DAYS AND NIGHTS AT COSTELLO'S by Joe McCarthy

DAYS AND NIGHTS AT COSTELLO'S

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unforgettable characters,"" unused anecdotes, and other mementos of a long (1948-1979) freelance writing career. The title piece offers further tales of the Third Avenue bar memorialized by John McNulty in The New Yorker, including stories about the stories McNulty wrote (and, on the slightly weightier side, a nice appreciation of A. J. Liebling). Others are a catchall of stray anecdotes--many of them second- and third-hand--about the Kennedys (McCarthy collaborated on Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye), HST, and Sherman Adams; Jackie Gleason, Jimmy Durante, and Fred Allen; Mary Martin, Edward R. Murrow, and the Meadows sisters (""Memorable M's""); and some amusing, if already overexposed, imposters (beginning with Mike Romanoff himself). There's also a mini-bio of Clark Gable with the accent on his marriages (after McCarthy reported back that Gable's much-older, financially-strapped first wife bore him no grudge, her mortgage was paid off and her roof was repaired); and a drum-roll for restaurateur Toots Shor featuring Bob Considine, Jackie Gleason, and other quotables. McCarthy tries manfully to discredit talk of multiple JFK liaisons (when Jackie was away, he had buddy Dave Powers in to stay); and he writes that, at his instigation, Sherman Adams asked Ike why he approved the Gary Powers U-2 flight on the eve of a summit meeting--and that Eisenhower blinked: it ""just never crossed his mind."" That's about the extent of the ponderables here. The final piece--on getting into Hiroshima ahead of U.S. military and medical forces--seems particularly ill-advised among this ephemera.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1980
Publisher: Little, Brown