For me it begins in such an ordinary way ... with a gorilla, a blonde,and a gun ...
Mid- 20th century Hollywood; 'RaymondChandler's LA before Pilates and cell phones'. Clancy Sigal (who would later bethe inspiration for Doris Lessing's 'Saul Green') is just back fromfighting in the Second World War and an abortive solo attempt to assassinate HermannGoering at the Nurenburg trials.
Charming his way into a job as anagent with the Sam Jaffe agency, Sigal plunges into a chaotic Hollywood peopled by fastwomen, washed-up screenwriters, wily directors, and starstruck FBI agentstrailing 'subversives'. He parties with the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, TonyCurtis and an anxious Peter Lorre, who becomes a drinking buddy.
But this is the era of the Hollywood Blacklistand Sigal, like many of his contemporaries, is subpoenaed to testify before theHUAC. Will he give up the list of nine names, burning a hole in his pocket, tosave his own skin? Hilarious, touching, intimate and revealing: Sigal'smemoir reads like a forgotten hardboiled detective novel and has all the makings of aninstant classic.