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Foolscap: A Novel Hardcover – October 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); 1st edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316545279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316545273
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,261,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In top comedic form, Malone follows a North Carolina English professor's merry chase across the Atlantic after a play of his that has been purloined.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Embarrassed by his past, Theo Ryan, professor of Renaissance drama, tries to hide the fact that he is the child of ``show-biz'' parents. He literally and figuratively pursues his own play, Foolscap , when the only copy of his script is stolen by Ford Rexford, American playwright and international scoundrel. As Theo tries to retrieve his masterpiece, he travels to England where he meets the famous and eccentric scholar, Dame Winifred Throckmorton, as well as the equally bizarre Jones Marsh. The novel satirizes the worlds of academe, the theater, and the English privileged class. It is an inviting blend of character study, intrigue, and theater lore. It's a book for those interested in writing, theater, or having a good laugh.
- Patricia Bowers, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Malone can create such fabulous characters and such funny situations.
Mary
It tells the story of biographer, playwright, literary forger Theo Ryan, a professor with a big heart and a sound mind who is a bit naive.
william woolum
Mixed success, his first book is unreadable, think Finnegans Wake unreadable.
Colleen Golden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Napierala on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
I first read Foolscap in its hardcover release and was taken with its blend of wacky plot, warm-hearted character development and erudite but accessible literary and historical reference.
As the years have gone by, I find myself returning to the book when I need a good kick in the butt - it makes a marvelous case for taking chances and believing in yourself in order to build a rich, satisfying life.
Also, Michael Malone has a talent for creating some of the most attractive male characters I've ever come across. Theo Ryan from this book and Cuddy and Justin from the Hillston series are great guys to spend some time with.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a former academic, I loved this book! Malone does a great job revealing the lunacies which characterize modern academia. The professors at Cavendish University will be very familiar to anyone who has spent any time at all at an American university.

The story itself is also quite fun---even if you aren't a fan of Walter Raleigh (as Malone clearly is---this is not his first book to discuss Raleigh).
Malone has a great sense of humor and the book, which follows the exploits of Theo Ryan, mild-mannered professor turned literary forger, is the kind which makes you laugh out loud. Avoid reading this in public unless you are comfortable having people watch you suddenly burst into uncontrollable laughter.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By william woolum on August 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The world of academia has always taken itself very seriously, and so when a writer like Kingsley Amis, Jane Smiley, David Lodge, or Robert Grudin parodies this seriousness, it makes for wonderful reading. Malone's parody of a fictional North Carolina university extends the parody beyond the ivory tower and into the worlds of publishing and theater. It tells the story of biographer, playwright, literary forger Theo Ryan, a professor with a big heart and a sound mind who is a bit naive. It's his touch of innocence that makes his tale so charming as Ryan goes back and forth between England and the USA, trying to do well by all and finding himself in farcical situations, despite his good will. It's a sometimes dark, but ultimately cheering comedy where love wins out and the truth prevail!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 119 Sandy Lane on October 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Having read many Malone books including the masterpiece Handling Sin, Foolscap comes close, it contains humour, pathos and literary info, I,m sure most Malone fans would like to read this, I had to wait 6 weeks before Amazon,bless them, tracked a copy down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading seven of Michael Malone's novels in little over a year, and five in the past month and a half, I didn't think that anything he wrote could surprise me, other than that his books are all so good, but Foolscap is a surprise. It's not better than the best of his other novels (Handling Sin, Time's Witness, Dingley Falls) but it goes off in a different direction than any of them, it employs a different narrative strategy and thus sits at a different angle to literal reality. "

Facts are cattle," says Dame Winifred Throckmorton, a noted but slightly batty sir Walter Raleigh scholar. "Theory is a bird. One must leap, in order to soar." This lively comic novel about the forging of a last-minute play supposedly written by the Elizabethan Golden Man Raleigh definitely leaps and just as definitely soars. In capsule, the story is of a quiet, mildly depressed and definitely suppressed theatrical scholar, Theo Ryan, and his liberation through prolonged, always exhilarating and almost as often irritating contact with Ford Rexford, perhaps the greatest living writer of plays in the English language. My God, can Malone write -and plot! There are enough memorable characters and incidents in here for a half dozen books, but none better than the irrepressible Dame Winifred and the alcoholic Bad Boy Ford Rexford. ("It's like art, kid," the ghost of Rexford tells Theo, "It's like me. It doesn't have to be real. It just has to be true.") And there at least three or four lesser characters who are just as winning. This is a very generous book and n one benefits more than the reader fortunate enough to sit down with it and savor its pleasures. To top it off, there is an understated but quite wonderful love story in these pages, between Theo and the salty country western singer Rhodora Potts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1996
Format: Paperback
Radical college campus protests. Musical theatre.
North Carolina. Fraudulent Elizabethan artifacts and a
mad chase across England. What do these things have to do
with one another? I'm not sure, but Malone manages to
weave them together in this hilarious tale of a college
professor drawn into a set of most complicated
circumstances. Malone's writing is superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Francesca on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite books. It's funny, a clever satire of the world of academia, but so much more. It's the story of an awakening- a late bloomer's coming-of-age story. Malone is generally note-perfect in his characterizations, and in Theo he has created a wonderful flesh and blood person. Other characters also shine, from the silly university figures to the richly imagined and unforgettable playwright who sparks Theo's transformation. Or perhaps I should say, the man who helps Theo light the fire he has always had within him. I think that Malone, like many male writers, is weaker in creating women characters, but he clearly loves women and Rhodora is a memorable creation. I can still picture specific moments from the book, like Theo stepping onto the stage to audition, like a certain boat scene, or like the dead-on faculty meeting that kicks off the book and will remind anyone of at least one meeting from hell. Overall, this is a book for anyone who wants to read several love stories at once- a love of words and theater, the love of parents whether biological or artistic, falling in real love for the first time, and the love the author has for the world and characters he creates. Don't be put off by the setting, the events that occur in England, or the reviews that don't seem to see beneath the surface of the story. There's a reason Malone fans are devoted. I just wish he wrote more and faster. But then, magic takes time.
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