Pal Joey: The Novel and The Libretto and Lyrics (Penguin Classics)
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For its 75th anniversary and Frank Sinatra’s centennial: the Jazz Age masterpiece that inspired the iconic Sinatra film and the hit Broadway musical, and featuring the musical’s libretto and lyrics
On the seedy side of Chicago nightlife in the 1930s, Joey Evans is a poor man’s Bing Crosby—a big-talking, small-time nightclub crooner down on his luck but always on the make. In slangy, error-littered letters signed “Pal Joey,” he recounts his exploits with brash nightclub managers, shady business partners, and every pretty girl (“mouse”) he meets. Charismatic yet conniving, Pal Joey is a smooth operator whose bravado and big ideas disguise a far less self-assured soul, caught up in the rags-to-riches dream of the Jazz Age.
Originally serialized in The New Yorker and the inspiration for the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical of the same name and the 1957 film starring Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, and Rita Hayworth, Pal Joey is the story of a true “heel,” as complex and memorable as any antihero in American literature.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
her boss & his wife would be there that nite. I said what boss, forgetting. She meant the boss at the real estate office where she stennoged. I forgot she was still working there. So I gave her a big intro. and also gave her 2 more nos to sing than usual so she could impress her boss. Well I tho’t no more of it till the next nite she was there early & said she wanted to talk to me and I said o.k. and what she wanted to talk about was dough and I tho’t being innocent I tho’t she wanted to pay me
fascinating old charachter. To me he was a dirty old man with a lot of moola. I was even thinking rapid calculation how much it would cost to take my little mouse out to her sororty house by taxi instead of waiting till Preston decided to take us home and just then the old man returned from his phone call. He must of got a big order from some Amer. Leg. conventon because he was smiling when he sat down with us. The old dame got up again and began horse-whipping The Lamp is Low. Dunlin said to me
she? MIKE (Taking Gent off, left) Come on, brother. DOTTIE What does he mean? Why should Joey be through? GIRL (On from right) I don’t know. Why don’t you ask him. (JOEY enters, center.) DOTTIE Joey, are you leaving? (JOEY enters—shakes “no.”) JOEY Happy Hunting Horn Don’t worry, girls, I’m only on vacation Not out of circulation, Don’t worry, girls. Don’t worry, girls, While I still have my eyesight You’re going to be in my sight; Don’t worry, girls. You never can erase
going to be a great big master of ceremonies, in a great big night club . . . JOEY Hey, I thought it was going to be aan-teem. Small but exclusive. Chez Joey. Chez Joey. I can just see myself in white tie, and tails, maybe an opera hat sort of like this . . . (Imitates a smooth toothy entrance) “Maysure a dam.” Suave. I bow here, I bow there. Very quiet. Maybe I have the plumbers playing Valentina very soft behind me. Never raise my voice. I wish I could do it all in French. Maybe I will, maybe
negosiate with a better sponsor. Still Im not complaining. Your old pal Joey is doing all right for himself. I get a due bill at the hotel and what they pay me in additon aint hay. I also have the radio spot and the private parties. I went for a second hand Lasalle coop and I am thinking of joining the country club. I go there all the time with some of the local 400 so I figure I might as well join but will wait till I make sure I am going to stay here. I get my picture in the paper and write ups