What is a “real estate novelist”?
Were you listening to Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man”?
A Real Estate novelist writes the property descriptions that go into Real Estate Ads. They have mastered the fine art of getting that maximum amount of information into the smaller number of characters possible.
Read the last entry here. Apparently, Paul was a real estate broker who claimed to be writing a book.
In the context of the song, I imagine it’s a real estate agent who dreams of being a novelist but never actually makes the leap. And so he contents himself with writing florid home descriptions.
While that may be true, it apparently is not what Joel meant when he wrote the term.
Here’s a link to an interview where he explains what he meant.
I work in real estate and have met a guy who sold real estate for 25 years while writing the Great American Novel.
“The wind blew coldly, whispering of a hard rain as I hammered the ‘For Sale’ sign down next to the walkway leading to the comfortable two-bedroom bungalow (with detached garage on a shady tree-lined lot near area schools) that was now filled with the stench of old lies, dark secrets and broken dreams.”
I always assumed (rightly, according to that interview) that it was like the cliched waitress who is really an actress. The National Endowment for the Arts doesn’t support the vast majority of the nation’s artists and they have to find another way to get by so the hospitality, real estate, and insurance industries do more than their part to support the arts. The best example is Wallace Stevens, one of my favorite poets, whose obituary, it is said, spoke only of his long career as a vice president of Hartford Insurance and didn’t mention that he also wrote a bit.
Yes, but a true realtor could tell you its literary value.
you can look for it on google to find out what the contents in the “Real State Novelist”. I’m sure you can find it
Never mind Paul–what about the guy who was fucking a mixed drink?
Say what? I missed that lyric…
“There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his tonic and gin”
He’s so old that he’s a zombie at this point.
*It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Makin’ love to his tonic and gin
He says, “Son, can you play me a memory
I’m not really sure how it goes
But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man’s clothes”*
Not Billy Joel’s best work as a lyricist, but it’s far better than “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and the abjectly awful “Uptown Girl”.
If you decide to emulate that old man, take my advice - get the lime without a toothpick.
When I first heard it I visualized the guy thinking about writing the Great American Novel while showing houses. Or maybe even sitting at his desk typing things like “Dear Sirs: It was a dark and stormy night.”
But now I think he’s the guy who writes things like this: “Charming cozy home, just steps from light rail!” Translated: 900 sq ft, light rail goes through your back yard, but if you want to actually ride it you’ll have to hike, bike, or drive approximately a mile.
For the record, it wasn’t me that bumped it, it was a spammer that has been disappeared.
IIRC, Tom Clancy was a CPA who wrote The Hunt for Red October in his spare time.
I just want to add that I saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night and at 69 years old, he still has it!