Into Hot Air


From Emmy Award-winning comedian and bestselling author Chris Elliott, a brilliantly funny and original comic spoof that takes on the classic survival adventures.

With his debut novel, Chris Elliott delivered a laugh-out-loud parody that delighted mystery lovers as well as his many devoted fans. The Shroud of the Thwacker was thrilling, witty, and zany, earning high praise from critics and audiences alike. ...

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From Emmy Award-winning comedian and bestselling author Chris Elliott, a brilliantly funny and original comic spoof that takes on the classic survival adventures.

With his debut novel, Chris Elliott delivered a laugh-out-loud parody that delighted mystery lovers as well as his many devoted fans. The Shroud of the Thwacker was thrilling, witty, and zany, earning high praise from critics and audiences alike. Now Elliott returns with Into Hot Air, a wild and hilarious sendup of epic adventure tales that also takes aim at disaster movies, celebrity activism, and reality TV shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race.

For decades the world has credited renowned explorer Sir Edmund Hillary with being the first person to reach the peak of Mount Everest. But was he? Evidence to the contrary arrives one day on the doorstep of Chris Elliott—an anonymous package that contains the diary of his Great Uncle Percy Brackett Elliott, an adventurer (and raving loony) who mysteriously disappeared decades ago while climbing Everest. The diary seems to indicate that Percy—not Hillary—was the first person to reach the peak. By retracing Percy's journey, Chris believes he will be able to uncover the mystery behind his disappearance and perhaps once and for all determine who was really the first person to summit Everest.

Chris recruits an all-star cast of celebrities to join (and fund) the epic adventure. For three days and five nights the group endures the ravages of hurricane force winds, blinding blizzards, bitter temperatures, and at least one guy's insufferable, off-key singing. But the amateur climbers soon discover that they are battling more than just nature's elements. An uproarious, page-turning tale, Into Hot Air is unlike anything readers have ever encountered.

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Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer
You'll never stop laughing.
Entertainment Weekly
Think Caleb Carr meets Monty Python.
Publishers Weekly

Elliot spoofs everything from survival adventures to celebrity charities to his own failed acting career in his goofy second novel. Narrator Chris Elliott's desire to "mount Mount Everest" ignites when he is mysteriously sent the diary of his great-uncle Percy, detailing Percy's failed Everest expedition. Hoping to unravel the mystery of Percy's disappearance, Chris and his best friend Wendell plan a trip up the mountain. Together they head to the Mountain Maniacs headquarters (where the décor is "retro Katrina chic") and convince climber, bail bondsman and bounty hunter Duncan Carter to lead their expedition. With only pocket change to fund their journey, Chris recruits celebs to participate and underwrite the trek. Quickly in over their heads, the expedition members discover that if the elements don't kill them, Uncle Percy's secrets might. Elliot makes stupidity an art form ("the aircraft was.... constructed entirely out of yeast paste and horse hair"), but beyond the crassness and juvenile humor, there are a few flashes of sharp commentary. The work is more silly than satiric, and since Elliot doesn't take himself too seriously, perhaps the reader shouldn't, either. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Carl Hiaasen meets Jack London with a dash of James Bond in this sophomore outing from Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and comedian Elliott. After parodying mystery novels with his first effort, The Shroud of the Thwacker, Elliott this time sends up the adventure genre with a wacky trip up Mount Everest. The journey begins when Elliott receives in the mail his long-lost great-uncle Percy's diary, which indicates not only that Percy was the first human to reach Everest's summit-not, as is believed, Sir Edmund Hillary-but also that his disappearance may have been more than a mere accident. Determined to unravel this intrigue, Elliott sets out to reach the mountain's peak, taking with him a colorful band of characters including a strung-out tour guide, documentarian Michael Moore, and actress Lauren Bacall as well as drawing the attention of a group of Buddhist monks and the CIA. Fans of Elliott's prior work will love this fun read filled with his signature brand of humor; those who do not enjoy his comedic flavor should try something else instead. Recommended for larger fiction collections.
—Leigh Wright

Kirkus Reviews
The star of Cabin Boy and author of The Shroud of the Thwacker (2005) takes on Everest. Still recovering from the breakup of his marriage to designer Vera Wang and obsessed with his eccentric, mountain-climbing great uncle, a sad-sack protagonist with the same name as his creator decides to climb Mount Everest. Such an expedition doesn't come cheap, though, and the would-be explorer must convince a few celebrities of the wealthier sort to accompany him on his quest. His first recruit is an octogenarian actress named Lauren who is given to reminiscences about Humphrey Bogart. She's a smart dame and a tough cookie, and it's her idea to lure other celebrities with the promise of promoting their pet causes. So, a crooner named Tony joins the team so that he can increase public awareness about the scourge of homemade pasta. A sweetly idiotic ingenue named Kirsten agrees to climb as a protest against animal testing. An actor named Martin-who once played the president on TV and now cannot separate fiction from reality-convinces Chris to let him come along, and the whole thing is being filmed by a corpulent, muckraking filmmaker named Michael. Elliott seems to have two goals: One is to lampoon the memoir-as-extreme-sport genre, exemplified by the work of Jon Krakauer; the other is to spoof celebrity culture. He succeeds with neither. Parody gets stale pretty quickly, and Krakauer's Into Thin Air is already a decade old. Jokes about an actress who did her defining work in the 1940s aren't exactly timely, either. His take on Hollywood's excesses and absurdities is no more knowing than that of the average Us Weekly subscriber, and his satire is considerably less entertaining than the celebrityself-sabotage delivered by Generic gags, creaky satire. Anyone who's a fan of vintage David Letterman knows that Elliott is a comedy writer capable of strange delights, but none of his weird gifts are on display here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602860070
  • Publisher: Weinstein Books
  • Publication date: 11/14/2007
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Elliott
Chris Elliott is an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer, and comedian. He wrote for and performed on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman and starred in the FOX sitcom Get a Life and the films Cabin Boy and There's Something About Mary. He most recently co-starred in Everybody Loves Raymond. His first novel, The Shroud of the Thwacker, was published in 2005 to rave reviews. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
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