“Dinsmoor has sketched out impressive impressionistic testimony to the 1980s creative and partying spirit as well as its sober aftermath.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A careening ride on the rocket-powered toboggan that is the comedy show business, with a near-miss in pursuit of fame and fortune.  Wonderful insights in to a world and lifestyle that few would attempt.”—Andy Kuzma, Portland, OR

“Funny, twisted, and sad, this romp through the antics and challenges of a group of talented and quirky people in New York City made me laugh, and then made me cry.”—Beth Foley, South Hamilton, MA.

“A totally refreshing cool book!  Ahhh . . . brings me back to some crazy cool days!”—H.R. Kamins, Manchester, MA.

By J. Flynn “Winnie” (Boston, MA)

This marvelous collection of short stories, with its recurring quirky characters, really treated me to the sights, sounds, and the smells of the gritty underbelly of the New York comedy scene in the 1980s. It totally put me in the moment, making me laugh out loud at one moment and squirm at the next.
I highly recommend this book!

By Dorothy L. Stephens “Author” (Marblehead, MA)

Rob Dinsmoor’s book, Tales of the Troupe, is a wild, at times hilarious, at times wistful and sad, peek into the lives of the eccentric characters in a New York City comedy troupe in the 1980s. You will by turns laugh and ache with sympathy for Rob as he fnds his way through this maze of relationships and bizarre experiences, whether he’s describing the trials and tribulations of “postering,” or the appearance of Phil, an impromptu “extra” who wanders in off the street, or his own cold, wet odyssey back to Sheepshead Bay one rainy might after making out in a bar with Jim’s girlfriend, the enticing Angie. You are there with him in this well-written, colorful collection of stories.

1 Comment

  1. Author Rob Dinsmoor, a funny Midwestern guy, decided after Dartmouth to be one of the countless thousands who, instead of just talking about it, put their funny where their mouths are. And so he became a comedy writer in Manhattan. The idea was what the idea always is: hit the Big Time. His tales — light, dark, funny, and sad — add up to a group portrait of The Chuckleheads, young 1980’s New Yorkers doing their best to triumph in that tough, gritty, low budget world. Tales is not only a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process but, with the benefit of hindsight, a poignant reminder that the fate of great ambition is all too often eroded by the fact that what is being attempted is extremely difficult.

    The stories are pure New York. Funny, yes, but also brutally honest, and always with an undercurrent of, if not extreme sleaze, a certain squalor and squirminess. In one, the author was chosen by the troupe to personify the emperor without clothes…not on stage but on the street. Understandably nervous about the role (which, with it’s potential for a morals charge, was significantly more dangerous than other Chucklehead activities involving police lookouts, like gluing show posters on private property) he found himself walking in broad daylight bearing a scepter and wearing crown, cape, and bikini briefs. If you’ve never experienced lower Manhattan you’ll get a taste of it as his nervousness transforms — once he realizes that people are simply not paying him any special attention — to an enlightening comfort and freedom, including a completely ordinary moment of petting a woman’s dog on the sidewalk.

    Reading Dinsmoor channels memories of reading Jay McInerny. Dinsmoor makes you think about your last, or your next, or perhaps your first trip to the Big Apple.

    – Tom Juergens

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