Synopses & Reviews
What Pete Tarslaw wants is simple enough: a realistic amount of fame that will open new avenues of sexual opportunity; the kind of financial comfort that will allow him to spend his life pursuing hobbies such as boating or skeet shooting at his stately home by the ocean or a scenic lake; and — perhaps most importantly — the chance to humiliate his ex-girlfriend at her wedding. This is the story of how he succeeds in getting it all, and what it costs him in the end.
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 became the most talked about, blogged about, read, admired, and reviled novel in America will change everything you think you know about literature, appearance, truth, beauty, and those people out there, somewhere in America, who still care about books.
"A satiric, facetious and laugh-out-loud funny first novel." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"In a satirical novel that is a gag-packed assault on fictitious best-selling fiction, Mr. Hely...takes aim at genre after genre and manages to savage them all....His complaints about such books are very funny. They'd be even funnier if they weren't true." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Hely...slams the writing, publishing, bookselling, and book-reviewing world in a funny, thought-provoking, cynical story about being successful for all the wrong reasons." Library Journal
"[Hely's] hilarious set pieces take aim at such fish-in-a-barrel subjects as the publishing industry, MBA authors, book expositions, author forums, and general-fiction readership. But it will delight fans of loser lit novels such as Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint (1967) and Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys (1995)." Booklist
"Steve Hely...has written a clever and, for all I know, trendsetting novel. Tarslaw is one condescending dude before his baptism of light in Marfa, but an interesting and memorable character." Dallas Morning News
"Hely has put together a book that so perfectly and hilariously skewers the publishing industry, it's amazing that he could find anyone to print it. It's time to prove we're smarter than the book business thinks we are and make his novel as big a hit as The Da Vinci Code." The New York Post
"A hilarious send-up of literary pretensions and celebrity culture....Will hit close to home for publishers, writers, and readers." USA Today
Narrated by an unlikely literary legend, this work moves from the post-college slums of Boston to the fear-drenched halls of Manhattan's publishing houses and tells the horrifying, hilarious tale of how one man's self-described pile of garbage novel becomes the most talked about book in America.
About the Author
Steve Hely writes for the Fox animated comedy American Dad! He was twice president of The Harvard Lampoon, and has been a writer and performer on Last Call with Carson Daly and a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, the latter earning him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Comedy Show.