Fridays at Enrico's (Hardcover)
Counterpoint LLC, 9781619023017, 325pp.
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Don Carpenter was one of the finest novelists in the West. His first novel, A Hard Rain Falling, published in 1966, has been championed by Richard Price, and George Pelecanos called it "a masterpiece . . . the definitive juvenile-delinquency novel and a damning indictment of our criminal justice system." His novel A Couple of Comedians is thought by some the best novel about Hollywood ever written. Fridays at Enrico's is the story of four writers living in Northern California and Portland during the early, heady days of the Beat scene, a time of youth and opportunity. This story mixes the excitement of beginning with the melancholy of ambition, often thwarted and never satisfied. Loss of innocence is only the first price you pay. These are people, men and women, tender with expectation, at risk and in love. Carpenter also carefully draws a portrait of these two remarkable places, San Francisco and Portland, in the '50s and early '60s, when writers and bohemians were busy creating the groundwork for what came to be the counterculture. The complete penultimate manuscript forgotten since the author's death, was recently discovered, and we're thrilled to see this book into print.
About the Author
Don Carpenter was born in Berkeley in 1932. Raised in Portland, he enlisted in the air force and returned to the bay area at the end of his service. He published ten novels during his lifetime, and he had a successful career as a screenwriter, living for long periods in Hollywood. After years of poor health he committed suicide in Mill Valley in 1995.