Tales of The Old Detective: And Other Big Fat Lies (hardback)
Tales of The Old Detective: And Other Big Fat Lies
By Philip Austin
Illustrated by Bruce Litz
Edited by Taylor Jessen
194 total pages
Case ISBN 978-1-62933-821-7
“Some of the sharpest writing ever from a comic genius.” –Kurt Luchs, Talking Book Review
“Good sentence structure.” –Chevy Chase
Philip Austin, one of America's great comedy writer/performers and one quarter of the notorious Firesign Theatre, was the editor and main contributor of an alternative-universe 1930s-era New Yorker that never was. Influenced in equal parts by the noir of Hammett,
the deeply personal short stories of Saroyan, and the barn-burning surrealism of the Marx
Brothers, he wrote stories of The Old Detective, a shamus who hung out in a tatty pink-plaster bungalow telling tales of exotic babes shooting craps in a barrel; wood-peckers who solved mysteries; mountaineers who worked laterally across miles of urban city streets; and housewives of Fresno who abandoned their homes and dug tunnels below their neighborhood. The 18 stories in this collection cover all this territory and more, delving into Phil's love of dogs, the Pacific Northwest, state fairs, and school lunch menus. A must-have for anyone who's enjoyed his work in or out of the Firesign Theatre.
PHILIP AUSTIN was born in Denver, Colorado in 1941 and grew up in Fresno, California. He attended Bowdoin College, Fresno State College, and UCLA. In the 1960s he was a member of the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and was Program Director for Drama and Literature at KPFK-FM, where in 1966 he met his future collaborators in the Firesign Theatre—Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor. The Firesign Theatre went on to write and perform more than 23 albums over 40 years, several of which featuring Austin’s best-known character, Nick Danger. The group’s album Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers was inducted into the Library of Congress’ Recording Registry in 2005. As a writer he published many short stories and wrote several screenplays, including the never-produced Grateful Dead movie Brokedown Palace and the novel Beaver Teeth. He died in 2015.