Overview

Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic at the bottom rung. Lloyd Melnick is a long-lost acquaintance whose work on the smash hit The Fleishman Show has made him the hottest comedy writer in town. When their worlds collide 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 ...
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The Bones

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Overview

Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic at the bottom rung. Lloyd Melnick is a long-lost acquaintance whose work on the smash hit The Fleishman Show has made him the hottest comedy writer in town. When their worlds collide 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.
Seth Greenland is an award-winning playwright. He has written extensively for film and television. A longtime New Yorker, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
"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? He cuts so close to the bone he whittles it into a fine powder that gets into the clothes you wear and the air you breathe. The Bones is a tour de force, and I rarely use French phrases."-Larry David, creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm
"Greenland shows himself a worthy successor to such past masters of the Hollywood novel as Nathaniel West and Budd Shulberg."-Los Angeles Times
"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
"A pitch-perfect sendup of Hollywood's endemic self-importance...Greenland keeps his foot firmly on the gas and the book's pace is fast, furious and fun."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
When Frank Bones and Lloyd Melnick first meet, in New York, Bones is a hot comedian, and Melnick an admiring young profile writer at an alternative weekly. Years later, in L.A., Bones’s career has tanked, and Melnick, now a television writer, has a twelve-million-dollar contract with a network that happens also to be offering the eclipsed comic a role as an Eskimo in a sitcom set in the Arctic. Melnick’s success has made him just as miserable and insecure as oblivion has made Bones. He longs to be a “real” writer but can’t make headway on a novel. The plot follows the two men as their paths cross in increasingly violent circumstances. Though many of the book’s targets—S.U.V.s, feng shui, Restoration Hardware—feel familiar, Greenland, having worked on the HBO series “Arliss,” clearly knows the culture he’s sending up.
Janet Maslin
The Bones takes its best turns as the balance of power between Lloyd and Frank undergoes various shifts. Once Frank was the alpha male; then he became a near-supplicant; next he spins so far out of control that he becomes the answer to Lloyd's creative conundrums. Throughout the book, hilariously, Lloyd has been trying to stretch his talents by writing the kind of prose that compares the color of sunsets to pineapples. Now he becomes mindful of "The Great Gatsby" - which, in this environment, is "the well-known novel in which a circumspect man attempts to plumb the depths of an audacious one." Lloyd's stab at playing Nick Carraway to Frank's Gatsby is the book's most diabolical touch.
— The New York Times
Michael Schaub
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. The Bones is not a perfect novel, but Greenland has serious skills.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
"A pitch-perfect sendup of Hollywood's endemic self-importance. Greenland keeps his foot firmly on the gas and the book's pace is fast, furious and fun."
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Meet Frank Bones, the comedian's comedian. His smart, in-your-face, insulting style of stand-up comedy has given him a relatively successful career on the club circuit, but he has never managed to make that shift into mainstream entertainment. As if by a miracle, a new TV network offers him his own sitcom. The catch is that they want Frank to play an Eskimo sent on wild adventures, riding a giant walrus across the frozen tundra. The author takes every opportunity to satirize the glitz and glam of Hollywood and provides skilled characterizations of everyone, from empty-headed pretty boys to social-climbing wives. His over-the-top characters will make readers both laugh and think. Even the Bones, womanizing, drug-using jerk that he is, comes off as surprisingly likable through the quick wit and patter he brings to every scene. In a last-ditch effort to reach success on his own terms, he calls Lloyd Melnick, an old acquaintance who has just come off a run as a writer on the massive hit The Fleishman Show, to pitch the idea of a sitcom based on himself. But Melnick is burned out and turns him down. The Bones's anger sends him spiraling out of control and on a frenzied trip involving corrupt cops, murder, running the border into Mexico, and, yes, even a love subplot. The man's energy takes this funny, exciting story into a surprisingly moving conclusion about dreams, desire, and finally growing up.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Comedy is not pretty for either writers or performers in playwright/television writer Greeland's exuberant, massively untidy first novel. Frank Bones has been the reigning bad boy of American standup for ages, but he's never scored with a wider audience. At 48, Frank still has the comic reflexes, the dark vision ("people are evil") and the lovely live-in, Hot Ninja Bounty Hunters cult star Honey Call. But Frank wants more; he wants his own TV show, a series that's all about him and no one else. The Lynx Network, however, doesn't want to bankroll My Life and High Times; they want Frank to star in Kirkuk, whose head writer, Orson Dubinsky, promises to make it "an apocalyptic-spaghetti-noir half-hour Eskimo thing." When golden Hollywood hack Lloyd Melnick turns down Frank's groveling request to write a pilot for My Life and High Times, he sets in motion a plot that suggests Rube Goldberg in a wind tunnel. It's obvious from the many barely disguised portraits of studio princelings and hangers-on in this roman a clef that Greenland has made some important discoveries about Hollywood: Stars and writers alike are really ambitious; they're obsessed with money, sex, and power even when they're trying to raise money for their pet charities; they're all pitifully insecure; and the most successful of them aren't necessarily the most talented. For the first two-thirds of his tale, Greenland floats some extremely funny one-liners on a cantus firmus drawn from Jackie Collins, Michael Tolkin, and Tom Wolfe. But a sequence barely adapted from The Bonfire of the Vanities sends Frank on a downward spiral to Tulsa, and the plot, juiced by a spectacularly unconvincing homicide, goes even further into deepspace until it drifts out too far to recall. An often hilarious kitchen sink of a debut, one more example of a satire providing new examples left and right of the excesses it thinks it's condemning.
David Mamet
"Mr. Greenland writes beautifully. His book is a stitch."
Entertainment Weekly
"Terrific…this smart TV-biz satire delivers not just laughs, but some real emotional insight into its diverse, vividly drawn characters."
Los Angeles Times
"Greenland shows himself a worthy successor to such past masters of the Hollywood novel as Nathaniel West and Budd Shulberg."
San Francisco Chronicle
"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."
Baltimore Sun
"Here's a novel to unite America."
Portland Oregonian
"A satire that's funny, fast-paced, and cuts to the hollow heart of Hollywood."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A fun romp with some simple lessons about taking risks and unmasking your pain."
Washington Post
"Witty, sharp and surprisingly engaging. Greenland has serious skills."
Seattle Weekly
"Greenland is chuckably witty in dozens of passages, alive to verbal music, rhythmically gifted, and exceedingly knowing in skewering his fellow show folk."
New York Newsday
"Here's a novel to unite America …Greenland's wickedness and his pungent observations render the familiar fresh and entertaining."
Buffalo News
"A darkly funny tale."
“Terrific…this smart TV-biz satire delivers not just laughs
"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? He cuts so close to the bone he whittles it into a fine powder that gets into the clothes you wear and the air you breathe. The Bones is a tour de force, and I rarely use French phrases."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596919877
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • File size: 656 KB

Meet the Author

Seth Greenland is the author of The Bones. An award-winning playwright, he has also written extensively for film and television.
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