Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words
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“Octogenarian, Andy Halmay, a refuge from Madison Avenue, published his first book - "It Ain't Fine if it Don't Rhyme" - after reaching the age when most authors are dead. This finds him frequently hiding from the Grim Reaper. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, he was born in Romania, grew up with Romanian, German, French and a smattering of Hungarian before half-mastering English (which sufficed him on Madison Avenue where he practiced writing fiction i.e., TV commercials) He has worked as a stevedore, tobacco picker, construction worker, salesman, copywriter, actor, director, producer in theater, radio, TV and films.”
“An innocent romantic comedy with a provocative title, all about sex, soccer and skullduggery.”
A smooth-talking, womanizing Italian strikes it rich (both with money and willing females), falls (or jumps) off the gravy train, comes to America where he falls in love with the widow of a mafia boss, and decides to become a one woman man, if only he can catch her. Sounds … different, doesn’t it? One Hundred Naked Girls is a farcical story and a fun read. Originally written as a screenplay (more about that later), Hamay’s writing often seems like it must be violating the author’s maxim of “show, don’t tell” as the narrator, Carlo, describes the happenings around him. One scene (the one the title comes from) happens entirely in Carlo’s imagination and feels like a scene from a slightly offbeat musical. Yet once I got into the spirit of the book, a bit off-the-wall with a touch of whimsy, Hamey’s visual paintings delivered via Carlo’s narration seemed natural.
After Carlo’s fictional story ends, Hamay tells the story behind the story in an extended postscript (roughly 15% of the book). This postscript chronicles the history of the story that eventually became this book, including writing a screenplay, and multiple false starts and derailed attempts to make a movie. Sprinkled with autographical bits from the author’s work in the advertising and film industries, it’s an interesting glimpse into what it takes to get a move made. Or not. That story is still playing out.
A small amount of adult language.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four stars