Friday, March 26, 2010

"The Serialist"

David Gordon was born in Queens and currently lives in New York City. He attended Sarah Lawrence College, holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature and an MFA in Writing, both from Columbia University, and has worked in film, fashion, publishing, and pornography.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Serialist, his first book, and reported the following:
I feel like I’m at a slight disadvantage: Page 69 in my book is the first page of a chapter, so it’s really half a page with a big 19 on top. It is, however, a turning point in the story: Harry, the narrator, is a struggling writer who cranks out pulp novels – vampires, sci-fi, hardboiled crime, even porn – under a host of fake names. He’s also a loner, living in Queens, far from the literary world inhabited by his ex-girlfriend and her husband, both hip, successful novelists. Then, out of nowhere, Darian Clay, a famous serial killer, sitting on deathrow, makes Harry an offer: fame and fortune as the co-author of his tell-all memoir in exchange for some very strange personal writing of his own. He is tempted, but after meeting the charismatic but disturbing Clay, Harry, scared and generally creeped out, decides to decline. That’s when Daniella calls. The sister of one of Clay’s victims, she pleads with Harry for a meeting. Chapter 19:
The following afternoon I met Dani Giancarlo at a coffeeshop in Soho. When she walked in, a chill went through me, and although she was beautiful and smiling at the world, I felt sad. She wore jeans tucked into high boots and a white cable-knit sweater and was hauling an enormous leather shoulder bag a long with her backpack and purse. Her hair was long and straight and blond. That was the only difference. Otherwise she was a dead ringer for her sister with the long brown hair. I stood.

“Ms. Giancarlo?”
The reason Harry is charmed, chilled and saddened is because he realizes Dani is in fact the murdered girl’s twin sister. This is the first sign that this beautiful and determined woman is haunted. The next shock is the fact that, unlike all the other family members, who want Clay dead and forgotten, Dani begs Harry to write the book and unravel the full truth. He also learns that she has a troubled past of her own, that she is a stripper with underworld connections, not to mention, a crack shot with a pistol. In other words, she is like a character from one of Harry’s own hard-boiled detective books. Shy, mild-mannered Harry, who spends his days in his bathrobe, making up stories about Mordechai Jones, the ghetto sheriff, has just met a femme fatale: she is like no one he has ever met in his life, and she just might get Harry killed.
Browse inside The Serialist, and learn more about the book and author at David Gordon's blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue