Vertigo Park And Other Tall Tales

Sold by Knopf
Free sample

A hilarious and wickedly original collection of pieces and cartoons by one of America’s funniest writers.
 
The title story (as sweeping as any novel but without the annoying length, more glamorous than a miniseries but without commercial interruption) follows a tragic (not to give anything away) love triangle (an idealistic screen goddess and her two unshakable lovers—who happen to become the last two presidents of the United States) through decades of (imaginary) American history.
 
Here is some of what you’ll find: in “Marred Bliss,” the fractured puns of a love quadrangle (“Maybe you’d rather ram off with her! She’s been trying to reduce you since she got here”)…in “Diary of a Fan,” the diarist’s deepest thoughts (“I saw Sigourney Weaver on the street today. I pity her”)…in “The Whom of Kaboom,” a perilous cruise with Jack the Hipper, sculptor of the famous Venus de Mylar…and in “A Tall Tale,” a meeting with America’s tallest tall-tale hero, Johnny Business, whose wealth requires three strong men just to conceive of.
 
Gasp for air, and then browse the high school yearbook of the planets, learn about electricity from electricity itself, and discover Emily Dickinson, advertising copywriter.
 
Vertigo Park is the latest from the wild workshop of Mark O’Donnell—a hands-on volume for students of laughter everywhere.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

MARK O'DONNELL was the author of Getting Over Homer, as well as two comic collections, Elementary Education and Vertigo Park and Other Tall Tales. His humor, cartoons, and poetry have appeared in The New YorkerSpyAtlantic Monthly, and the New York Times Magazine, and several of his plays have been produced on and off-Broadway. He died in 2012.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Knopf
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Oct 23, 2013
Read more
Collapse
Pages
152
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780307829177
Read more
Collapse
Features
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Fiction / LGBT / Gay
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Humor / Form / Essays
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
 AS THE READER, I SUSPECT THAT YOU ARE AS GUILTY AS MY BROTHER RON AND ME FOR RAISING HELL IN YOUR YOUTH.

Within these pages are the memories of two senior citizens who drove their family and neighbors absolutely crazy with their youthful foolhardiness during the forties and fifties in Acton, Massachusetts. True stories of two youngsters who terrorized a town, enraged their parents, Ole Ern and Ethel, their neighbors, Ray and Bell Harris, and succeeded in blaming all of them on another kid labeled Gunk, who is ultimately the star of this book. “He was much taller than us, and uglier too. The jerk was as stupid as a box of hair, yet because he thought it funny to push my four-year-old face into his butt and release gas . . . well, it was war.”

It didn’t matter what crime we committed; the fact that Gunk was there to take the blame ensured that Ron and I would live another day to get up to more antics, create more chaos, which would be enough to condemn our neighbor across the street. Ron and I did so many tricks on a lot of people that the end results of blaming that other person and getting away with it were so funny that inspiration became an extension of our disruptive activities.

Gunk Did It became my mantra for the subsequent indiscretions and were cause for his receiving castigations from anyone we deemed necessary. Predictable as always, as we were to proclaim that Gunk Did It, we never tired of conspiring against him. I owe my learning to inflict falsehoods never dreamed of by humankind to Gunk’s butt-inflicted abuse, which initiated and developed our proclivity for youthful and very funny revenge.

In his brilliant new novel, the first since the widely enjoyed Getting Over Homer, Mark
O'Donnell takes us on a wild and funny tour through the Christmas season's ultimate challenge: the day of too many parties.

It's Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve in Manhattan--five days from the holiday Ground Zero--but Tad Leary, the most confused man on earth, doesn't know whether to celebrate or go crazy. He's just been fired, he's about to be evicted from his sublet, he's getting nowhere on his overdue folklore thesis, "Social Hierarchies of Imaginary Places," and on top of everything else--or rather underneath everything else--at age thirty-four (older than Christ), he's five-foot-one and still baby-faced, so he's treated like a child wherever he goes. Nonetheless, he's been invited to seven (a magic number one of his rivals is writing a thesis about) different Christmas parties that day, and he decides to explore every one of them for possible work, apartments, love, and just plain distraction.

Tad's a walking punch bowl of joy and fear, goodwill and alienation, running a constant mental argument with himself throughout his long marathon. By midnight, he will have visited all parts of his past--from brunch with his rumpled Boston Irish parents and arguably more successful brothers, to dinner with his beautiful Swedish ex-girlfriend, to a fancy, colossal uptown bash where, by now dangerously looped, he bumps into an ex-boyfriend (more confusion!) looking as "glorious and golden as a roast turkey."

A farcical, over-the-top feast of twisted one-liners and outrageous imagery, Let Nothing You Dismay depicts Tad's--and everyone's--struggle for survival, with a bracing combination of Darwinian theory and hallucinatory fairy-tale wonder. It's a Chekhov story told with P. G. Wodehouse flippancy, or a tale of Celtic mysticism as S. J. Perelman might have rendered it. Above all, the bright spots in this darkest night of the soul prove that comical epiphany isn't just for Christmas anymore.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Esquire • Newsday • Booklist

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Praise for Born a Crime

 “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade

 “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today

“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.