Brian M. Raftery
September 22, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sellevision

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Augusten Burroughs
publisher
St. Martin's Griffin
genre
Fiction

We gave it a C-

This none-too-subtle debut could have done for the home-shopping industry what The Larry Sanders Show did for late-night talkies: provide a biting behind-the-curtains peek at a glossy-surface industry. But this sell-all tell-all, set at the fictitious Sellevision Retail Broadcasting Network, is populated by so many cartoonish caricatures — the good-citizen Christian housewife who begins washing down her Valium with wine; the overly ambitious, stop-at-nothing young starlet — that the novel’s acidic wit is diluted, and its soapy, sloppy plot is left exposed. Augusten Burroughs may have tuned into a fine target, but his humor — is there anything more lame than a running Celine Dion joke? — leaves Sellevision with fuzzy reception. C-

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