The King of Pain: A novel with stories

( 21 )

Overview

"One of 2012's most enjoyable novels." --Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

"This is a dark, sharp, very funny novel about imprisonment, torture and the dangerous pleasures of stories." --Zoe Heller, Notes on a Scandal

"Seth Kaufman's novel is a hoot and a boot, a zany, unsettling, satisfying, post post-modern, tragic-comic tour of prisons around the world and pain in the human heart. Start it and you won't ...

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The King of Pain: A novel with stories

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Overview

"One of 2012's most enjoyable novels." --Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

"This is a dark, sharp, very funny novel about imprisonment, torture and the dangerous pleasures of stories." --Zoe Heller, Notes on a Scandal

"Seth Kaufman's novel is a hoot and a boot, a zany, unsettling, satisfying, post post-modern, tragic-comic tour of prisons around the world and pain in the human heart. Start it and you won't stop. If you're a claustrophobe, read it out-of-doors." --John Darnton, Neaderthal

A riotously funny portrait of an out-of-control entertainment mogul and a devastating look at torture and imprisonment, The King of Pain is part Jennifer Egan, part Italo Calvino, part "Entourage," and 100% marvelous.

Rick Salter expects to be hated; after all, he's the mind behind the outrageous-and outrageously successful-reality TV show about torture, "The King of Pain." What he finds much more worrisome than the ire of cultural critics is that when he wakes up one Saturday morning, he's trapped underneath his gigantic home entertainment system with no idea how he got there. Rick has 48 long hours ahead of him until his housekeeper will come to his rescue and nothing to pass the time except pain, bad memories-and a strange book he finds lying beside him. Called "A History of Prisons," it is written by one Seth Kaufman, and it seems mysteriously relevant to Rick's predicament...

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Editorial Reviews

The BN Review - Quin Krovatin
“Seth Kaufman’s hilarious novel is a multifaceted meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged society where the two are often interchangeable.”
The New York Times - Neil Genzlinger
"One of 2012's most enjoyable novels."
Zigzag Timeline - Mary Fan
"The King of Pain is a book with messages, wrapped in stories and sprinkled with wit, bound together by the themes of imprisonment and human endurance…Kaufman has created a brilliant satire that entertains as it sends its message. It’s unique, original, and innovative, presenting commentary on modern culture while being wonderfully entertaining. I was so drawn into this book that I flew through it in less than two days, unable to put it down."
Blurb-o-rama - Zoe Heller
"This is a dark, sharp, very funny novel about imprisonment, torture and the dangerous pleasures of stories."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985626501
  • Publisher: Sukuma Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2012
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 558,098
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Seth Kaufman has been a reporter for the NY Post’s Page Six and the Editorial Director of TV Guide.com. He grew up in New York, Kenya, and India. He plays guitar in The Fancy Shapes and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two children. This is his first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2012

    I read this book on a recommendation from a friend, and even tho

    I read this book on a recommendation from a friend, and even though I was skeptical at first - novel with stories? sounds kind of precious! - I ended up really loving it. The framing narrative is a hilarious take-down of Hollywood's obsession with reality TV, and of how TV these days seems to be going back to the good old bad old Victorian days of the freakshow. That alone would make for a very satisfying read because the writing is sharp and often very funny, but what took THE KING OF PAIN to the next level for me were the stories that are set into the framing narrative. They're all about people who are in actual pain, are actually suffering - and somehow manage to transcend and overcome that suffering. Some of the stories are pretty dark, others are serio-comic, and they're all polished little gems that form an interesting counterpoint to the zaniness of the main story. The whole thing reads a bit like a modern-day DECAMERON - highly recommended!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    The reviews are right, this is a very funny book. And very origi

    The reviews are right, this is a very funny book. And very original. But they don't mention another writer that should be referenced: Martin Amis. The narrator, Rick Salter, reminded of the best Martin Amis characters. Totally unabashed, totally funny, totally diabolical and yet somehow also on the "money."
    As someone who thinks Reality TV is an oxymoron, I really liked The King of Pain -- and the short stories in A History of Prisons, which range from being totally sobering to slightly insane ("The Translator).

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    This book has got it all. The frame narrative is a really smart,

    This book has got it all. The frame narrative is a really smart, dark, and totally off-the-wall take on reality TV that is about as timely as they come. But what really drew me in were the stories Rick reads about imprisonment while he's trapped under his entertainment system (fitting, right?). This collection of tales shows so much depth and variety, and each story transports you somewhere entirely new. Some stories are serious, some exuberant and funny, but they are all equally captivating. The book description mentions Calvino, and I definitely got the same reading pleasure of seeing glimpses of so many different worlds. The structure of the book is unusual and original, but I would definitely suggest taking a chance on this one.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    A hilarious, clever book. Rick Salter's luck has finally run out

    A hilarious, clever book. Rick Salter's luck has finally run out when he wakes up pinned under his entertainment center-- and what follows is an evocative contemplation on what it means to be trapped: trapped under an entertainment center, trapped in a prison cell, and trapped in the glitz and glam of fame and money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I just loved this book! The writer has an engaging writing style

    I just loved this book! The writer has an engaging writing style that he uses to tell funny, quirky, engaging stories! Once I started the book, I couldn't wait to read each story. I recommend this book for a trip where you will have lots of starts and stops.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    Reality really hits Rick Sallter, reality show TV producer in th

    Reality really hits Rick Sallter, reality show TV producer in this very funny novel. Kaufman gets the excesses of the industry and adds vignettes of true life in meaningful doses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2014

    Fun

    Finally an original premise, writing skills and a really fun read. More please sj

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2014

    Seth Kaufman is the love child of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Ben

    Seth Kaufman is the love child of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Ben Elton.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2014

    If you like the absurd, you'll dig this book. Fun, outrageous ch

    If you like the absurd, you'll dig this book. Fun, outrageous characters. Gets you to think about the crazy world we've created without taking itself seriously.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    Rather silly

    This is a fluff book--but its catch is that it has a "book within a book" and the short stories in THAT book are engaging.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Very cool

    I thought I had it figured out for most of the book but I was wrong. I love it when that happens. The main story was entertaining as well as the stories in the book Rick is reading. I was impressed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Omg

    Lve

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2012

    Very Entertaining!

    Very interesting and humorous. Different from anything that I've ever read. The format was quite unique with the short stories within the main storyline. An easy and enjoyable read. I've never read Seth Kaufman before, but I would consider reading more by him.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    Meh

    Meh!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    Exceptional, Original, Nothing Like It I can't think of any othe

    Exceptional, Original, Nothing Like It
    I can't think of any other book that goes the places this does, with the structure, the voices, the stories and the humor and the agony. There is something for everyone here -- unless you hate profanity or hilarity. And the ending: ingenious. A great find.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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