DON'T LOOK BACK by Patrick O'Connor

DON'T LOOK BACK

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An often moving collection of colophon-length musings and amusements by New York paperback-editor/anthologist/poet O'Connor (former editor-in-chief of Popular Library, Washington Square Press, and Pinnacle Books). Though O'Connor writes about his love of Broadway musicals, plays, and ballet, his main interest lies in recounting meetings with famed authors and publishing folk; his dodges for slipping favorite books into print; his skiing prowess on nitroglycerin pills; his feeble mastery of bridge by which he won notices in a tournament presided over by Ely Culbertson; and tales about his enormous infatuation with New York. He comes from Braddock, Pennsylvania, where, he says, few people could spell Petrouchka, much less hum it. While O'Connor worked as an assistant agent at MCA, a dramatic rush call came in from actor/client Darren McGavin for a baby-sitter. Stumped, O'Connor phoned Mr. and Mrs. Boris Karloff, who lived in McGavin's building, begging them to go down to the McGavins' room. McGavin's face was ``a sight to behold,'' said Mrs. McGavin, when Darren opened his door and the player of the Frankenstein monster introduced himself as the evening's baby sitter for the actor's two little daughters. Then we have O'Connor prepping himself on the entire works of Ayn Rand when NAL made him her editor, and her smiling question over dinner if he'd not once called her ``the writer of the best juveniles in America?'' The odyssey of O'Connor getting E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels into reprint by falsely announcing that Masterpiece Theatre would be filming them is also not to be missed. Great fun.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-55921-098-2
Page count: 140pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993