From Publishers Weekly
America's 13th president has often been the subject of humor, and this bogus biography by Pendle (Strange Angels: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons
) is no exception. Fillmore was not a "blundering, pompous, ultimately shallow failure," claims Pendle. Instead, we learn that the multitalented Fillmore had a rich and varied life, at once heroic, artistic and full of intellectual vigor. He saved a woman from a shark attack and received good reviews for his minstrel show performance: "he had the audience guffawing mightily." A prolific inventor, he never received proper credit for vulcanizing rubber or designing the cooling "Tea-shirt." Like Woody Allen's Zelig, Fillmore had a knack for always being present at major historical events, where he usually emerged triumphant (as when he prevented the assassination of Andrew Jackson and survived the Battle of the Alamo. Using previously unknown sources, Pendle has achieved his goal "to redeem the reputation of a forgotten giant," and he also succeeds in amusing readers by mixing the historical and the hysterical. 40 b&w illus. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
George Pendle is the author of Strange Angel.
He has written for The Times, The Sunday Times,
the Financial Times,
and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He lives in New York City.