Synopses & Reviews
From a writer/producer of Family Guy, a satirical look at a dysfunctional southern family complete with an overbearing stage mom, a 9 year-old pageant queen, a cheating husband, his teenage girlfriend, a crazy grandmother, and Jesus.
After eight-and-a-half years and three hundred twenty-three pageants, Miranda Miller has become the ultimate stage mother. Her mission in life is to see that her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern United States. But lately, that mission has become increasingly difficult. Bailey wants to retire and has been secretly binge eating to make herself “unpageantable;” and the reality show Miranda has spent years trying to set up just went to their biggest rival.
But Miranda has a plan. Shes seven months pregnant with her fourth child, a girl (thank God), and she is going to make damn sure this one is even more successful than Bailey, even if the new girl is a little different.
Mirandas husband, Ray, however, doesnt have time for pageants. A full-time nurse, Ray spends his days at the hospital where he has developed a habit of taking whatever pills happen to be lying around. His nights are spent working hospice and dealing with Courtney, the seventeen-year-old orphan granddaughter of one of his hospice patients who he has, regrettably, knocked up. With a pregnant wife, a pregnant teenage mistress, two jobs, a drug hobby, and a mountain of debt, Ray is starting to take desperate measures to find some peace. Meanwhile, the Millers two sons are being homeschooled by Mirandas mother, Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann), a God-fearing widow who spends her free time playing cards and planning a murder with Jesus. Yes, Jesus.
A bright new voice in satirical literature, Kirker Butler pulls no punches as he dissects our cultures current state of affairs. Its really funny, but its also pretty ugly.
"The person who wrote this book asked me for a quote, so I gave them one."
“Pretty Ugly is everything you'd want in a novel: funny, poignant, exceedingly well-written. I look forward to reading it."
"I love this book, and I think Kurt Vonnegut would have loved it, too. In fact, it might have been his favorite book of all time. Hell, I'm just going to go ahead and say it: Kirker's book is hilarious, and it was Kurt Vonnegut's favorite book of all time."
—Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and Ted
“What I've read of this book I have liked!”
“To the pantheon of comic American fiction-kings - think Nathanael West, think Terry Southern - let us now add the name of Kirker Butler. In fine-tuned, generous prose that careens from screamingly funny to downright poignant, Pretty Ugly tells the tale of Miranda Ford, a pretty little girl with big-time, beauty pageant dreams. Butler has written a laugh-out-loud joy-ride of a book, the kind you dont want to finish, and find yourself pressing into the hands of loved ones once you do. But dont listen to me, grab it yourself. Kirker Butler is the real thing, and I cant wait to read his next one.”
—Jerry Stahl, author of Happy Mutant Baby Pills
"Miranda Miller and all the people of the South that orbit her are the dunces of the Confederacy you've been waiting to meet. They make one shockingly bad decision after another yet you will still be constantly surprised and delighted by every outcome. Bad things happen to bad people. Good things happen to bad people. Hilarious things happen to everyone. And there's a funeral so nutty that the only person who gets out with his dignity intact is the dearly departed. You may think you know something about children's beauty pageants but Kirker Butler has created a world that makes "Toddlers And Tiaras" look like a nineteenth century book club meeting.”
—Bean, KROQs Kevin and Bean Show
“A funny, slam-bam-thank you, ma'am, voyeuristic look at the world's most dysfunctional family. I could not put this book down!”
—Jennifer Garner, actress
About the Author
KIRKER BUTLER is an Emmy nominated writer and producer. His TV credits include Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and The Neighbors among others. He is also the writer of the graphic novel, Blue Agave and Worm. Kirker grew up in Kentucky, and now lives in Los Angeles with his family.