From the award-winning, bestselling author of Chang & Eng and Half a Life, a new novel about Lucille Ball, a love story starring Hollywood's first true media mogul. This romance begins with the conceit that the author's grandfather, Isidore, may have had an affair with the I Love Lucy star.
Such reverie is more intoxicating than a tall glass of Vitameatavegamin ... if you want a biography of the comedian, look elsewhere ... So much of what The Queen of Tuesday describes hews to the general outlines of our cultural memory that it’s easy to elide Strauss’s creative license, but the alterations start right on the title page: I Love Lucy ran on Mondays — not Tuesdays ... if you give yourself over to his premise, The Queen of Tuesday is a striking exploration of how fame confounds the lives of prominent and obscure people ... Strauss conjures up those heady days of I Love Lucy with such vibrancy that it’s impossible not to hope that everything might work out after all ... what makes The Queen of Tuesday so peculiar and fascinating is the story that Strauss weaves through it about his grandfather, Izzy ... impossibly daring ... tragic and poignant.
... in this buoyant fictional biography [Strauss] has provided a welcome reminder that Ball was far more than an adept comic famous for pulling faces and surreal physical stunts ... energetically quirky and entertaining ... sensitive writing ... He bores deeply and with present-tense energy into the minds and spirits of both characters ... Strauss also manages to widen his lens to a full-blown portrait of the country’s mid-century mores and prejudices ... an impressive mixture of fact and guesswork and pure imagination ... against all odds deeply satisfying.
...ingenious and bittersweet ... To better stress her relevance, Strauss finds a way to work in a Trump ... Darin takes a while to insinuate himself into the story, which makes The Queen of Tuesday feel somewhat off-kilter. Rather than a historical novel leavened and complicated by the novelist’s presence, the book often feels divided into segregated lumps of 'auto' and 'fiction' ... But even someone who grasps what Strauss is doing and likes it might wonder whether a novel about a comedian should be funnier ... Strauss finds his footing toward the end, balancing Isidore‘s and Lucille’s real lives and the romance he’s dreamed for them.