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The widely acclaimed author and director of A Guide to Recognizing Your Saintsshifts from memoir to high-energy satire in his fiction debut. Eddie Krumble is a high school kid from Queens with a job at a lock factory and a bleak future that gets a bit sunnier when he and permanently stoned pal Chris Plork hop a bus to L.A., where they find work in the "audience participation placement" field (read: compensated clapping for shows too awful to draw a legitimate audience). Eddie wears disguises to maximize his earning potential—appearing as different people at different clapping gigs (sometimes three in a day). The producers of The Tonight Showmeanwhile, while trawling reels of bad television for material, notice Eddie's manifold personalities, prompting Jay Leno to make "The Clapper" into a recurring bit that puts Eddie's anonymity, and thus his livelihood, on the line. A whimsical tale where the underdog gets his day—and his few minutes in the spotlight—Montiel's first stab at fiction is an entertaining excursion into the mundane reality behind television's exuberant facade. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.