Larry L. King, R.I.P.


Sorry to hear of the passing of Larry L. King, one of my favorite authors. Judging from his many autobiographical writings, I don't think I'd have liked the man a lot in person but it sure was fun and enlightening to read him, especially when he wrote about writing. About a third of his works were on that topic and it was always interesting to observe how his mind worked…and how at times, it didn't. He did a book called None But a Blockhead that won't teach you how to write except in the sense that reading anything well-written teaches you a little about writing. But I found it helpful in coming to some realizations about what I did for a living and what it meant, socially and personally. He did a book called The Whorehouse Papers which was a diary of the making of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a musical he co-authored. He also wrote some very fine books and articles about politics and about folks in that arena he knew well like Nelson Rockefeller and Bobby Baker.

Few of his books seem to be in print at the moment. This may be the only one and it's not his best work. But he's not hard to find via the used book market, especially if you remember that there have been at least four different Larry Kings (and one Larry L. King) who have written books but are not him. If you come across one cheap, grab it and see if you like him as much as I do.

Here's the New York Times obit on him and in case you've used up your quota of stories you're allowed to read there for December, here's a link to the L.A. Times obit.