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Paperback The Franchiser Book

ISBN: 0879233230

ISBN13: 9780879233235

The Franchiser

This description may be from another edition of this product. Ben Flesh is one of the men "who made America look like America, who made America famous." He collects franchises, traveling from state to state, acquiring the brand-name establishments that shape the...

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Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Elkin at the height of his art

At one point in the Franchiser, the book's central character, Ben Flesh, says with a whimpering exhale: I want my remission back. Ben's flesh, literally, and Ben's small empire of franchises face imminent death in a 1970s America of rolling blackouts and gas shortages. Ben has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; his franchising fund, controlled by his godcousins, has been diagnosed sub-performing and unfit. The back-story of Ben's franchise building ability is laid out in a wonderful early chapter, but what draws us to Elkin, and why we'll read anything he wrote is the language-writing that is grabbed by the jugular and dragged like prey across the page. Like all his characters, those in The Franchiser speak in a colorful and idiosyncratic vernacular, and in Ben's case the dogmatisms of business school and manias of endless entrepreneurship. If you are a Midwesterner, especially one from Kansas City, you will smile at Flesh's analysis á la Roland Barthes of the Crown Center Mall. Read Elkin's Franchiser: laugh, cry, and marvel at it all.

This is the most accurate Bicentennial picture of America.

You won't come acoss a more side-splittingly funny portrait of America in 1976 than what Elkin gives us here. I don't know which is the more: the humor in America that is depressing or the depression that is humorous; in any event, the book is a must for anyone who likes his or her humor bitersweet, his or her prose lush, and his or her mind to be stimulated and entertained!
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