"IN 1978 I SERVED AS 'CAMPAIGN MANAGER' FOR PLAYGIRL MAGAZINE'S mr. NOVEMBER 1978 IN HIS BId TO BECOME MAN OF THE YEAR 1979.
It worked, he won, and I got to skip my bar mitzvah..."
a fish out of water
1978 promised to be another year of dislocation for twelve-year-old Louis Cove, the eighth move in his short life. His free-thinking Jewish family had just left New York and Zabar’s behind for working-class Salem, Massachusetts, a town not far evolved beyond the witch trials that made its name – hardly the place for a long-haired Mets fan on the cusp of his Bar Mitzvah. And that was before the arrival of Howie Gordon: actor, artist, hippie, lover, and Playgirl’s Mr. November, 1978.
Helping a hero
A one-time disciple of Lou’s father, Howie and his beautiful wife, Carly, arrive one October morning at the tail-end of a cross-country honeymoon, the whiff of California at their backs. Howie has Hollywood ambitions and a highly unorthodox idea for achieving them: be named Playgirl Man of the Year, 1979. When he enlists a besotted Lou as his “campaign manager,” the unlikely duo embarks on a quest to win the hearts and minds of the witches and wharf rats of Salem.
becoming a Man
Man of the Year is the improbable true story of Lou’s 13th year, one very unusual campaign and the unexpected guest that taught him how to be a man. A fresh twist on the coming-of-age memoir, yes, but also a tale of lost innocence, of Almost Famous giving way to Boogie Nights. As the campaign reaches its inevitable conclusion, darker problems surface, and Lou is forced to face up to the harsh afterglow of fame and some painful truths about growing up.