The Autograph Hound
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Hailed as a tour de force by the New York Times, this irresistible novel captures John Lahr's madcap genius. Meet Benny Walsh: busboy at the Homestead restaurant in New York City by day, compulsive autograph hunter by night. Known for going to extraordinary lengths for a much-coveted signature, Benny is also tangled up with an actress and fellow autograph hound named Gloria, and drawn into an embittered battle with his archenemy, a headwaiter with a grudge. Lahr's acclaimed debut novel captures one wild week in Benny's life. It is an introduction to a brilliantly drawn and determined character who will stay with you long after the final page.
show respect. It’s Fifth Avenue.” “My father drove an ambulance.” “I’m sorry, Gloria. I still hate them.” “That driver had it on steady wail. A grade-A driver would’ve used the ‘whooper.’ It costs a hundred twenty-five dollars extra, but it’s not as scary.” “You said your father was polite. Have you seen how these ambulances scream around the city—pushing people off the road, running traffic lights, making noise?” “In Lake George it was different. He called it ‘The Silver Savior.’ We had
“She doesn’t sound so friendly.” “Who is it?” yells Miss Magdalen. “It’s Gloria.” “Come in, sweetie.” Gloria gives me a shove. I freeze. She walks into the room and closes the door behind her. A few minutes later, Miss Magdalen’s saying, “Benny Walsh, step in here and say hello to your Merri.” She sees me staring at the necklace hanging down from the corner of her mirror. “Pure rhinestones, Benny. They used to drape it over the cash register at the Pink Panther in Miami. It was my calling
fingers through. Usually, the horses are brought out after sundown to get the customers, who pay $40 or more, to the theater on time. The Homestead stagecoach is one of the sights of the city. It’s higher than your ordinary car and says THE HOMESTEAD across the luggage rack. The Homestead horses are authentic Western types, none of these phony English kind with their tails pointing in the air like pinkies. “You shouldn’t drive the stagecoach during the day, Rumsey. People are too busy to
away, the cat will play.” He stands right by the stool. He gives me the finger. “You’ve got your work cut out. Station four’s very busy now.” “Didn’t I tell you I was gonna bust some Commie chops? I’m on the inside. That’s what they teach you at spy school—how to kiss ass and strike while the iron’s hot. You got to be at the right place at the right time.” “I never missed a day in eight years. Lou Gehrig has nothing on me.” “Junior, it’s a new ball game. I’m making notes on everything. Who
winning, Desi. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” “Walsh, you got your money. Get out. You’re fired!” “Nobody fires an eight-year man, jerk. They give him a watch. They call him into the Boss’s office for a highball and handshake.” “You always trouble. You and those dumb autographs.” “You think it ends here, Mr. Frame-up. It doesn’t. I got friends. They’re not gonna let you get away with this.” I show him the bag. “These people could buy you and sell you.” “I call the