A hysterically scathing first novel about ambition and its discontents. Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic whose recent stage stunt with a firearm has cost him his audience and his bookings. Back at the bottom rung, Frank has no choice but to take his gigs where he can get them until, by virtue of a Hollywood ...
A hysterically scathing first novel about ambition and its discontents. Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic whose recent stage stunt with a firearm has cost him his audience and his bookings. Back at the bottom rung, Frank has no choice but to take his gigs where he can get them until, by virtue of a Hollywood miracle, he gets a call from his manager. A network has offered Frank his own sitcom, but there's only one problem with this long-awaited shot at success: Frank has to play an Eskimo, and ride an animatronic walrus. Desperate, Frank calls on Lloyd Melnick, a long lost acquaintance whose position on the smash hit The Fleishman Show has made him the hottest comedy writer in town-even though he has never actually written a single episode. If Lloyd signs on as the head writer, Frank can have any kind of show he wants. But Lloyd is tired of his gilded trappings-the network job, the Brentwood mansion-and his social-climbing wife has left him mystified and unmoored. He would trade it all in for just a sliver of Frank's notorious recklessness or artistic integrity. When Lloyd turns Frank down, the consequences involve a crashed Hummer, corrupt police officers, enraged ex-husbands, sultry bartenders, and high-speed chases to Mexico and back. A brilliant satire, The Bones is a stunning debut that reveals, in all its hilarity and ache, the dark heart of comedy.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-01-31 Be grateful for what you have. That's the moral of playwright/television writer Greenland's first novel, but what a wildly circuitous, over-the-top route we take to arrive at it. A pitch-perfect sendup of Hollywood's endemic self-importance, the brilliantly acid narrative centers on two characters, a rebellious Lenny Bruce-like comedian named Frank Bones (he fondly refers to himself in the third person, hence the title), and Lloyd Melnick, a highly successful TV comedy writer. The two became acquainted in New York when Melnick, then a struggling journalist, wrote a profile of the up-and-coming Bones. Greenland reunites the pair years later after Melnick scores a huge contract writing for a network and Bones comes calling, asking for Melnick's help writing a sitcom based on the comedian's own life (his only other prospect is a role as a sitcom Eskimo). Melnick, who is grappling with his success and desperately struggling to write something meaningful of his own, turns Bones down, a snub that sets off a crazy chain reaction that results in a Hummer parked in the living room of Melnick's posh manse followed by a classic cops-and-robbers run for the border. Greenland keeps his foot firmly on the gas, and the book's pace is fast, furious and fun. The author slows down enough along the way to expound intelligently on topics ranging from self-knowledge to "the anxiety of affluence," but the pace of this raucous thrill ride never slackens. Agent, Henry Dunow. (Mar. 14) FYI: Film rights have been sold to Sony, with David Mamet set to helm. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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