Friday, April 12, 2013

Lit Dick report: Hunting the elusive George La Fountaine

Lit Dick
Lit Dick here. Yes?  No...well, a little progress, I guess you could say.  No photo.  I struck out with Google and Amazon, ma'am. All of his books still in print.  Most recent, The White Room, came out on Kindle last October.  Hey, this guy's even more elusive than Pynchon. That's right. 

Facebook?  The only George La Fountaines with photos are too young.  Our man was born in 1934.  Apparently still alive or, I expect, I'd have found an obit.  Hmmm?   Yes, a brief bio published in 2002 in Gale's Contemporary Authors. $9.95 for a single-page Kindle document, copy protected so I can't email it.  Most of it is review summaries of three of his books. Certainly. I'll mail a printout this afternoon.

Yes, all 15 are on Kindle.  Yes, I read Flashpoint.  Yes, definitely the most erotic seduction scene in literature, in a bar, all eyes and the barest minimum of words.  Yes, ma'am, I agree. The movie is good. The characterizations differ, as do the endings--yet, both are shockers.  I think Kristofferson and Treat Williams are more believable on screen, but in the book we get inside their heads more intimately.  Yes, ma'am.

OK, then, here's my report:

George La Fountaine was born Nov. 10, 1934 in Attleboro, MA.  He attended high school in Seattle, WA.  He attended classes at Pasadena Playhouse from 1955-57.  He served as a marine in the Korean War, where he was promoted to sergeant.  He's worked in Hollywood as a lighting director and consultant.* 

His first novel, Two Minute Warning, was published in 1975 and came out as a movie the following year.  Suspense thriller about an assassin at a Super Bowl game.  It had an all-star cast, but received so-so reviews.  The same year, Flashpoint was published, but the movie didn't come out until 1984.  According to a New York Times review Flashpoint is "much better--more original, written with more security, and with a chilling impact in its last pages."*

He published three more novels over the next eight years--The Scott-Dunlap Ring, 1978; The Killing Seed, 1980, and The Long Walk, 1986.  The Long Walk won critical praise for its depiction of a Green Beret POW's return home from Vietnam, and his recovery from the effects of years of torture.

After 1986, La Fountaine dropped off the radar until Dec. 27, 2010, when the first of ten novels appeared in Amazon's Kindle Store, some of them published within a month of each other.  This suggests the author had run into difficulty finding traditional publishing outlets, and, as so many are doing these days, took to the self-publishing route for a backlog of novels he'd been writing over the previous two decades. 

This concludes the information I've obtained to date, ma'am.  If you wish, I can keep the investigation open and pursue the possibility more on Mr. La Fountaine can be found.  Very well.  Thank you, ma'am.

Lit Dick signing off.

* Gale Reference Team, Contemporary Authors, 2002

[for more on La Fountaine: ]


  1. I had thought for years "George La Fountaine" was a nom de plume for Brian Garfield, who's written many suspense thrillers of a similar milieu. I came across my paperback copy of Flashpoint the other day, and decided to try and find out.

  2. Turns out he looks like a grey matchhead. I found a very strange author page (with no photo) in which he's referred to as George La Fountaine SR. So who is JR.? Is HE the one writing the ebooks? Or maybe he's a Joseph Heller or a Salinger with only 1 or 2 good novels in him.

  3. Nah, I think Jr's the guy on Facebook in the western photo with the wife or girlfriend. Looks like he has too much fun to be a writer.

  4. Replies
    1. At least he has a history of success, Savannah. I like to think if I made it into the movies -- TV or big screen -- I could keep the momentum going. Wish I knew more about La Fountaine, imagining him churning out 10 new novels and not getting any of them into print the old way. I'm wondering if he did something to foul his reputation in the industry and ended up on some sort of gray list. I haven't read any of his recently published novels, but I intend to. He's a fine writer -- or was.

    2. I thought that avatar looked familiar. ;-D

  5. Mathew, I am George La Fountaine Jr. I am a camera operator for television and motion picture industry. I am also an amateur still photographer, and yes, I do have too much fun to be a writer.
    My father is "the real" George La Fountaine or George La Fountaine Sr. on IMDB. He is a retired Cinematographer and the author you were discussing here just over two years ago. He still does his pages each day and has new work on the way.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, George, especially one with such good news! Am much anticipating your father's new work.