Monday, May 28, 2007

I'm Dickens, He's Fenster: The Most Awesome Reference Ever?

I hate to bury the lead about my reading at A Cappella Books on Saturday, but I had to mention a flattering, interesting, and enticingly weird review my new book received in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The reviewer contributes some highly pleasant ruminations and vivid summaries. He kindly says I "knocked [him] stupid," and makes the generous comparison that reviewing my book is "like trying to tell a stranger about rock 'n' roll" - I don't know, if I read that review, I'd want to buy my book! The reviewer does have some reservations, which he expresses in the next-to-last paragraph, but that's okay! I can't expect him to like everything! I'm not perfect! And even then he's very polite about it. And mostly he seemed to "get" the book and enjoy it (though, contrary to his interpretation, I think of the end of "Outsiders" as an anti-O. Henry ending, because **** ********** *** **** ****** [I don't want to spoil it for you!]). But the most awesome part of the review is that it all turns on a reference to the TV show "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster," the mere title of which I could have SWORN Mr. Ward and I were the last people on Earth to recall. It wouldn't even ring a bell with Jeff McNeil, I'll wager, and HE knows about THIS show, on the retooled version of which ("The Phyllis Diller Show") Marty Ingels and John Astin (Dickens and Fenster of "Dickens and Fenster" fame) guest starred. Not only that, but the review turns on a specific EPISODE of "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster." And not only THAT, even the TITLE of the review refers to "I'm Dickens, He's Fenster." Strange and sort of titillating! If I were reviewing the review, I would give it a "thumbs up"! (Pictured, John Astin, who played either Dickens or Fenster, I have no idea, as Edgar Allan Poe. Why? Why not?)