Sellevision: A Novel by Augusten Burroughs

SellThe seedy world of TV advertising, jingles and compulsive shoppers, small-time front people for a TV channel deluded into thinking that they have celebrity status and the normal problems people have make for a very funny book. It’s a send-up of a send-up and the plot has many surprising twists and turn. Not a book for you if you seek the meaning and purpose of life but if you want an easy read and some belly-laughs this is your book.

The advertising channel is typical – older are women replaced by waxed younger ones

A girl in store screams at the pee pee man Max, who will never be able to live down appearing on telly with his flies undone.

Peggy Jean appears against a backdrop of trees and a bookcase. There is liquid deodorant on her TV zapper, a feather bed in her house for which she can quote the catalogue number. She sees all homosexuals as activists, believes in Creation, not evolution, yet she steals miniature bottles from an airline and takes Valium. She uses tissues with lotion for the camera

‘Faith Popcorn: a programmable popcorn popper that lets you pop tomorrow’s popcorn today.’

A caller’s son committed suicide and they get emails and a crucified rat and razors through the post.

Bebe is a compulsive shopper who buys books about compulsive shopping.

Then there’s that phony phrase: ‘denial isn’t a river in Egypt’. Indeed, everything about this advertising channel is phony.

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