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It’s 1966, and young Heywood Gould, a Brooklyn boy with literary ambitions, has his dream job. He is a reporter at the ultra liberal (that’s right liberal) New York Post, alongside young writers like Nora Ephron, Pete Hamill and Anthony Scaduto. New York is a newspaper town, six dailies trying to beat each other to the big story. He revels in the action and competition.

It’s one of the most consequential moments in American history. Gould chases stories about the civil rights struggle, the anti-war movement, riots and rat infestation and World’s Fair scandals. He covers everything from toy shows to murder trials. This is the best training for an apprentice writer.

Then he gets that fateful letter that begins, “Greetings.” After five years of dodging, Uncle Sam has caught up with him. He’s been caught in the Vietnam draft.

Now he is torn between his hatred of the war and his loyalty to his intensely patriotic family, Jewish immigrants who credit America with saving their lives, all of whom served in World War II.

In this comic memoir of his early life, screenwriter, director and novelist Gould cuts back and forth between vivid scenes of childhood as early as age 2, and coming of age in New York City in the ’60′s. Fighting anti-Semitic bullies in the neighborhood. Collecting corpses for a Brooklyn funeral home. Dropping acid in Greenwich Village and dropping out of college for a year of sleazy encounters and one bittersweet love affair in the down and out world of left bank Paris.

He tells of the strategies he employed as his draft day approached. Shrink’s notes, urine switches, bogus arrests, arranged marriages, freakouts at the physical-all to no avail.

Possessed of uncanny recall for details, an unparalleled ear for dialogue, and disarming candor about his foibles, young Heywood is great company. Reader will be treated to a ride to another era, not so terribly long ago.


Gould is the author of “Fort Apache, the Bronx,” and, as in that book, his streetwise, smart-aleck commentary sets the right tone for “Cocktail”. It also carries this picaresque novel along at a fast clip.”
–New York Times Book Review

“Cocktail offers “a tour-de-force two-page history of (New York’s) Upper West Side’s gentrification-as seen through drinking habits…Even more impressive: Gould’s authoritative, back-room view of the saloon trade-the atmosphere, the stealing, the drugs, the hype, the demographics…grimly amusing entertainment.”
–-Kirkus Reviews

“Fort Apache, The Bronx is a tough-talking street melodrama, both shocking and sorrowful…it’s also entertaining and very moving, which is not something you can say of stories about the decline and fall of civilizations.”
–New York Times Book Review

“Gould is a screenwriter, but this yarn, “Leading Lady” owes more to his days as a reporter for the New York Post…Gould sketches his motley crew in detail without sacrificing his relentless pace. Lots of fun.”
–Vince Keenan.com

“Novelist Heywood Gould is back with a noir thriller, full of action, dark humor, multiple killings, and a swath of eccentric characters plucked from the American heartland…This high-caliber redemptive road trip is quick-witted, stylish, and highly entertaining.”
–Library Journal, Seamus Scanlon, Ctr. for Worker Education, CUNY

“Director Jay Braffner is making a movie about killing all the people in Hollywood whom he thinks stole his ideas and ruined his career. Unfortunately, the movie is all in his mind, but the victims are all too real. In this blackest of screwball comedies, Gould gives new meaning to the idea of Hollywood backstabbing.”
–Booklist, Stacy Alesi

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