Dorothy Parker Drank Here
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The acid-tongued Dorothy Parker is back and haunting the halls of the Algonquin with her piercing wit, audacious voice, and unexpectedly tender wisdom.
Heavenly peace? No, thank you. Dorothy Parker would rather wander the famous halls of the Algonquin Hotel, drink in hand, searching for someone, anyone, who will keep her company on this side of eternity.
After forty years she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate in Ted Shriver, a brilliant literary voice of the 1970s, silenced early in a promising career by a devastating plagiarism scandal. Now a prickly recluse, he hides away in the old hotel slowly dying of cancer, which he refuses to treat. If she can just convince him to sign the infamous guestbook of Percy Coates, Dorothy Parker might be able to persuade the jaded writer to spurn the white light with her. Ted, however, might be the only person living or dead who’s more stubborn than Parker, and he rejects her proposal outright.
When a young, ambitious TV producer, Norah Wolfe, enters the hotel in search of Ted Shriver, Parker sees another opportunity to get what she wants. Instead, she and Norah manage to uncover such startling secrets about Ted’s past that the future changes for all of them.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
a wonderful mash up of humor, mystery, psychological manipulations and literary bon mots
Dorothy Parker’s ghost is in a ‘phase’, presented with the decision to cross over, or to return to a middle ground, a location familiar and much loved, to bring others along in the journey. I loved the premise of this story, as Parker’s wit is clearly presented, edgy and on point. The acerbic-tongued writer was known for her poetry, her short stories, and her ability to present the cut-direct. Caustic and cutting, she was pointed and direct in her criticism and writing, and often her words were informed by or flavored with her political leanings. She is, however, responsible for some incredibly astute, honest and lasting one liners about social hypocrisies and authoritarian figures. Some 40 years after the Round Table disbanded, Parker is still in the Algonquin, attached to the guest book she signed so many years ago.
Without a singular loved one to bring over, Parker is determined to stay in the heart of life as she knew it: and where better than the Algonquin. Ted Shriver had interviewed Parker years earlier, in the beginning of his career, now he is living in a room at the hotel, in semi-disgrace, dying of a brain tumor. Accused of plagiarism, his career as a novelist has been cut short, and with his life in decline, Parker wants him to sign the infamous guest book and join her. Ted isn’t quite sure this is the decision for him, he’d much rather drown his sorrows and pain in drink, alone. Enter Norah Wolfe, a producer for a failing television show, she’s become obsessed with Shriver and his writing, and wants to use an interview with him where he answers the charges about plagiarism on camera. Of course, Shriver wants nothing to do with her either, and here is where Dorothy hatches her plan….
Here begins an uneasy, but highly entertaining quest full of hijinks and liberally laced with twists, discoveries and humor. Norah is a bit of a nervous Nellie, but she gains in confidence from Parker’s devil-may-care attitude, as the two are trying to convince Shriver to play along with their plans. This is a wonderful mash up of humor, mystery, psychological manipulations and literary bon mots that induce snickers to full-on belly laughs. A wonderful story!
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.