In its juxtaposition of biographical detail and critical analysis, Joy Ride explores with insight and panache not only the lives of the theatricals but the liveliness of the stage worlds they have created.

US: Knopf, 1974; Fawcett, 1974
UK: Methuen, 1974; reissued, Methuen TK

‘TV executive, George Mellish … has separated from his wife, Irene, swapping the station wagon with the plastic seat covers for an MG ‘Avenger’, leaving the squeak of the matrimonial four-poster for the slurp of the penthouse waterbed.

‘Hot to Trot is painfully funny…Mr Lahr has a deadpan face that crumples into attitudes of love or hate or fear or simple disorientation, each expression only revealed long enough for us to register it. In prose, he has the talent of a good early film-maker. Chaplin said he used to write with the camera, and Mr Lahr makes a movie with his ball-point.’

‘Mr Lahr has found the perfect form for love’s decline and fall. Hot to Trothappens in short takes, cinematic spatters, as if life had hit the fan.’

‘Hilarious, confident, wonderfully written.’

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the autograph houndTHE AUTOGRAPH HOUND
US: Knopf, 1972; Pocket Books, 1973
UK: Jonathan Cape: 1973; Futura Books, 1973; reissued, Methuen, TK

This new Everyman is Benny Walsh, busboy at the Homestead restaurant in New York City and autograph hunter extraordinaire. Benny, according to the New York Review of Books, “is the Rochefoucauld of media-living, his aphorisms ring true as crystal:’ We follow him through one demented week, become embroiled in his war with his arch-enemy, Garcia the headwaiter, his almost-love affair with Gloria, his suffocating relationship with his mother, and his hilarious pursuit of the famous. It is a week when things go out of control – the job, the world, the whole precarious network of enchantment that has been holding in check the final catastrophic flowering of his obsession.

This “brilliantly funny and poignant first novel” (Publishers Weekly) is now re-issued fifteen years after first publication.

“In a wild, hilarious and ultimately terrifying work, John Lahr has created a new Everyman”
Studs Terkel

“First rate … an accomplished tour de force!’
N. Y. Times

“It is a funny, moving, terrifying portrait of the dream life of America – haunting, beautifully written. I think it is a very important book:’
Arthur Kopit

‘Brilliantly funny and poignant first novel.’
Publisher’s Weekly

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