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limoLimo

by Dan Jenkins & Bud Shrake


288 pages, 6 x 9 • Paper $22.95
ISBN 978-0-87565-550-5


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Decades before it saturated the airwaves, Dan Jenkins and Bud Shrake actually invented reality TV—and skewered it into a comic novel that was way ahead of its time. Frank Mallory is a big gun at one of the four major networks.  Cruising around Manhattan in his “Silver Goblet,” a Rolls Royce limo, he finds that life in the fast lane is beginning to unravel. Having to deal with the departure of his wife, his boss “The Big Guy”, and crazed Hollywood stars—while at the same time having to maintain a high-stakes job—all tend to make Frank Mallory, well, act out. After Frank struggles to fill all his number-four network’s primetime slots—it tends to lag behind CBS, NBC, and ABC—the Big Guy forces him to create a show called “Just Up The Street,” which is meant to entertain ordinary Americans with the “real” lives of other ordinary Americans.  Ultimately the resulting script causes the Big Guy’s downfall and forces everyone else to return to a reality that comes without scare quotes.

 

Limo is a hilarious, entertaining caricature of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and provides a fascinating insight into the world of network television. Through a haze of booze and drugs, we see Frank’s desperation for a normal life and real relationships. Frank Mallory’s only true relationships are found in the confines of his Silver Goblet, where he finds friendship with D. Wayne Cooper and love with Sally Hawks. Only after a series of crises does Frank ultimately find himself—and the happiness that has eluded him. Originally published in 1976, Limo is now back in print, complete with a foreword by acclaimed author Jeff Guinn.