|Me and Orson Welles|
|by Robert Kaplow|
"This is the story of one week in my life. I was seventeen. It was the week I slept in Orson Welles's pajamas. It was the week I fell in love. And it was the week I changed my middle name twice."
So begins Me and Orson Welles, a comic coming-of-age novel set against the background of the twenty-two-year-old Orson Welles's debut production at the Mercury Theatre on Broadway. Richard Samuels is the stage-struck seventeen-year-old from New Jersey who wanders onto the set one day and gets a small role in Welles's Julius Caesar. His life will never be the same.
With humor and pathos, Kaplow evokes a lost era in theatrical history. At the same time, he has created a compelling romantic comedy whose protagonist finds himself in the center of an exhilarating vortex of celebrity, ego, art, and love.
America's most beloved writer, Lilian Jackson Braun, author of twenty-five Cat Who... mysteries, is now the subject of a mystery herself. In Robert Kaplow's brilliant and bawdy parody, Ms. Braun's headless body has been discovered in the men's room of a bar in Lower Manhattan. The police are busy filming reality television shows, so it falls to Braun's writer friend James Qafka and his Siamese cats, Ying-Tong and Poon-Tang, to solve the ghastly mystery.
Q's quest leads him on a wildly satirical chase that combines the spirits of Lenny Bruce, Dashiell Hammett, and the Hope/Crosby "Road" pictures. Before it's over, we've encountered a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, a sex-starved suburban housewife, a mysterious Hollywood diary, Harry Houdini, a sinister cult, and two gifted cats who lead Q. and his spunky undergraduate assistant to finally unravel the riddle of The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Satirist Robert Kaplow is the creator of Moe Moskowitz and the Punsters for NPR's Morning Edition. He is a teacher and the author of four highly acclaimed novels.