Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Fridays At Enrico's: A Holy Grail Recovered

I stumbled across some happy news yesterday: Don Carpenter’s Fridays At Enrico’s is slated for publication, this April.

Carpenter has cult-lit status: a talented chap who, in the 1950s, dove deep into the West Coast Beat-Hippy-Hollywood scene, and worked as hard as he partied. His oeuvre retains considerable cache, not just with Boomers Who Remember, but with schmoes-gone-pro (like Richard Price and George Pelecanos) as well as the current Hipsterati. 

In the decade that followed his suicide, the manuscript for Fridays acquired the status of Holy Grail—Carpenter’s final work, a novel akin to de Beauvoir’s The Mandarins, where the changing of famous names only adds to the piquancy of the drama. Carpenter’s executor and surviving family members assured the public it definitely existed, albeit in an admittedly rough and probably unpublishable format. 

Fans of A Hard Rain Falling and A Couple Of Comedians would have jumped at a POD photocopy, but now we have something better: the finished product, with an afterword by West Coaster Jonathan Lethem. Looks like I’ve got two months to clear a coveted spot on the bedside table.

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