Cover image for Millard Fillmore, mon amour
Title:
Millard Fillmore, mon amour
Author:
Blumenthal, John.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780312323684
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Once a gangly teenager in oversized clothes, Plato G. Fussell is now handsome and independently wealthy. But inside he's still a bundle of neuroses and anxieties:, including a tendency to engage in moronic word games in the presence of beautiful women. In the midst of working. on his definitive ten-volume biography of Millard Fillmore, Plato finds himself dodging his ex-wife, trying to please his demanding elderly mother by inquiring weekly about the state of her bowels, and attempting to remain verbally coherent while courting a young woman he meets after her errant Frisbee connects with his cranium. As Plato blunders on in search of true love, romance, and an acceptable degree of worldwide cleanliness, he discovers that loving someone and knowing them needn't go hand-in-hand


Author Notes

John Blumenthal 's humorous essays have appeared in such publications as Playboy and Punch . His previous novel, What's Wrong with Dorfman? , was a Book Sense 76 pick. In addition to several novels and nonfiction books, he has also written for the movies and television. He lives in Southern California with his family.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

At the very thought of talking to women, anxiety-ridden, death-obsessed, insecure, indecisive Plato Fussell falls into wordplay, spontaneously speaking in spoonerisms and reversing the letters of words. His tall, handsome, successful appearance masks an inner short, myopic Superdork with ill-fitting clothes and braces. Add to that his favorite conversational ploy--forgotten American presidents, especially Millard Fillmore--and he makes the young Woody Allen seem a confident babe magnet. At his psychiatrist's annual doctor-patient picnic in Van Nuys, a purple Frisbee thrown by a stunning young woman conks him, and before you can say Isabella (his dog's name) and Ferdinand (her dog's name), he's smitten and winds up bedding her--regularly. But she's the shrink's wife. Subsequent complications in Blumenthal's engagingly written comic romance include Plato's dealings with ex-wife Daisy, who cheated him out of a fortune she claims, after having lost almost a million at Vegas crap tables, to have given mostly to charity. Loopy humor keeps things entertaining in this tale that screams to be filmed. --Whitney Scott Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Blumenthal (What's Wrong with Dorfman?) keeps the energy high, the expectations low and the yuks coming fast in this funny but strangely static novel. Plato G. Fussell is a neurotic, self-made millionaire working on a 10-volume biography of President Millard Fillmore. Painfully awkward around women and prone to embarrassing verbal gaffes, Fussell also doesn't believe in love. And what happens to people who don't believe in love? They fall head over heels, of course. Insert a raven-haired beauty with the same penchant for hypochondria as Plato, and we have a match. The problem is, she's the recently estranged spouse of Fussell's psychiatrist, Dr. Wang. For a while, it's fun to watch Fussell play his shrink like a fiddle, searching for information, but Blumenthal drags this plot out past its life span. Smartly, he brings in other diversions: the twilight-time escapades of Fussell's mother, a bowel-obsessed harpy, and his father, a bore who turns out to be anything but, prove to be cunning distractions-but only for so long. Blumenthal is excellent at keeping several plots going at once but the most important one peters out, only to be resurrected, sort of, by a surprising but artificial ending, a resounding thud at the end of a book that, for the most part, kept the proceedings pleasurably light and snappy. Agent, Daniel Greenberg at James Levine Communications. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved