Ahead of his time again
Here, a gossip columnist gives a protesting Mandrell a lesson in the technique of manufacturing celebrity:
"They didn't know your name six weeks ago," he gloated. "Now they do, thanks to `Rochey's Roundup.' When I first started mentioning you I had to identify you as `the mysterious Augustus Mandrell.' ... Gradually, using your name at least once a week, I feel I have established your identity. Thus, in yesterday's column my readers had no difficulty flashing up a mental image when they read: `Insiders of the Green Room set say it was a dispute over who would throw the upcoming Augustus Mandrell birthday party that caused that unholy din in the Poe Park Tavern powder room last P.M. ... A new art form, old man."
And here's Mandrell in a philosophical mood on the eternal demand for his services:
Ah well, like so many old fashioned business firms, Mandrell, Limited but serves an existing market. Mandrell does not, as is the new business approach, create the market and then sustain it.
Sure, McAuliffe smoothly pulls off leaps of time within his stories; perhaps I'll discuss his backward and forward narrative technique in a future comment. For now, though, here's the important thing: By God, are his books fun.
© Peter Rozovsky 2006
humorous crime fiction