- Copertina rigida: 262 pagine
- Editore: St Martins Pr (aprile 1998)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 031218106X
- ISBN-13: 978-0312181062
- Peso di spedizione: 386 g
Groucho Marx, Master Detective (Inglese) Copertina rigida – apr 1998
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Book by Goulart Ron
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Well, that's the premise of this book. Set in the thirties, the story opens with Groucho getting ready to go solo and star in a new radio show to be called GROUCHO MARX, MASTER DETECTIVE. The show is being written by Frank Denby, a former police reporter turned wannabe scriptwriter. Suddenly, a budding movie starlet commits suicide. Groucho, who admits to sleeping with the woman, is convinced she would never kill herself and he asks Denby to help him investigate the matter.
Denby's investigation uncovers the possibility of murder, blackmail, police corruption, organized crime and a sinister Hollywood cover-up. And to top it off, he and Groucho seem to have been added to the hit list.
Although the author has a parade of thirties era celebrities (or their names) dropping in on the action, his writing does not really have a convincing feel for the era. And while Groucho's constant quips are often quite funny, he comes across more as a caricature than a real character. The book was alright, but in the end take a bit of Groucho's advice ... don't shoot elephants in your pajamas and if you want to read about celebrity sleuths stick to Kaminsky and Baxt. I was also bothered by the dust jacket illustration which seems to be closely based on the classic and highly superior Hirshfield drawing of Groucho.
Ron Goulart's novel is a pleasant diversion. If you are a hardcore mystery fan there is really not much here, so it may well be this book is going to tickle the fancy of devoted Marxists such as myself. With this Groucho Marx you get both the blazing and constant sarcastic abuse (one of the running gags is people thinking they recognize Groucho without his mustache) and the "real" Julius Marx (on those rare occasions when he forces himself to drop all of the pretenses). The parade of Hollywood stars in the background seems a bit forced at this point, but it becomes more refined down the road. The main thing is that we get another chance to hear Groucho speak. Ever since I heard about "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine," a play in which the second act is the Marx Brothers doing Chekov (sort of), I have been open to the idea of reviving Groucho and his siblings in new and creative ways. In that regard, Ron Goulart's books are a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.