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THE BONES

A hysterically scathing first novel about ambition and its discontents. Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic whose recent stage stunt with a firearm has cost him his audience and his bookings. Back at the bottom rung, Frank has no choice but to take his gigs where he can get them until, by virtue of a Hollywood miracle, he gets a call from his manager. A network has offered Frank his own sitcom, but there’s only one problem with this long-awaited shot at success: Frank has to play an Eskimo, and ride an animatronic walrus.

Desperate, Frank calls on Lloyd Melnick, a long lost acquaintance whose position on the smash hit The Fleishman Show has made him the hottest comedy writer in town-even though he has never actually written a single episode. If Lloyd signs on as the head writer, Frank can have any kind of show he wants. But Lloyd is tired of his gilded trappings-the network job, the Brentwood mansion-and his social-climbing wife has left him mystified and unmoored. He would trade it all in for just a sliver of Frank’s notorious recklessness or artistic integrity. When Lloyd turns Frank down, the consequences involve a crashed Hummer, corrupt police officers, enraged ex-husbands, sultry bartenders, and high-speed chases to Mexico and back.

A brilliant satire, The Bones is a stunning debut that reveals, in all its hilarity and ache, the dark heart of comedy.


ENDORSEMENTS

Who is Seth Greenland and how did he get into my house and gain access to the most secret and disturbed places of my brain?…The Bones is a tour de force, and I rarely use French phrases.
— Larry David, creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm
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.
— Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist
A laugh-out-loud satire and page-turner with a big-bang ending… A remarkable debut.
— Los Angeles Times
Witty, sharp and surprisingly engaging… It takes a fairly manic imagination to come up with an animatronic walrus in the first place, and it takes real talent – and something like compassion – to get the reader to care about the guy who’s riding it… Greenland has serious skills.
— Washington Post
Savagely funny…one of the most perceptive and flat-out hilarious novels about the city’s brutal Darwinism, a book that makes you cringe through your laughter-induced tears.
— San Francisco Chronicle

THE BONES BOOK REVIEWS


Other books by Seth Greenland