How I Became A Famous Novelist

How I Became A Famous Novelist

Book - 2009
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What Pete Tarslaw wants is simple enough: a realistic amount of fame that will open new avenues of sexual opportunity; the kind of financial comfort that will allow him to spend his life pursuing hobbies such as boating or skeet shooting at his stately home by the ocean or a scenic lake; and--perhaps mostly importantly--the chance to humiliate his ex-girlfriend at her wedding. This is the story of how he succeeds in getting it all, and what it costs him in the end.

Narrated by an unlikely literary legend, How I Became A Famous Novelist pinballs from the post-college slums of Boston, to the fear-drenched halls of Manhattan's publishing houses, from the gloomy purity of Montana's foremost writing workshop to the hedonistic hotel bars of the Sunset Strip. The horrifying, hilarious tale of how Pete's "pile of garbage" called The Tornado Ashes Club became the most talked about, blogged about, read, admired, and reviled novel in America will change everything you think you know about literature, appearance, truth, beauty, and those people out there, somewhere in America, who still care about books.
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780802170606
Call Number: HELY
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 21 cm
Subjects: Novelists, American -- Fiction.


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Nov 09, 2016

This brilliant novel is the perfect book for any aspiring novelist to read. Especially helpful just before starting NaNoWriMo!
Pete Tarslaw hasn't done very much with his life, so when he learns that his previous girlfriend is happily announcing her engagement, he figures the only way to deal with this reality is to become super successful. And his chosen method to reach fame, fortune and fantastical sexual exploits is to write a best selling novel. I mean, seriously, how hard can it be?
Steve Hely takes more than a passing jab at the state of literature and the publishing world in his wickedly funny debut novel. No one is safe from his sharp wit. He makes fun of writers, publishers, teachers of writing courses, screen writers, book reviewers and more. There are even those who believe that some of the characters are based on real life people. His sarcasm is biting, bordering on caustic but hilariously true none the less.
Take the time to read this New York Best Seller, totally worth squinting to read the fine print.

Mar 11, 2015

For the longest time, before I actually started reading How I Became a Famous Novelist, I mistakenly thought this was a how-to book by some self-righteous writer. Or at least a tongue-in-check satire from some wannabe-writer. I can't be the only person who had this misconception. The truth is even better. It's fiction and one of the funniest books I've read in years.

Pete Tarslaw doesn't lead the most exciting life and has plenty of regrets to show for it. His ex broke up with him years ago and he's never forgiven her. In fact, he desperately wants her back even though she's getting married soon. He spends his workdays employed as a writer, but not in any respectful way as one hopes. Not even close. He ghost writes college essays for rich kids trying to get admitted to Ivy League schools. But here's the thing: He's shamefully good at it. Eventually Pete decides that he's had enough of this everyman life and is determined to steer his talents towards becoming a famous novelist instead. Not only will he be able to (a) quit writing altogether, (b) hobnob with celebrities, and (c) own his own island, but most importantly he'll be able to show up at his ex's wedding and rub in her face.

The author, Steve Hely, is a former writer for The David Letterman Show and Last Call with Carson Daly. This is his debut novel.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 19, 2014

If you've ever wondered why hackneyed, badly-written books become runaway bestsellers, you will love this fast and funny send-up of the publishing world. When the hero is laid off from his job writing college applications for illiterates, he decides to write a bestseller and turn up at his ex-girlfriend's wedding as a rich and famous author.

bdemian Oct 09, 2012

A little too long, but hilarious, especially snippets of other writers' works and capsule reviews.

Jun 18, 2012

This was a really funny book. I liked how the main character commented on the state of publishing today including bestsellers and the Oprah factor. I think this could have been a little shorter and that the main character was less of a slob.

Sep 28, 2011

one of the funniest books i've ever read and a little unsettling


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