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Flash and Filigree

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  185 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Terry Southern is an acclaimed satirist of American culture, the writer responsible for Candy and the screenplay of Dr. Strangelove. In Flash and Filigree, his first novel, he delivers yet another outrageously funny commentary on the dark side of our national life. Frederick Eichner, world-renowned dermatologist, is visited by the entrancingly irritating Mr. Felix Treevly, ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published February 9th 1996 by Grove Press (first published 1958)
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mark monday
Sep 11, 2011 mark monday rated it it was ok
funny, surreal, fast-paced, sometimes well-written and sometimes sloppy first novel from a brilliant screenwriter. unfortunately, also rather unpleasantly dated (wannabe-funny date rape scene, anyone?) and the satire often felt forced. many laugh-out loud moments but overall rather wearying. is this novel a precursor to Bizarro? i have no idea, i've never read that genre.

favorite sequence: the game show "What's My Disease". you even get to see what goes on behind the scenes. nothing good, i pro
Oct 24, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Inexplicable, and certainly not a comedy. Terry Southern is credited with adding whatever humor is present in the film "Dr. Strangelove," and is generally referred to as a master of dark comedy. The cover of this book declares it "The comic masterpiece by the co-author of Candy and Strangelove," though I could find nothing comedic about this thing. It could be more accurately described as a searing indictment of binding repression of the 1950's when the book was written. Perhaps the most ...more
Justin  K. Rivers
Feb 21, 2012 Justin K. Rivers rated it it was ok
The least of Southern's novels. It's not poorly written. Indeed, it has the charm and succinctness of Southern's eye toward society. But it is restrained, as if Southern wanted to write the brutal scathing things he wrote in his later novels but wasn't allowed to be too daring.

The plot is ludicrous of course and doesn't make sense, but Southern hasn't pushed his satire or dark comedy far enough to be funny. Neither does he control the narrative or prose enough to make it meaningful.
Angus McKeogh
Aug 28, 2015 Angus McKeogh rated it it was ok
The first few chapters were some of the most brilliant and quirky chapters of any book I've ever read. And then it became disjointed and rolled downhill. Just ended up being okay.
Nigel Kotani
This is one of the strangest books I've read in my life. It's like magical realism, but without the surrealism or the poetry: it's completely prosaic. The closest book to which I can compare it is the Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, but with the major difference being that in Master and Margarita there's an explanation for all the strange things that happen - the devil coming to the Earth and causing mischief - whereas in Flash and Filigree there is no explanation: normal-seeming ...more
Feb 16, 2014 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Pynchon-lite before there was even a Pynchon (to speak of) on the horizon - published in 1958, this darkly madcap novel anticipates the black comedy of, oh, I dunno, Crying of Lot 49 and much of what was subliminally hateful (a term that probably makes more sense to me and my LEGOland/Candyland internal logic than to anybody else) and itchingly prophetic (see previous parenthetical) of Summer of Love (era) cinema (but that's a "duh", author also wrote some of Dr. Strangelove) - and there ain't a ...more
Aug 12, 2013 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Let me just disclaimer by saying I love "Dr. Strangelove," loved "Now Dig This," the author's collection of essays, and I still plan to read "Candy" and "The Magic Christian" and "Blue Movie." But man, I was *not* feeling this. Calling it a "black comedy" seems a bit strong, as I had to scrabble hard in my heart to claw out a forced chuckle two or three times. Maybe it's just on the other side of a puritanical/rebellious wall, and it was a lot more bawdy for its time. I'm willing to make that ...more
Sean Mcmahon
Apr 10, 2013 Sean Mcmahon rated it really liked it
I wish there was a 4.5 star button!

As a teenager I loved this book or loved the notion of it. The chapter patterning where the scene is set in standard pulp novel and then develops in farce

Maybe it's time to reread but it left a huge impression on me and Southern's style seems to be echoed in numerous films, perhaps he'd not the progenitor of this style, Joyce's extravagant descriptions in Ulysses may have paved the road for Southern but nonetheless, I loved the way he built a sterotypical envir
Oct 08, 2014 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one at all
Completely worthless novel that I would have abandoned had it not been the only thing I had with me while hanging out in a hospital waiting room (and I only took it along because it was the smallest book I currently was reading) . . . had read about 20 pages some time ago and thought it pretty weird then.

Disappointing because I was expecting something humorous from Terry Southern. Guess I was wrong! Just weird, made little sense, and had no point that I can see. I guess there's a plot but no poi
May 12, 2008 Zach rated it liked it
Not quite put together satisfyingly, not even in a po-mo sort of way (& I don't think he was going for that), this was still worthwhile & definitely makes me want to read more Southern. Short story collection, I'm looking at you.
Leonard Pierce
May 11, 2008 Leonard Pierce rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Southern's first novel is still a winner, with great characters, elegant prose, and thematic elements that remind me a great deal of Nabokov.
Apr 09, 2008 Rowan rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Stylistically interesting, but pales in comparison to its common companion piece, The Magic Christian.
Mr. Pe Mr. Pe
this is a great book and i recommend it to everyone
Frederick rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2015
Greg Lastrapes
Greg Lastrapes rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2011
Ray Zilionis
Ray Zilionis rated it it was amazing
Aug 12, 2013
Larry rated it liked it
Apr 05, 2012
Jink rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2015
Abby Lavin
Abby Lavin rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2014
Monty rated it it was ok
May 12, 2009
Josh Ronsen
Josh Ronsen rated it did not like it
Feb 02, 2016
John rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2014
Peter rated it liked it
May 25, 2010
Seth Augenstein
May 21, 2010 Seth Augenstein rated it liked it
Eh. I guess it's hilarious.
Palmer Holton
Palmer Holton rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2013
Carl rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2012
KP rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2011
Kirsten rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2007
Robert rated it it was ok
Oct 19, 2007
Brooks rated it it was ok
Jan 30, 2012
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Flash and Filigree book trailer 1 1 Jun 01, 2014 11:04AM  
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Terry Southern was a highly influential American short story writer, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer noted for his distinctive satirical style. He was part of the Paris postwar literary movement in the 1950s and a companion to Beat writers in Greenwich Village; he was at the center of Swinging London in the sixties and helped to change the style and substance of Hollywood ...more
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