When legendary Hollywood and Broadway press agent, Geoffrey Putnam dies unexpectedly, his lawyers inform C. R. Holloway that Putnam has bequeathed his notes for a tell-all memoir, with the implication that Holloway should get it published.
Surprised and flattered, Holloway soon realizes Putnam’s 21 legal-sized pads, though wildly bizarre and outrageously funny, are a veritable snake-pit of slander and rife for libel suits. Privately, Putnam referred to his favorite clients as his ‘BCs’ and left his listeners to figure out the meaning of that titillating acronym. Holloway’s dilemma: How to fulfill Putnam’s final wishes and not get sued?
For more than a decade, Holloway slaved over the handwritten pages and marginalia, endeavoring to hone down the hyperbole, parse the prurient and decipher the significance of ‘BCs’. The breakthrough came when Holloway leased a second home in New Orleans’ storied Pontalba Apartments and began to assimilate that city’s laissez-faire attitude and exultation in the unorthodox. “Get out of the way,” it seemed to whisper. “Leave your small-town judgments back in New Jersey.”
On heeding The Big Easy’s siren-call, the book finally took shape and with it, the meaning of ‘BC’ came into full focus. The result is Wretched Excess, nine loosely related short-stories, sure to enrage the aggressively pious, raise the bar on Schadenfreude, and delight all who take pleasure in harpooning the hypocritical.
ADVANCE REVIEWS Its style is crisp and pithy and very, very funny. Some of the lines are so clever that I read them twice and thrice over. The religious satire is up there with Almodovar. The [Tennessee] Williams cameo is a delight and the whole thing is a scream - not so much Evelyn Waugh as Joe Orton at his wickedest. Thanks for giving me that rare thing - genuine laughs and real literary pleasure. Thomas Wright, Critic, Author: OSCAR’S BOOKS.
Wretched Excess recalls my privileged youth—sitting at the feet of various Hollywood spellbinders, hanging on their every word, laughing and gasping in delight, never daring to question whether their stories were true or not. A swell read. Brian Taggert, Screenwriter: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE