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Niagara Falls All Over Again

by Elizabeth McCracken

Vaudeville. Hollywood. Razzmatazz. You will love going on the road with Carter and Sharp. This is a book about love: the love of a brother for his sister, of a son for his father, of a man for his wife, of a straight man for his comic. It's about a life hanging together as it falls apart. It's a toast to life.

Extract

Afterward I was fired again. The beginning of the end, I thought. Time to listen: vaudeville was dying. I should leave before it killed me too. I stood in the wings and watched the girls on stage, lovely in their skimpy costumes, the light off the umbrellas they turned hitting my face like rainwater. Maybe that's why the agitated comic behind me - his straight man vomiting in somebody's purse - noticed me. Probably I was just close up. He was a stout man whose suspenders seemed in danger of pulling his pants to his chin, and he was doing a dance of impatience in the wings.
'You'll do,' he said to me.
Remember the Pantages, Minneapolis, September 1931?
This is where you came in.

Parallels

Ragtime by E L Doctorow
 

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