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Lenny Bruce is Dead Paperback – Apr 16 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Coach House Books; 1 edition (April 16 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552450694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552450697
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 14.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #736,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
AT MCDONALD'S, when I'm throwing out the stuff on my tray, there's a point where I get scared that my wallet could have been on there, too. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Clyde Kellis on Nov. 23 2002
Format: Paperback
Anybody who's ever heard this author on This American Life would have high hopes for any novel he writes, but unfortunately Lenny Bruce is Dead just doesn't live up to his potential.
However, I recently read his second book, "Schmelvis", and it's extraordinary. It's not a novel but rather a sort of road trip memoir. It's about a documentary Goldstein worked on about Elvis Presley's Jewish roots (yes, believe it or not, the King was a Hebe) and it is brilliant. He and a film crew, a chassidic jewish Elvis impersonator named Schmelvis and a wacky Rabbi went to Memphis and Israel looking for evidence. Hilarious, touching, fascinating, all at the same time. I'd recommend that Jonathan's fans run, don't walk, and pick up "Schmelvis". Much more in the spirit of This American life than Lenny Bruce is dead, although his novel does have its moments so you might want to read that as well.
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Format: Paperback
i came accross this book by accident without knowledge of goldstein's prior work. i can understand how some wouldn't appreciate the book, it is definitely an ubercontemporary work, not everyone's cup of tea.
i personally felt that the techniques read well and that goldstein did a brilliant job of placing you in someone's tossing and turning through waking life.
but then, i like structuref*!k.
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By A Customer on Oct. 18 2002
Format: Paperback
This author is well known for his radio writing and I was curious what the novel would be like. It is simply so light weight and smirking as to be hard to endure. I realize one shouldn't expect much from a book like this, but it seems to me novel writing must take more effort than was expended here. I also can't help but note that the Open Letters review excerpted here seems to me a bit incestuous. Nothing wrong with having friends give you rave reviews, mind. What are friends for, no?
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Format: Paperback
Interesting, experimental novel by one of my favorite "This American Life" essayists. Folks familiar with that show will recognize the storytelling style: three- or four-sentence paragraph/chapters, each presenting a new idea, are bounced off each other in very rapid succession. The effect is sometimes ironic, sometimes not. Unfortunately, this device may be better suited to radio than it is to the page, and while there are some powerful moments the book comes off as more of a gimmicky exercise than anything else. The relentless cleverness (although the writing isn't terribly funny) make the book seem pretty far removed from actual human experience. It's also bogged down by an undergraduate sensibility about sex, and by a lot of odd metaphors that don't go anywhere. I can imagine this style being successfully applied to the novel form, but I don't think Goldstein's done it here.
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Format: Paperback
I almost didn't read this book when I first picked it up. I was like, "'Lenny Bruce is Dead' well yeah, and the sky is blue, so what!" But despite it's unimaginative title, I went ahead and took a chance on it. And by about page 30 I was hooked. Suprisingly this book isn't even about Lenny Bruce, instead its about sex and death. Oh, and it takes place in Canada, if you are into that sort of thing.
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