Permanent Midnight: A Memoir

Jerry Stahl, Author Warner Books $22.95 (371p) ISBN 978-0-446-51794-2
This unabashedly lurid and often highly entertaining book traces Stahl's rise from Hustler staffer, to highly paid prime-time television writer, to his breakneck devolution into self-loathing junkie father and ``author of nothing but bad checks.'' While stumbling cheerily toward rock bottom, he somehow managed to keep landing such plum assignments as writing for Moonlighting and thirtysomething. But fans hoping for backstage gossip about their favorite shows will be disappointed. For all the rivers of every conceivable narcotic flowing here, there is surprisingly little inside dope. ``The truth: This book... is less... an exercise in recall than exorcism.'' Stahl's manic wise-cracking never wavers, whether he is describing his remote and suicidal parents or a grandmotherly babysitter who forced him to lick Jujubes off her nipples every day after school. While Stahl managed to survive his fall with enough ``real funny'' intact to provoke some grossed-out laughs, what seems meant as a hilarious memoir of his drug-besotted depression too often becomes just a depressing memoir of his hilarity. A study in self-absorption. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-16712-3
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-446-67218-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-446-60726-1
Paperback - 371 pages - 978-0-9760822-0-0
Ebook - 380 pages - 978-1-934170-48-9
Hardcover - 396 pages - 978-1-942600-05-3
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