September 2nd, 2007

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Sixties Novels, Part 36


THE DEATH AND LIFE OF HARRY GOTH, D. Keith Mano, Knopf, 1971

People who are online a lot tend to think that the internet holds the answers to all questions of any significance. But this is just not true. The vast majority of the world's information remains undigitized. In March, the NEW YORK TIMES had a great (long) piece on this problem. I've reproduced it here, outside its restricted access, hidden away in the jump. Read it if you wish--I found it fascinating--and then we can return to the actual topic of this post.

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Welcome back! Disheartening news for knowledge-lovers, isn't it? Well, let's move on to our actual subject.

Our current author, D. Keith Mano, is a case that illustrates how a relatively important writer can become lost in the transition from print to the web.

He has no homepage that I can find.

He has no Wikipedia entry.

There's no page that tells us if he's even still alive. (He'd be only 65 years old.)

And this from a fellow who had a fairly significant career.

I suppose the folks at Dalkey Press would know if DKM is still around, since they've kept one of his books in print. But they haven't made the knowledge public.

Thanks to his journalism, mainly in PLAYBOY, D. Keith Mano once had a high profile as a raffish, cosmopolitan novelist, the kind of fellow who would be hanging out with Hef one day, then knocking off a satirical novel the next.

But as the gap between books (detailed below) shows, the writing must've gotten harder.

We find him writing for TV during the Nineties.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0961354/

He contributed "Sex Stars of the Century" to PLAYBOY for January 1999. And then the trail just peters out.

Maybe the absence of any obituary is proof that he's still alive, but we can't be sure.

In any case, he seems to have stopped writing both fiction and journalism.

The Dalkey Press publicity about DKM claims a total of eight novels for him. Using ABEBOOKS, we find:

BISHOP'S PROGRESS, 1968
HORN, 1969
WAR IS HEAVEN!, 1970
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF HARRY GOTH, 1971
THE PROSELYTIZER, 1972
THE BRIDGE, 1973
TAKE FIVE, 1982
TOPLESS, 1991

He earns an entry in the Clute and Nicholls SF ENCYCLOPEDIA for HORN, WAR IS HEAVEN! and THE BRIDGE, which all have fantastical content. Chances are, like many authors, DKM's genre work will be his only lasting shot at posterity. Fans have long and potent memories.

What were his books like? You can read critic John Leonard's review of TAKE FIVE here:

http://tinyurl.com/2ladu2

And Kinky Friedman's review of TOPLESS here:

http://tinyurl.com/2fe6oh

As for HARRY GOTH, it's one of those quintessentially Sixties novels that take the piss out of the absurdity of the contemporary American landscape. Here's the jacket copy:


[Click once, then again, for maximum readability]

There you are: more than you ever wanted to know about D. Keith Mano.

This post has probably become the de facto expert source for DKM studies on the web.

Posted by Paul DiFi.