I’m Fonda this book!

Latest posts by Ed Park (see all)

Just in case founding Dullblogger Devin doesn’t trumpet the news…

His new book, The Man Who Saw a Ghost: The Life and Work of Henry Fonda, is out today! [Ed.’s note: this post was meant to appear on Tuesday.]

A must for anyone interested in Fonda, Hollywood, acting, and (above all) Dev’s jaw-droppingly smart and stylish writing, some of which has been on display here on Hey Dullblog…(Of course, you’ve all read his first book, Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History, haven’t you? Look on the left for the link!) 

Some more praise for TMWSAG:

“Henry Fonda may have been the strangest, most compelling male star Hollywood ever spawned, and McKinney reveals him as even stranger and more compelling. In addition, this may be the single best piece of writing of any sort you’ll see this year.” — Luc Sante, author of Low Life and Evidence

Congratulations, Beatle Dev!

Oh wait, check out one more rave:

“How many different ways can I mean to call this book essential? The sentences, in honor of their subject, threaten to explode with implication and insight.” — Jonathan Lethem, author of Chronic City and Motherless Brooklyn

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  1. Avatar Nancy Carr wrote:

    Congratulations, Devin! I can only imagine how much work went into this.

  2. Thank you, Nancy. Yes, it was work. But worth it.

    The “Ed.’s note” reminds me of my favorite joke, which probably you’ve all heard:

    A man gets a call from his doctor. Doctor says, “I’ve got bad news and worse news. The bad news is your tests came back and you’ve got 24 hours to live.”

    “Oh my God,” the man says. “What’s the worse news?”

    Doctor says, “I forgot to call you yesterday.”

  3. Avatar Anonymous wrote:


    An interesting books is “The Seesaw Log” by the playwright William Gibson. It’s his memoir of creating the play “Two For The Seesaw” and his courting of “Hank” Fonda for the lead role.

    Fonda comes across as a quiet, thoughtful guy with no hollywood pretensions about him.

    – Hologram Sam

  4. Sam, I’ve read William Gibson’s book several times and used it as a key resource for mine, which has a long section on that production. Quiet, thoughtful, unpretentious, all those words are more or less accurate; Gibson also depicts Fonda as a great actor whose magnetism on the stage was beyond normal reckoning. But Fonda also comes across as a near-total son of a bitch. The portrait rhymes with enough other evidences of his behavior during that period that I believe it completely.

  5. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    Devin, the Gibson book is certainly an obscure reference. I remember the book from years ago; it sat in my parents’ bookcase and I remember reading it as a bored twelve year old, and being impressed with the challenges and opportunities of a writer’s life. I inherited the book and today it sits on my shelf with a bunch of other dusty first editions.

    The fact that you’ve not only heard of it, but read it several times, just goes to show the genius of all folks heydullblogger. Most folks nowadays, if you namedrop William Gibson, immediately think of the famed cyberpunk author.

    – Hologram Sam

    p.s. I see on boingboing.net, somebody has lovingly recreated the famous “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” poster that so inspired our hero back in the pepper days.

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