The Best of Bad Hemingway: Choice Entries from the Harry's Bar & American Grill Imitation Hemingway Competition

George Plimpton, Introduction by Harvest Books $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-15-611861-3
For the past 11 years, Harry's Bar & Grill, in Century City, Calif., ran a promotional contest, now defunct, called the ``International Imitation Hemingway Competition.'' Participants were asked to supply ``a really good page of really bad Hemingway.'' There is much said about old men and bulls and hunting and fishing and eating and drinking and fighting and love in the 44 entries collected here. Hemingway fans will regard with great pleasure and approval such sendups as: `` `I wish boy were here,' he said softly, `and I was at Harry's bar. Oh well,' he continued with truly unbelievable humility, `at least I do not have a groin pull like the great Earl Campbell of the Oilers of Houston' ''; his detractors might enjoy them even more. An additional nine pieces, written in the same spirit of malicious homage, are supplied by E. B. White, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others, including Plimpton, who, in his introduction, explains the rules of the contest, laments its demise and notes Papa's disdain for the art form: ``The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.'' Illustrated with caricatures. First serial to the New York Times Book Review. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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