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The Fat Lady Sings Paperback – February 5, 2001

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About the Author

David Scott Milton is an award winning novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His novels include, "The Quarterback", "Paradise Road", "Kabbalah", and "Skyline". His play, "Duet", with Ben Gazzara, was seen on Broadway. His film, "Born to Win", starring George Segal and featuring Robert DeNiro, has become an underground classic.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (February 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595147488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595147489
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,157,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Scott Milton started as an early member of Theater Genesis alongside Sam Shepard, Leonard Melfi, and Murray Mednick. His first plays, "The Interrogation Room" and "Halloween Mask," were produced there. Later plays, "Duet" and Bread," were done at the American Place Theatre. "Duet," starring Ben Gazzara, went on to Broadway. Milton's play "Skin" won the Neil Simon Playwriting Award. His screenplay, "Born to Win," became Ivan Passer's first American film and starred George Segal and Karen Black. He has published six novels. "Paradise Road" was cited by the Mark Twain Journal "for significant contribution to American literature." From 1977 until recently, he taught playwriting and screenwriting at USC. For thirteen years, he taught creative writing to men at the maximum security prison in Tehachapi, California. He wrote an article about the prison for the Los Angeles Times, and he created a one-man show, "Murderers Are My Life," which was nominated as best one-man show by the Valley Theater League of Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Meeks on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a rare combination of genres, both literary and mystery, not unlike books by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. The story centers around novelist Paul Dogolov, 48, who is stuck in his own existential hell. His wife recently left him with their two kids, he cannot write anymore, and memories of Vietnam haunt him. He decides to teach a writing class to prisoners at the local maximum-security prison on the edge of the Mojave Desert in California. The prisoners "must have interesting stories to tell, I reasoned. I wanted to get to know them and learn what it's like to have your freedom bounded by real walls instead of the walls inside your head."
There, Dogolov falls for a female prison guard as well as for a story of innocence by one of the members of his prison writers group. The young man, Travis Wells, was convicted of murdering his grandfather, as well as his half-brother and -sister, with a baseball bat. Compelled to look into it in much in the same way he's drawn to the prison guard who soon spends the night, Dogolov finds himself in real trouble. He's investigating in Joshua Crest, a small desert town where the police, judges, and others don't want him nosing.
Once Dogolov is caught up in the intrigue, the book is utterly brilliant. The tone reminds me of Dashiell Hammett's "Red Harvest," perhaps because the portrait of Joshua Crest is as bleak and compelling as Hammett's Poisonville, and the narrator is a kind of modern Continental Op, dark-humored, self-effacing, and in need of the truth--which is to say why I'm in awe.
Each chapter ends with a dramatic punch, and the action is constantly engaging and just wonderfully odd and bold.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "sylsbooks" on January 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
From the opening page I found myself emerged in the life of Paul Dogolov, sometimes author with a bad attitude, sometimes-sensitive father. As a Vietnam War veteran Paul considers himself a failure in his personal life and has hit rock bottom with alcohol abuse and little purpose in life.
Paul swings in and out of his alcohol-induced haze to find new meaning in his life and volunteers to teach the inmates of a maximum-security prison writing skills. Through his prison program the story comes alive with an in-depth look at the inmates and their lives, which also forces Paul to take a good hard, look at his own life. He finds within himself the capacity to care about his fellow humans once again and learns to trust himself and others, misplaced as this trust is at times.
As a lover of mystery and suspense this book kept me on the edge of my seat. Filled with twists and turns and even truly funny at times, David Scott Milton reveals himself as a gifted writer. Bravo!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gayla Collins on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Not being a fan of the mystery genre, I picked this book up with trepidation. 260 pages and several hours later I put it down, trembling with excitement from all I had experienced through the lyrical wonderment that is David Scott Milton. Never clique. Never trite. Milton's bag of tricks mixes murder, prison, the grime of the underbelly, with passion, profundity, and macabre humor. Paul, the protaginist is a grittier version of James Garner's "Rockford" and Robert Mitchum's "Phillip Marlowe," sharing his adventures in the first person. The dialogue rings true, the plot progression remains tight, and the prose is prolific at times.
Take this roller coaster ride; be lured into the calm of the approach, then hurled, whirled, spinning down and around surprise twists and chilling turns, never, ever guessing how it will end, till it does.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paula Hess on August 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was great! From the moment I started it I couldn't put it down. Paul Dogolov is a man who has many ghosts haunting him in his brain. He feels locked inside of a prison from many things that happened in his past. When he decides to teach a writing class in a maximum security prison to convicted killers he is swept up into a search for some meaning in both his life and theirs. Feeling that one of them may be innocent he takes it upon himself to try and solve the murder. From this point on hold on cause you are in for a non-stop ride till the very end. Full of twists and turns and non-stop edge of your seat suspense, this novel has it all. I laughed out loud, I held my breath and I felt much of Paul's pain as he tries to find both himself and a killer. Can't wait for more from the author!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kiran sethi on March 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
the fat lady not only sings - she reaches a new high ! what a book ! finally we have an author who believes that his readers are not to be talked down to. david writes with a style that ranges from gritty to fluid - paul dogolov's character emerges as the story unfolds, and he surprises you with the layers that he has ( not unlike shrek's 'onion' reference !) and it ends with a befitting twist in the tale - what a read ! thanks david!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AM Philyaw on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
The page-turning mystery, "The Fat Lady Sings", uses dialog and dialect to bring this amazing story to life. Dogolov, a man down on life from a recent divorce, finds a cause to defend and pursue. Believing he is not a hero, this Viet Nam war veteran finds a way to become a hero to himself and those he cares about. As the mystery unravels, Dogolov experiences many emotions through his interactions with prisoners and the injustices in the world he learns about.
"The Fat Lady Sings" takes the reader through many surprising twists and turns and through all the intrepidation, Dogolov discovers what is actually important in life and resolves the guilt he had from his divorce and the guilt that remained from Viet Nam.
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