07-04-2012 07:21 PM
On Monday there was a story about how the cast of the Jersey Shore had to sign a "VD" clause absolving the producers in the event that cast members contracted a social disease during the show. The article said the clause was mentioned in a new comic novel called the King of Pain, which was about a TV show where contestants are tortured.
So Monday night I look up the book. It's $4.99, it has two good reviews. so I give it a shot.
Best read of the summer so far.
The book is about a potty mouthed tv producer of hit torture show named Rick Salter, who wakes up trapped under his home entertainment system and can't remember how he got there. He's stuck and he has to wait for someone to rescue him, which will happen on Monday when his maid comes in about 48 hours.
So the rest of the book is split between him reading the only book within reach (called a History of Prisons) and recounting his life and the events he can remember that let up to his imprisonment.
The short stories in A History of Prisons are good. In fact some of them are excellent. But Rick Salter is HILARIOUS. Whether he's telling is life story, talking about his movies (Desperately Seeking Goldfarb!?), describing Hollywood screenwriters, or recounting the episodes of his show (Starvation, Sleeplessness, Branding...) he is non-stop funny, but he's also smart between the jokes as he talks about Reality TV or Hollywood or torture. I would quote one line about his assistant, but I don't want to spoil it.
It's hard to compare this book to anyother I've read. It's a comedy. It's literary. It mocks Reality TV and offers some horrifying looks at torture and imprisonment. But it's fun. There's even a great futuristic scifi teen romance short story about kids who are punished by having their "gizzes" (handheld devices) taken away.
At $4.99 you are going to find something here for you. Especially if you like dark humor. And if you don't there's always the short stories.