Did two Kennedy’s die on that tragic day in Dallas? This is the drama during the days of Camelot when American comedy turned into America s tragedy… Americans lost their innocence on that tragic day in Dallas November 22, 1963. The Days of the Bitter End takes readers back to the streets of the political and cultural focal point of the sixties: New York City’s Greenwich Village — at the moment of one of contemporary history’s life-changing events — John F. Kennedy’s assassination. But for comedian Cliff Harris, whose career was based solely on his superb talent to imitate the dashing young President Kennedy, life is changed forever.
After rising from obscurity in Philadelphia to national prominence on television s entertainment institution, The Ed Sullivan Show, Harris (whose character is based on real-life Kennedy impersonator Vaughn Meader) becomes America s most popular comedic performer, doing JFK so well that even the First Lady has a tough time telling the difference. But when the popular president is suddenly gunned down by Lee Harvey Wallace, the bullets that kill Kennedy also kill Harris career, taking him down along with rest of Camelot.
The novel is populated with real people of the “beat scene.” Engelhard was there during that thrilling era — the doorman at the now-famous Bitter End nightclub that played host to many counter-culture legends including Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Lenny Bruce, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and Jack Kerouac. His novel is filled with lively fictionalised versions of characters he knew and worked with that capture the passion and drama of the 60s generation.The Days of the Bitter End vividly brings to life the streets of New York City s renowned Greenwich Village. That vibrant political and cultural focal point of the 1960s is stunningly reflected in all its exuberance, sex, pot-smoking, poetry and politics.
Engelhard’s heartfelt work recaptures the day American innocence turned into an American tragedy and our nation moved from the sweetness of postwar life to the bitter era of Vietnam.