Darkly funny and gleefully mean-spirited, Sellevision explores greed, obsession and third tier celebrity, in the world of a fictional home shopping network.
Welcome to the troubled world of Sellevision, America’s premier retail broadcasting network. When Max Andrews, the much-loved and handsome (lonely and gay) host of “Slumber Sunday Sundown” accidentally exposes himself in front of twenty million kids and their parents during a “Toys for Tots” segment, Sellevision faces its first big scandal. As Max fails to find a job in television, another host, the popular and perky Peggy Jean Smythe is receiving sinister emails about her appearance from a stalker. Popping pills and drinking heavily, she fails to notice that her husband is spending a lot of time with the very young babysitter who lives next door. Then there’s Leigh, whose affair with Sellevision boss Howard Toast is going nowhere, until she exposes him on air; and Bebe, Sellevision’s star host, who finds Mr. Right through the Internet--if she can just stop her shopping addiction from taking over.
Light and funny, with a bitter aftertaste, the action of Sellevision takes place behind the scenes (and on the set) of a successful television shopping network, where a feminine role model, Peggy Jean Smythe, the married, Christian mother of three, begins receiving suspicious e-mail from a viewer who insists that Peggy's hairy earlobe is obscuring her presentation of jewelry during the broadcast. When Peggy fails to respond to the e-mail, but silently waxes her lobe, the cruel notes escalate, until Peggy believes herself to be suffering from a hormonal crisis that has given her a mustache, a gruff voice, and the manner of a lumberjack. Meanwhile, one of her cohosts, Max Andrews, has been fired for accidentally exposing himself during a children's special, and learns just how undesirable a commodity a penis-baring ex-Sellevision host can be on the job market. The book is an unusually smooth read for a first novel, with six or seven truly inspired lines. --Regina Marler