The scene: 'It starts with two men - one thin, one fat - dressed in tuxedos, walking down a black-and-white street arm-in-arm.'
A powerful, beautiful novel - by turns hilarious and tragic - a great book about the people that made America. Spanning the waning years of vaudeville and the golden age of Hollywood, 'Niagara Falls All Over Again' chronicles a flawed, passionate friendship over thirty years, weaving a powerful story of family and love, grief and loss.
Born into a Jewish family in small-town Iowa, the only boy among six sisters, Mose Sharp couldn't leave home soon enough. By sixteen Mose had already joined the vaudeville circuit. But he knew one thing from the start: "I needed a partner," he recalls. "I had always needed a partner."
Then, an ebullient, self-destructive comedian named Rocky Carter came crashing into his life - and a thirty-year partnership was born. But as the comedy team of Carter and Sharp thrived from the vaudeville backwaters to Broadway to Hollywood, a funny thing happed amid the laughter: it was Mose who had all the best lines offstage.
Rocky would go through money, women, and wives in his restless search for love; Mose would settle down to a family life marked by fragile joy and wrenching tragedy. And soon, cracks were appearing in their complex relationship . . . until one unforgivable act leads to another and a partnership begins to unravel.
In a novel as daring as it is compassionate, Elizabeth McCracken introduces an indelibly drawn cast of characters - from Mose's Iowa family to the vagabond friends, lovers, and competitors who share his dizzying journey - as she deftly explores the fragile structures that underlie love affairs and friendships, partnerships and families.
An elegiac and unique American novel, 'Niagara Falls All Over Again' is storytelling at its finest - a powerful proof that Elizabeth McCracken is one of the most dynamic and wholly original voices of her generation.