What I Read This Week – Sellevision

Augusten Burroughs is well known for his best selling autobiographical books. I’ve never read them. After reading David Eggers’, A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius, a few years back, I haven’t felt inclined to read any more self-important memoirs by Generation Xers. Still, I was curious.

As it turns out, his first book, Sellevision, was actually a work of fiction so I thought I would read it to find out for myself if this author lives up to his hype.

Sellevison followed the lives of a handful of hosts from a Philadelphia based home shopping channel. As you would imagine, there are scandals, affairs and resentment among the players. The novel was rife with sarcasm, bitterness and vulgarity with some slightly misogynistic undertones. There are pop culture references scattered throughout the novel but since it was published only ten years ago they made the book seem more dated than ironic. It certainly had some moments of hilarity but it was otherwise shallow and clichéd.

My curiosity is satisfied. Now that I’m done, I can kind of see his appeal, although I’m not sure he’s my cup of tea.

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