Attack of the Theater People [NOOK Book]

Overview

In praising “the witty high school romp” How I Paid for College, the New York Times Book Review said, it “makes you hope there’s a lot more where this came from.” There is. In this hilarious sequel Attack of the Theater People, Edward Zanni and his merry crew of high school musical-comedy miscreants move to the magical wonderland that is Manhattan.

It is 1986, and aspiring actor Edward Zanni has been kicked out of drama school for being “too ...
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Attack of the Theater People

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Overview

In praising “the witty high school romp” How I Paid for College, the New York Times Book Review said, it “makes you hope there’s a lot more where this came from.” There is. In this hilarious sequel Attack of the Theater People, Edward Zanni and his merry crew of high school musical-comedy miscreants move to the magical wonderland that is Manhattan.

It is 1986, and aspiring actor Edward Zanni has been kicked out of drama school for being “too jazz hands for Juilliard.” Mortified, Edward heads out into the urban jungle of eighties New York City and finally lands a job as a “party motivator” who gets thirteen-year-olds to dance at bar mitzvahs and charms businesspeople as a “stealth guest” at corporate events. When he accidentally gets caught up in insider trading with a handsome stockbroker named Chad, only the help of his crew from How I Paid for College can rescue him from a stretch in Club Fed.

Laced with the inspired zaniness of classic American musical comedy, Attack of the Theater People matches the big hair of the eighties with an even bigger heart.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
It's not getting into acting school that's hard, apparently, it's figuring out what to do when you're kicked out. In All Things Considered contributor Acito's first novel (How I Paid for College, 2004), fresh-out-of-Jersey drama kid Edward Zanni was on his way to Juilliard, stars in his eyes. When this follow-up novel opens in 1986, Edward is getting booted from paradise for being too " ‘jazz hands' for Juilliard." With his confidence in his acting abilities at a historic low, Edward makes ends meet the best he can-his schemes include entertaining at "bash mitzvahs" and finagling a not-quite-legal rent-controlled apartment-all the while trying not to kill himself with jealousy as his acquaintances become more successful than he. Things go from desperate to worse pretty quickly, and Edward's confused bisexuality isn't helping him out in the dating department, either (his semi-straight crush isn't interested, and the only guy coming onto him is not his type). Acito again surrounds Edward with his tight-knit and eccentric (though fortunately not too-sitcom-zany) band of high-school friends, which makes the various money-making hijinks speed by. The mid-'80s struggling-Manhattan-actor-setting is organically relayed, with the Reagan presidency and the specter of AIDS present in the background. While Acito maintains his zippy smarts throughout, he occasionally resorts to YA-fiction narration ("I will not play a minor role in my own life") as the novel roller-skates to the busy conclusion, pom-poms flying. Exuberant, but less impressive than Acito's debut. Agent: Gloria Loomis/Watkins Loomis
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR HOW I PAID FOR COLLEGE

“Acito has fantastic narrative chops....This is a book for mature readers that reminds us what a blast immaturity can be.” —People

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767930185
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/22/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 587,237
  • File size: 408 KB

Meet the Author

MARC ACITO’s debut novel, How I Paid for College, won the Ken Kesey Award for the Novel and was also selected as an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times. Acito is a popular contributor to the New York Times and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Reading Group Guide

1. Edward gets a lot of advice from everyone around him, much of it bad. With which advice do you agree? If you were his friend, what would you tell him?

2. Edward pretends to be a lot of people. How does that relate thematically to the book?

3. How I Paid for College is a love letter to friends. What is Attack of the Theater People a love letter to?

4. How do the two books differ?

5. Edward is told he’s “too jazz hands for Juilliard.” How does that relate to his feelings about his sexuality and his relationship with Hung?

6. Edward continues to be infatuated with Doug. Is Doug gay, straight or bisexual?

7. Which of this crew of friends are you and your friends the most like?

8. This is a book about finding your place in the world. What do you think Edward will do next? What about the rest of his friends?

9. How does the 1980s atmosphere affect the story? How would it be different or the same today?

10. Shakespearean references abound throughout. What do they say about the characters and situations?

11. Both Natie and Chad have no ethical problem with sharing inside information for financial gain. How do you feel about it?

12. Many of these characters have almost religious feelings about the theater. Why do you suppose so few people go to the theater?

13. Edward comes of age during the second-worst season on Broadway (the first being the season before). Why do you suppose that happened? How did Broadway come back? How has it changed?

14. What’s the thematic significance of Edward and Paula fixing the gridlock on Broadway?

15. If you were to create a piece of Guerilla Theater, what would it be?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 27, 2009

    A Good Read

    This is a very ambitious sequel with a lot to tell. It expands on Edward Zanni's previous tale which is a very exciting coming of age story that deals with growing up with the trials and tribulations of growing up. This time Edward is an adult and has a lot of difficult decisions to make. His friends return and they all try to help him achieve his goals the best way they know how. As we learned in the first book not all things work out for the best. Attack of the Theater People is a nice relaxing read and you will find yourself having to read more. As with most sequels, it is not as good as its predecessor but it delivers a rich and entertaining story. After reading, I find myself wanting more in the series from Marc Acito.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Inventive Layers of Humor - Quick Humor!

    The laughs keep coming - from all directions - in this creative romp set in 80s New York. Acito goes for many different styles of humor and usually succeeds handsomely. An good story carried by great jokes - with a surprise ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    A continued blossoming of a literary talent.

    The kind of book that makes you late for work¿witty, engaging, hilarious and engrossing. In this sequel, Acito deftly blends old characters you know with new characters you don¿t, in a bawdy, brilliant screwball comedy designed to keep you reading way past your bedtime. In addition, Acito weaves in a darker thread, highlighting the confusion and fear of being gay during a time of plague¿the beginning of the AIDS crisis. A sequel equal to its original, and a continued and wonderful blossoming of a literary talent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    Even better than How I Paid for College

    Attack of the Theater People is laugh out loud funny. I read the whole book in one sitting, rooting for Edward on every page.

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    Posted May 22, 2009

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