A brilliant and wickedly comic novel about fame and its discontents, now available in paperback with a provocative essay by the authorNoel Hammersmith has two dreams to bring his weight down to a slimpounds and to be famous Despite being a diet book editor and exercising regularly, he can t lose a pound, and his hilarious timidity insures that he has a hard time getting attention at all, let alone fameTo express his growing frustration, Noel begins to write angry letters to Brooks Brothers when they discontinue his favorite shirt, and to Golden Rule Vitamins, who makes fake promises of easy weight loss Coincidentally, bombs start exploding after each of his letters, the most notorious leaving a seven year old chess prodigy dead When one of Noel s authors, Che Guevera, claims to know where the mysterious bomber will strike next, Noel s world gets turned upside downuntil a series of riotous and unexpected twists helps Noel attain his dreams, but at a strange priceExpertly skewering the cult of celebrity, this darkly comic satire is even true to life than we might like I picked this up at random from the library I really enjoyed the wry tone, making the narrator s obviously disastrous relationships to everyone but him, apparently seem entertaining instead of unbearably depressing It was eerie reading this right after the Aurora shootings, since a big theme of the book is disgust for media attention to mass murderers. A dark comedy that is neither. A decent out of sequence reverse order novel that keeps teasing you with how crazy the protag might be.