A Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern by Lee Hill

By Lee Hill

"When they are not shocked or astonished or engaged by means of what you are saying, the ball video game is over. in the event that they locate it repulsive, or outlandish, or disgusting, that is alright, or in the event that they like it, that is alright, but when they simply shrug it off, it is time to retire."

-- Terry Southern

A Grand Guy

He was once the hipster's hipster, the correct icon of cool. A small-town Texan who disdained his "good ol' boy" roots, he bopped with the Beats, hobnobbed with Sartre and Camus, and referred to as William Faulkner good friend. He used to be one of the main inventive and unique avid gamers within the Paris Review caliber Lit online game, but his maximum literary good fortune was once a semi pornographic pulp novel. for many years, the group he ran with used to be composed of the main recognized artistic artists of the day. He wrote Dr. Strangelove with Stanley Kubrick, Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, and labored on Saturday evening dwell with a more youthful, louder breed of sacred cow torpedoers. he is a face within the crowd at the hide of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts membership Band (the man within the sunglasses). anyplace the cultural motion was once, he used to be there, the lifetime of each occasion -- Paris within the '50s, London within the swinging '60s, Greenwich Village, and massive undesirable Hollywood. tremendous, dynamic, irrepressible, he loved striking good fortune after which squandered it with nearly superhuman extra. there has been, and ever might be, just one Terry Southern.

In a biography as vivid and colourful because the existence it celebrates, Lee Hill masterfully explores the low and high instances of the original, incomparable Terry Southern, probably the most actual abilities of this or the other age. Illuminating, exhilarating, and sobering, it really is an intimate portrait of an unequaled satirist and satyrist whose urge for food for all times used to be huge, immense -- and whose target used to be yes and precise as he took pictures at consumerism, America's repressive political tradition, upper-class amorality, and middle-class banality.

But greater than easily the tale of 1 guy, here's a wide-screen, Technicolor view of a century within the throes of profound cultural swap -- frorn the 1st cold blasts of the chilly struggle and McCarthyism to the Vietnam period and the Reagan years; from Miles and Kerouac to the Beatles, the Stones, and past. And continually on the heart of the whirlwind was once Terry Southern -- outrageous, unpredictable, captivating, erudite, and without end cool; a brazen innovator and unappreciated genius; and such a lot of all, A Grand Guy.

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Additional info for A Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern

Sample text

Well, hey, nobody wants that. Dr. Strangelove got people to talk about the Cold War in a relaxed and open way, but without the gloomy last-night-on-earth confessionals à la Fred Astaire and Ava Gardner in On the Beach. In fact, Dr. Strangelove is very funny—a unique blend of slapstick and agitprop. Who would have thought the end of the world could be so exhilarating? These are contradictions Time-Life’s phalanx of editors will have to sort out as they pore over ace reporter Jane Howard’s copy and Schapiro’s elegantly composed snaps.

When pressed to talk about his years in the Army, Southern would reply almost like the nostalgic hero of Neil Simon’s play Biloxi Blues. “The main effect of the war on me was the opportunity to travel. ” Most of his service was spent in Reading, with generous amounts of leave allowing him to visit London on a regular basis. After D-Day, Southern’s regiment participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Like many of the soldiers in the brutal winter offensive of 1944–45, Southern spent his time trying to stay warm in flimsy campsites chipped out of the frozen soil of the Ardennes.

Armstrong, bought several hundred acres including the community of Hord’s Ridge in 1887 and developed the area into an elite residential community. In Oak Cliff, Southern’s father worked hard to sustain an appearance of upward mobility. Like many young men of promise in the twenties, he took no small amount of strength and solace from drinking. When Southern was a small child, the drinking seemed amusing. His dad had a reputation as a jokester who liked to tie one on. He is alleged to have almost gotten shot by a neighbor sneaking back into his home after a night on the town.

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