooper


from the maker of:
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The Star-Cross System