Booklist Review on The Bones
Greenland, Seth (author).
Mar. 2005. 400p. Bloomsbury, hardcover, $24.95 (1-58234-550-3).
First published February 1, 2005 (Booklist).
Life on the road has become all but unbearable for aging hipster comedian Frank Bones. Relegated to playing ever-smaller clubs in backwater towns since he pointed a loaded gun at a heckler, he is beginning to think his salvation lies in television. His devoted agent, convinced that Frank is a gifted comic, gets him a deal, but there’s a slight hitch—Frank has to play an Eskimo. He becomes convinced that the script will only work if it’s penned by his old friend Lloyd Melnick, now a big-shot TV writer. Lloyd, however, increasingly disillusioned by the crushing banality of network television, has decided to write a novel. With gleeful insider knowledge, TV and film writer Greenland sends up the conventions of the business, taking potshots at trophy wives, exorbitant salaries, palatial estates, and, most especially, comedy writers. Employing both broad strokes (a vengeful Frank drives a yellow Hummer through Lloyd’s living room) and polished, extremely funny one-liners, Greenland takes readers on an entertaining, behind-the-scenes tour of sitcoms and their socially maladroit, dyspeptic creators.