Friday, August 19, 2011

"Bang, Miss Scarlett. The war is over!

Pimping my work for the local papers, I thought I might as well write my own review of my book, hoping some editor could pick up on the info.
She did, and eventually a mini-review was put out on my The Fire in Bradford,
my local version of a Professor and the Blue Angel.

Here is what I teased the lady editor with, to give her some background on my novel.

"Newmarket's veteran writer, pamphleteer and former teacher Ivan Prokopchuk has written a novel about Bradford, but watch ou!. It's pretty Damon-Runyon. Guys and dolls--and some of the dolls have problems.
The Fire in Bradford is a novel along the lines of the antique movie The Professor and the Blue Angel. The professor meets his Marlene Dietrich, and to a straitlaced Prof recently divorced and lonely, this signals trouble right from the word go.Lana is is glamorous, has a job jumping out of cakes at conventions. He is newly divorced and looking for love and identity. It is not a cake walk.
The two personalities clash, there is fire. There is Fire in Bradford, which in the Eighties, was a pretty wild place in some sections, as the call sign then was sex, drugs and rock and roll.
It is into this world that the poor professor is thrust into.
He falls in love with the vivacious, gorgeous Lana, he the mousy Professor Rath and she the racy Blue Angel.

This was not the familiar College, Professor!
This was a world of players, pimps and police and it seems any number could play. Except him.
He was not a weekend man, but a weakened man after separation from his wife. What he wanted was love, understanding, a new start, perhaps a new identity.
He would surely not find it in The old Village Inn environs.
So he is beaten from the start, caught in a menage-a-trois between Lana, her husband-- and even Lanas other lover.
He soon discovers that five into four won't go.
After years of success and couthness at the college, he is something of a prude, and he just can't keep up with the fast style of Bradford Yuppies at the time.
He is finally dumped by Lana for an apparent drug dealer whom Lana needs to maintain her own supply.
She was not in love with the professor in spite of her love notes and entreaties to him as her possible way out. She was in love with the drug.
And so begins the professor's downfall as he descends into alcoholism and obsession over the lost Lana. "Only you," he cries into his beer at the Bonanza Tavern, while Lana marries the fourth man and herself descends into a West End drug existence in Toronto.
But there is something of the Don Quixote to the professor.
He attemps a rescue of Lana, who, of course does not want to be rescued. He botches the attempt and is ever further rebuked and rejected.
Says one reviewer about The Fire in Bradford, the fire is largely in hi pants, Lana is unnatainable and for him and his obsession, there is no exit.
He squanders all his savings, finally travels the world, trying to find in motion what he has lost--the unnaturally beautiful but wild Lana--and ends up as a Main Street alcoholic in Newmarket. No exit.
He finally sits near a dumpter at the 404 Plaza whre there is at least stale-dated food-- and writes his novel."

Heh. Romantic, no?


Charles Gramlich said...

I know folks who write in cafes. IN the alley near the dumpsters, not so much. But man that's a 'platform" if I've ever heard one.

Mona said...

When there is no other way to go, its the pen that flows. externalize the experience in order to understand it . Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...

ivan said...


Click onto "Contact Ivan" in my header...It's a cartoon representation of what you'd just said. :)

ivan said...


Like Baudelaire said, "let you pen follow your thoughts..." Even if it leads to Flowers of Evil?

Ah, I've always wanted to be the compleat Modernist!

Erik Donald France said...


I love The Blue Angel. There's supposed to be a film version of the newer novel that was inspired by the original movie(s)~~! said...

In the original l930 movie, I especially enjoyed the scene where
the professsor, after spending his meagre savings, is forced to take a position as a clown in Lola's cabaret troupe to pay the bills. In costume, he has to crow like a rooster, but it comes out more like a sad moan...All the sadder because of the oversized mock shirt collar, the whiteface and Prof Rath's realization that he is cockolded.
Oh sweet pain.
Talk about identification! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

My column in The Coast this week doesn't cover the sexiest topic - it's not exactly lighting the media on fire - but making significant changes to the Environment Act without much public consultation is a topic I thought important. You can read it at

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

the walking man said...

You do know this is how Whitman got his work out there eh? Write his own review under a pseudonym at the paper he worked for then go out at night and sell Leaves of Grass door to door.

When you're not paid attention you deserve I guess one must pay themselves... said...

Well, they say if you've got it, flaunt it.