Cover by Todd Engel

  5.0 out of 5 stars         Reads like Raymond Chandler, fast & sharp!

  By M. Lee Alexander   March 13, 2011

  Good People draws readers into the world of comedy clubs in New York City in the 1980s through incisive writing sprinkled with Raymond Chandler-like similes and pace, and complicated characters whose lives and relationships you'll care about. Appropriate to a novel about comedy clubs, the author's writing style is humorous and at times biting—like the shark on the cover! Music and stagecraft are woven into the narrative along with ambition, competition, and weather imagery that reflects the tumultuous and uncertain world the characters inhabit as they pursue their dreams. A sharp contemporary novel of a neglected and important era of American popular culture.


Cover by Todd Engel

5.0 out of 5 stars         Excellent Comedy  March 16, 2011

By A. Reader

A great read. Funny, sardonic, touching by turns. The author's ear for dialogue and eye for Manhattan and its denizens are particularly deft—read the lines aloud (or even to yourself) and you're in the presence of the characters themselves. Excellent narrative and pace. You'll enjoy it.


In the crazy 80s, You Never Knew Who Was Hustling Whom

Cover by Todd Engel

New book chronicles comedy business with which yours truly was intimately involved

By Mark Breslin

Post City Magazines (Toronto)   September 2011

Good People is a crackling good read, a short satirical foray into both the comedy club boom and the go-go business culture of the ’80s. Meyers, who in the mid-80s was an executive with Catch a Rising Star in New York, gets the details right, and you can practically smell the spandex, hair gel and cheap limos that permeated the era.

A little back story: Back then, Catch a Rising Star was the hottest comedy club in the world, not just because of sets performed nightly by Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Andy Kaufman and the like, but also because of its clientele. One night I sat in the packed little room and saw Paul McCartney and his entourage in one corner and Mick Jagger and his groupies in the other. There were supermodels galore, and the bathrooms were always packed, if you know what I mean.

The club was owned by two partners, until they split, with one taking the management clients (which mostly meant Pat Benatar) and the other getting the club. He had a plan: Use the heat generated by the dinky little comedy joint to float an IPO, then buy or open clubs all over the continent. This is the story that Meyers tells so well in his novel. It covers the wild time when Catch went public, a deal that led to the company’s implosion....

Post City Magazines’ humour columnist, Mark Breslin, is the founder of Yuk Yuk’s comedy clubs and the author of several books, including Control Freaked.


4.0 out of 5 stars         A fast-moving story with madcap characters and snappy dialogue

By Gerry A. Burnie ("Gerry B's Book Reviews" (Canada))

Cover by Todd Engel   May 30, 2011

Good People is a story about characters thrown together in a madcap scenario. We find Rex Black, a sleazy promoter trying to finagle an IPO by hook or by crook for a chain of comedy clubs; Michael, the long-suffering office manager, basically good but a little shady himself, who is partnered in a more-or-less sexless relationship with Conor, a talented general manager and sexual opportunist. On the distaff side we have Rosetta Stone, who is clawing—and sucking—her way to becoming a headliner; Perri, Black's worldly assistant, barfing every morning because she is pregnant; Siggy the financial finagler, and Ashley the heiress with the scatterbrained roommate she constantly complains about but can't boot out. These are all distinct and well developed, but the most outstanding quality is the dialogue, which is crisp and rapid fire.

It's a snappy story packed with wonderfully madcap characters and superb dialogue. Enthusiastically recommended!


Cover by Todd Engel

  5.0 out of 5 stars         A Serious, Hip and Humorous First Printing

  By Rabid Reader   March 3, 2011

  Good People is even better than its inspired cover—a good mainstream read and a serious work of art. The title sounds friendly, affirmative. The shark says, "Wait a minute." In Good People the author melds experience and fictive imagination to create a gripping and many-layered story, beautifully written, skillfully told. The first sentence hurls the reader into the surreal reality of the dizzily paced 1980's comedy club business. Sleazy entrepreneur Rex Black doesn't just enter Poor Richard's Cabaret. He "raids" it. And the pace doesn't ease off until all the principal characters, straight and gay, are whole on the page, in the heart of action, delivering crisp dialogue in distinctive tonal patterns. They're interesting characters, not always attractive or admirable, but believable. Their very humanity shapes the story, most notably in the sensitive and moving treatment of Michael's unrequited love for Conor.

The author cleverly (and subversively) plays Rex and Rosetta Stone off one another as monomaniacs of a kind. Rex, a true believer in free enterprise (he avoids paying his bills), tries to build a comedy club empire on cold-blooded "pure ambition" and a scruffy Manhattan bar, The Gag Reflex. Rosetta seeks to build her madcap comedy career as a performer similarly, by any and all means, devil take the hindmost. The set-piece scenes not only advance the story, but are wonderful in their own right. Don't miss Conor's first visit to The Gag Reflex; Rex's initial encounter with Siggy, the sinister Wall Street operative who may or may not engineer a tricky stock offering to make Rex fabulously rich; Rosetta's cruel but honestly-driven and self-destructive exposure of Rex, and Rex's ultimate nude crack-up with its promising exit line, "Everything's super, Reuben. Just super."


Cover by Todd Engel

Excerpt      Decider      

Good People FAQ

Cover by Todd Engel

Q. Where's the title come from? Isn't there a 2010 play of the same name?

A. Yes, but the novel Good People was referred to it under that title on the Web as early as 2000.

Q. Is Good People a roman à clef?

A. Let's call it a workplace drama, based in some distant fashion on the best job I ever had—from which I bailed, an act, however painful at the time, to which I might well owe my survival. No one else got out alive, except, of course, for the one who's now a billionaire.

Here's a true story about how the joke that (as I like to think) put Brett Butler over nationally came about: One late afternoon the phones were ringing in the bullpen, and next to me I could hear our put-upon young booker bitterly saying over the phone to Bill Maher, "If I hear one more PMS joke, I'm going to kill somebody."

I blurted out, "'Ashley,' that's funny!"

"Wait, hold on, Steve's trying to say something." She put Maher on hold. "What is it?"

"'Ashley,' that's funny!"

"It is?" She double-checked with "Joey," asking him in her gravelly voice if "If I hear one more PMS joke, I'm going to kill somebody" was funny. "Joey" fell out of his chair laughing: "That's a riot!"

"Hmm, maybe I'll give it to somebody," said "Ashley." "Who does it sound like? Brett? I'll give it to Brett."

A few weeks later I saw Brett Butler on The Tonight Show saying, "If I hear one more PMS joke, I'm going to kill somebody." And the next thing anyone knew, she was, as she deserved to be, a star.

Excerpt      Decider