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From the screenwriter of such classic films as North by Northwest, Sabrina and Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf two biting, unflinching novellas about naked ambition and media manipulation.
Best known as the basis for the classic film starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster, and soon to be a major Broadway play, Sweet Smell of Success is a dark and gripping novella about media manipulation and the will to get ahead by any means necessary. Lehman scathingly depicts the dark side of success through the twisted relationship of Sidney Falco, an ambitious publicist, and J.J. Hunsecker, a powerful and vindictive gossip columnist, fashioned after Walter Winchell. As scandals are manufactured and reputations ruined for sport, the story spirals downward toward one last, savage act of revenge. As brutally honest as Nathanael West s The Day of the Locust, Sweet Smell of Success is one of the most enduring and provocative stories in the literature of show business.
This collection of the long out-of-print fiction of Ernest Lehman also includes the novella The Comedian, a scathing portrait of the sordid private life of a famous funnyman. The book is rounded out by thirteen off-beat and brilliant short stories about Broadway and the big time that ruthlessly dissect the world behind the bright lights and happy endings.
Ernest Lehman has been mercifully resurrected. See, there is a God. Vanity Fair
Nominated for five Academy Awards, Ernest Lehman is Hollywood s most literary screenwriter. He won a Golden Globe for his work on Billy Wilder s Sabrina, and wrote such classics as Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf , North by Northwest, West Side Story, Hello Dolly!, The Sound of Music, and The King and I. He produced Hello Dolly! and Who s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and directed Portnoy s Complaint. He lives in Hollywood.