FOUR ROSES IN THREE ACTS by Franklin Mason
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FOUR ROSES IN THREE ACTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title is skewed Gertrude Stein--but that's only the beginning of what the old girl is subjected to in this miniature jape. Along with Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Gerald and Sara Murphy, la Stein and the whole Parisian moveable feast are jiggled antically until there's hardly a mythic piety left. The very first paragraph immediately shows Mason to be an affectionately lethal funster: ""Ernest Hemingway liked it up in Michigan, liked it fine. It was always fine weather up in Michigan. Cold but fine. Cold enough to freeze a brass monkey. Some cold, eh?"" There are real literary laughs to come as well: famous apocrypha given new contexts ("" 'You are a lost generation,' Gertrude told him""--after Hemingway, who believe it or not is having an affair with her, can't find his way back to his seat in a dark cinema); slogans are mauled ("" 'Living good is a good revenge,' Ernest said""). And, apart from the unlikely Hemingway/Stein liaison, there's also Hemingway arriving for the first time in Paris already equipped with all four of his wives; Scott F. worrying about the size of his ears (Zelda says they're too big); and various slapsticks set at the bull-running at Pamplona. Big profound bites are obviously not Mason's way; his is a nipping, puncturing tattoo, gleefully laconic--and the perfect Christmas-stocking stuffer for your three or four favorite literati.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Fiction Collective--dist. by Braziller