Anyone remember the Knoxville World's Fair?
Writer Inman Majors does. Brothers Jake and C. H. Butcher Jr. and the ill-fated 1982 Knoxville World's Fair are fictionalized in his new book The Millionaires: A Novel of the New South.
Knoxville becomes Glennville and Jake Butcher, who twice ran for governor, is Roland Cole. The Butchers are better known in Memphis for their connections to former congressman Harold Ford Sr. and their ownership of property on Mud Island.
The book was reviewed in The New York Times Sunday. The reviewer calls the Glennville World's Fair "the novel's best show," because of its depictions of the Grand Kabuki Theater, the German Strohhaus, and the Pavilion of Appalachia.
Whether the reference is parody or reality is not clear, but at any rate the actual fair featured exhibits very similar to that.