Devil by the Tail

Devil by the TailAt the writers’ workshop this evening I proudly showed off my latest acquisition, which is a 1947 novel, Devil by the Tail, by one Langston Moffett. Who might he be? No less than the son of prolific American journalist, playwright and author Cleveland Moffett (1863-1926), and the father of Cleve Moffett, an active member of our workshop. Can writing run in a family? Based on the example of the Moffetts, you’d have to say that it can, for Cleve also writes wittily and beautifully (and, happily, this evening submitted the last chapter of his current work in progress). Cleve’s father had a battle with the bottle and Devil by the Tail was, he insists, largely autobiographical. The blurb certainly makes it sound like an ‘Under Several Volcanoes‘; ‘This novel is the portrait of likeable, immature Gordon Sullivan who tried to escape the stark gray ugliness of sobriety through the dreams and refuges provided by alcohol. It is the story of his musings, adventures, futilities, and truly Gargantuan benders in Mexico, Europe, America and Canada on his long flight from the devil which he had by the tail.’ I can’t wait to read it! Langston Moffett was also a collected artist. I have not been able to establish whether this cover illustration was by him but it is certainly a pretty cover.

1 Comment

  1. I am an avid reader and an avid drinker. “Devil by the Tail” is the funniest book I’ve ever read. one of the most profound books. a genuine book. I found this book by chance in an old library. I am convinced of one thing: Moffet was a genius.

    Greetings to you and especially to the son of Moffet

    Marcello, Italy

    Sorry for my english

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