Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coming Up From Soho: The Funny Man

John Warner’s debut novel, The Funny Man (Soho Press), is a satire of modern celebrity culture. The titular “funny man” starts out as an ordinary comic, but when he comes up with a ridiculous gimmick—performing with his entire fist inside his mouth—he suddenly finds his life transformed by newfound popularity and the hazards of fame that ensue. His descent into the pitfalls of celebrity even goes as far as him shooting an unarmed man. As a Publisher's Weekly review puts it, "America's favorite comedian is on trial for manslaughter, and "the funny man" 's lawyer, Barry, has a unique defense: not guilty by way of celebrity.... [An] equally sickening and humorous portrait of the celebrity as a delusional man."

Warner’s book is getting praise from fellow writers as well: Jessica Francis Kane, author of The Report, says "I'm not at all surprised that John Warner would invent the perfect Everyman for our age: a comic whose meteoric rise to fame is based on a stupid gimmick. Half first-person tell-all, half third-person takedown -- a brilliant structure -- The Funny Man is a whip-smart satire of celebrity culture. It is hysterical, and sad, and ultimately indicts us all. An excellent novel." The Funny Man will be available this September.

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