The Thieves of Manhattan: A Novel

By Adam Langer

The famously fake memoirs of James Frey could be yesterday’s information, yet as this humorous riff reminds us, literary fakes are as outdated as literature itself. Ian Minot is an aspiring author who labors over brief tales that appear destined to stay unread. His appealing Romanian female friend, Anya Petrescu, unearths luck extra easily—and leaves Ian for Blade Markham, a bloviating ex-gangbanger whose “so-called memoir” is a best-seller. while Ian is approached through ex-editor Jed Roth, who wishes Ian to post Jed’s pulpy story of booklet robbery and homicide as a memoir, then resign it, it’s an opportunity for either one of them to get revenge: Jed on his former corporation, and Ian at the international. even though Langer can be too lovable for a few (he employs made-up slang during which a penis is a portnoy), he does a fascinating task with the hall-of-mirrors plot. And if readers can are expecting that the publication they’re studying is the person who Ian finally ends up writing, they’ll by no means wager the finishing. simply should you desire a superb twist, Langer promises a number of.

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In its place, he grew to become an editor, labored his approach up the ladder at Merrill Books, a fixture of latest York publishing because the early Fifties while James Merrill, Sr. , based it. James Jr. , who was once dependable whilst Jed Roth set to work there were an undergraduate at Yale in the course of Merrill Books’s early days, whilst it was once basically an outdated boys’ operation, redolent of bourbon, cigars, and specific East facet golf equipment the place males swam bare and mentioned nice rules in steam rooms. more youthful, lively editors toiled for aristocratic elder statesmen and the occasional elder stateswoman. within the past due Nineteen Seventies, after Merrill Sr. stepped down and his son took over, the writer maintained its status and in addition so much of its past editors. James Sr. saved an workplace the place he penned his particularly sincere and particularly dull memoirs. the variations among Merrill Books, Sr. , and Merrill Books, Jr. , have been predominantly ones of favor. A somber, studious, and grubby downtown workplace turned a slick midtown one positioned on a excessive flooring of a steel-and-glass place of work development on 7th street. Roth begun at Merrill Books by means of establishing mail, making espresso, answering telephones, and getting referred to as “Young guy” or “Boy” through Merrill Jr. , who appeared to imagine that being known as via identify was once a privilege his staff needed to earn. Roth was once omitted for promotions in desire of more youthful assistants, people with kin connections or those that occurred to be sound asleep with one in every of Merrill’s editors. nonetheless, Roth endured with a livid depth and sure bet of function, dutifully undertaking projects that the opposite assistants thought of themselves above. After senior editor Ellen Curl played her annual ritual of firing her assistant, Roth utilized for the location, and while he acquired it, did completely every little thing requested of him with no grievance, operating nights and weekends; went with out sleep so he may well learn manuscript submissions; wrote exact coverages; provided thoughts for or opposed to e-book that have been remarkably canny. He lasted longer at this place than any assistant Ellen Curl ever had. Of all his skills, most respected was once realizing the types of manuscripts Merrill Books sought after, no longer consistently the main unique books, no longer frequently those Roth loved studying, yet ones that maintained the publisher’s popularity. quickly, he started to collect his personal books, and even if few have been nice monetary or literary successes, such a lot made a modest sum of money, and Roth loved the cachet that got here with being a revered editor at a decent publishing residence. yet after James Merrill, Sr. , died, and different veteran editors together with Ellen Curl all started retiring, James Merrill, Jr. , turned extra all for retaining a monetary legacy for his personal youngsters, fuckups the lot of them, than the literary status of the corporate his father had outfitted. He seriously diminished the variety of books Merrill was once publishing and shaped a extra advertisement imprint, JMJ Publishers. Jed Roth had concept that the additional he rose within the corporation and the longer he stayed, the extra freedom he might have.

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