Narrated by an unlikely literary legend, "How I Became A Famous Novelist" pinballs from the post-college slums of Boston, to the fear-drenched halls of Manhattan's publishing houses, from the gloomy purity of Montana s foremost writing workshop to the hedonistic hotel bars of the Sunset Strip. The horrifying, hilarious tale of how Pete s pile of garbage called"The Tornado Ashes Club" becamethe most talked about, blogged about, read, admired, and reviled novel in America will change everything you think you know about literature, appearance, truth, beauty, andthose people out there, somewhere in America, who still care about books."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 32.
- Review Date: 2009-05-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Biting, hilarious and improbably affectionate, comedy writer Hely's debut skewers the literary world with a sendup of the quest to write the Great American Novel. Words are Pete Tarslaw's thing, and after watching a bestselling novelist prattle on about the truth, his “calling” and other ridiculous ideas on TV, Pete concludes that the sole way to save face at his ex-girlfriend's upcoming wedding is to become a famous novelist himself. His quest to construct a by-the-numbers bestseller is guided by rules like “At dull points include descriptions of delicious meals” and where to live (“An easy way to get credibility as an author is to live someplace rugged”), though the real adventure starts once he bags $15,000 for The Tornado Ashes Club: his dance card is full of one-night stands, dizzying meet-and-greets with Hollywood big shots and appearances at grad schools. Meanwhile, Pete senses his moral barometer plummet as his Amazon ranking rises. Granted, Hely's shooting at some pretty easy targets that have been hit before, but it's hard not to love the way he does it with such merciless zeal. (July)