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Stop Making Sense

I read anything that's nailed down, or even just moving slowly. Cereal boxes, candy wrappers, all genres, etc., and I don't always have much time for arbitrary distinctions like literary fiction vs. genre fiction.

Crash and Burn at a Home Shopping Network

Sellevision - Augusten Burroughs

Here's the ins and outs of a home shopping network cast of characters, as told via the warped perspective of the man who gave us Running with Scissors.

Things are humming along nicely for everyone at Sellevision when one fine day, one of the senior hosts accidentally exposes himself during a live segment aimed at children and their parents. Turns out to be the beginning of a major downward spiral for the network. Shortly after, another host finds herself the target of a stalker and becomes progressively (and hilariously) unhinged. A third exposes her boss/lover live on the air during a Simulated Ruby Sensations segment, and the fourth, a compulsive shopper, finds love in an unexpected place.

This one is a wicked romp that manages to skewer television/film personalities, shopping culture, NYC culture, suburbia, religion, 12-step programs, and a host of other sacred cows. Those are the book's strengths. The main weakness is that it leans a little too hard on the train-wrecky side of absurdity in places--there's a definite sense of "what more can I pile on here?" just for the sake of it, in other words. But it's still fun.