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Author: Wetherell, Walter D.

Edition: 1st

Number Of Pages: 384

Release Date: 24-04-2001

Details: Product Description In this rich, compulsively readable saga about the brave early years of television, "morning" means several things. It is the name of the first-ever morning show, pioneered by a visionary who believed television could reflect the lives of ordinary Americans; it refers to the 1950s, a time of innovation and energy in the vibrant New York City where much of the novel takes place; and finally, it suggests the dawning of a new relationship between a long-estranged father and son who must meet the new century with their fates intertwined. At the center is Alec McGowan, the creator and host of Morning, adored by women across the country for his intelligence and sex appeal, and by men for his earnest, direct way of talking. As the novel opens it is nearly fifty years since McGowan was murdered on camera by his best friend and co-host, Chet Standish. Our narrator is Alec Brown, Chet's son, a middle-aged biographer obsessed with uncovering the details of McGowan's life. Brown's research and the transcripts of his interviews with pioneers from TV's golden age capture the headlong intensity of McGowan's rise and fall, his reunion with his long-lost first love, and his struggle for fulfillment both on and off the air. As Brown's work on his book progresses, another story unfolds: the building of a tenuous relationship with his father, who has just been released from prison after serving fifty years for McGowan's murder. Their comic, heartbreaking attempts at understanding one another and the resulting changes in the life of Brown's entire family gradually illuminate the true story of Morning, in all its meanings. This unforgettable novel confirms W. D. Wetherell’s place among the most innovative and powerful novelists now working. From Publishers Weekly Capturing the high spirits and excitement of television in the early 1950s, when no one was sure yet what might be successful, Wetherell builds a dramatic story on the format and best-remembered personalities of TV's original Today show, complete with its bespectacled star with his outheld palm as a signoff and his chimpanzee sidekick. The delight of this imaginatively told narrative lies in how fully it makes use of the history and technology of the early years of television, and how little it depends upon exploiting familiar personalities. The casting, rapid rise and hectic career of Morning host Alec McGowan comes to an abrupt end in 1954 when he is shot and murdered on the air by his announcer and longtime sidekick from radio days, Chet Standish. That story is now being reconstructed in the winter of 2000 by Chet's son and Alec's namesake, Alec Brown, the book's narrator, who is researching a biography of Alec McGowan and about to meet his father, now aged and dying of cancer, on his release from prison. Cast superficially in the mold of reportorial novels of the '50s like The Great Man, which purport to dig up the private truth about a recognizable public figure, this ambitious and inventive novel makes free use of its historical material, creating a story with meaning and dramatic weight entirely its own. (Apr.) Forecast: Wetherell's work is well known in the northeast; this is his seventh book of fiction (previous novels include The Man Who Loved Levittown; Wherever That Great Heart May Be), and his nonfiction titles include a Smithsonian guide to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. He's a new author for Pantheon, and their confidence that he's a rising star is motivating a 50,000 first printing and a seven-city author tour. Expect strong regional sales and, if the push works, national success as well. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. From The New Yorker Back in the nineteen-fifties, Dave Garroway—the pleasant, bespectacled host of NBC's fledgling "Today" show—was a star, and one of the true innovators of early television. Wetherell's new historical fiction, in which Alec McGowan hosts a show called "Morning," perfectly captures the Garro

EAN: 9780375420887

Languages: English

Binding: Hardcover

Item Condition: UsedLikeNew