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Flash and Filigree

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  12 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
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
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 poignan ...more
Justin  K. Rivers
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.
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
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 ad ...more
Sean Mcmahon
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 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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 3 of 5 stars
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
Seth Augenstein
Eh. I guess it's hilarious.
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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
More about Terry Southern...
The Magic Christian Candy Blue Movie Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes Now Dig This: The Unspeakable Writings, 1950-1995

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