In “Plrknib” Alex Bernstein takes the I’m with the Band vibe from “Almost Famous” and flips it into I’m with the Comics. The author of “Miserable Holiday Stories” brings you back to 1980 to tell a coming-of-age story set in the breakneck world of stand-up comedy. At 16, Bernstein became the youngest regular at Cincinnati’s premiere comedy club, d.w. eye. But as the pressure to keep up with the older comics grew, he looked for something – some edge – to help him compete. And then he found one: “Plrknib” – the perfect joke. But using the joke came with a terrible, terrible price. Set against the bohemian, downtown comedy boom of the early ’80s, “Plrknib” is a breezy, bittersweet, and utterly compelling memoir about love, friendship, and finding your own punchlines.
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“The Joe Nuxhall of Stand-Up Comedy”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Bruce Harris
Joe Nuxhall and Alex Bernstein have something special in common. Nuxhall, a left-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, made his major league debut in 1944. He was not quite 16-years of age. Nearly four decades later, Bernstein plied his talents on a different playing field in Cincinnati. At the tender age of 17, he was the youngest professional stand-up comic in the Queen City.
Plrknib is no joke. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s really a very funny joke, but the book, Plrknib is serious business. Bernstein takes us back to a small club in the early 1980’s and treats us to an atmospheric ride back in time. We meet the club’s owner, a number of comedians struggling to find themselves, a cast of enigmatic characters, and of course, Alex Bernstein. This may be the funniest book I’ve ever read! Yet, for all of its humor, it is poignant and informative. Through Bernstein’s eyes, we get a rare glimpse into the lives of stand-up comics — their successes, failures, insecurities, hard work and dedication to their craft. Alex bares his soul, bringing us backstage and on stage. His appreciation of the masters like Woody Allen, Albert Brooks, and Robert Klein come through loud and clear. We celebrate with Alex and die with him when he fails. I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.
This book is well written, professional, and funny! I savored every word.
About the Author
Alex Bernstein is a freelance writer in New Jersey. His work has appeared at Corvus, BluePrintReview, Hobo Pancakes, Gi60, The Rumpus, The Legendary, The Big Jewel, MonkeyBicycle, McSweeney’s, Yankee Pot Roast, Swink, Litro, Back Hair Advocate, and PopImage, among others. Please visit him at www.promonmars.com.
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