Set in the 1950's, this epic, Warholian novel presents a brilliant and wholly original take on the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination.
Where were you when you first heard President Kennedy had been shot? This is a question most people can answer, even if the answer is "I wasn't born yet." In this epic novel, David Bowman makes the strong case that the shooting on November 22nd, 1963 was the major, defining turning point that catapulted the world into an entirely new stratosphere. It was the second big bang.
In this hilarious, lightning-fast historical novel, Bowman follows the most famous couples of the decade as their lives are torn apart by post-war's new normal. We see Lucille Ball's bizarre interrogation by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Jackie Onassis' moonlight cruise with Frank Sinatra . We follow Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller as they attempt to get quickie divorces together at a loophole resort in Nevada and watch a young Howard Hunt snoop around South America with the newly founded CIA. A young Jimi Hendrix, now the epitome of counterculture cool, tries his luck as a clean cut army recruit.
Written with an almost documentary film like intensity, BIG BANG is a posthumous work from the award-winning author of Let the Dog Drive. A riotous account of a country, perhaps, at the beginning of the end.
Where were you when you first heard President Kennedy had been shot?" asks Bowman (1957 2012) in the opening of his big, bold, and brilliant posthumous novel, and for the next 600 pages, he investigates what occurred in the years leading up to that monumental event in American history. Through the lives of such iconic figures as Norman Mailer, Elvis, William de Kooning, Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Spock, Ng Dihn Diem, Aristotle Onassis, the Kennedys themselves, and dozens of others, Bowman conjures an enormous narrative out of the troubled years from 1950 to 1963. Bowman takes the reader to Nevada, where Arthur Miller and Saul Bellow become short-term neighbors while waiting to obtain quickie divorces; to Seattle, where Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee have a strange encounter; to Mexico City, where William S. Burroughs shoots his wife in the head during a William Tell stunt gone horribly wrong; to Robert McNamara's home, where he and some Washington, D.C., friends have a book club; to Vietnam, where a fake coup quickly becomes a real one; and, of course, to Dallas on the day the President was gunned down. Bowman (Let the Dog Drive) relates all of these remarkable tales with a straight-faced, just-the-facts approach, stripping these giants of the 20th century of their mythic status and rendering them as mere humans caught, like everyone, in the crossfire of unrelenting history. Bowman's self-described "nonfiction novel" is a stunning and singular achievement.