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Sellevision

Augusten Burroughs, Author, Robin Miles, Read by , read by Robin Miles. Audio Renaissance $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59397-852-5

This gleeful satire of America's 24-hour, shop-till-you-drop culture lacks the depth and razor-sharp wit of Burrough's more established works (Running with Scissors , Magical Thinking , etc.), but the audio's colorful characters, brought skillfully to life by Miles, ensure that it's an entertaining ride. Initially, the choice of a female narrator surprises—since the story opens with Sellevision host Max Andrews getting booted from his position after accidentally exposing his penis during a "Toys for Tots" shopping segment. But as the audio meanders through the lives of hosts Peggy Jean Smythe, Trish Mission, Leigh Bushmore and Bebe Friedman, it becomes clear that Miles is well suited to the task. She adopts an appropriately prissy tone for the devout Peggy Jean while at the same time playing up the sleaziness of Peggy's husband, who's on a mission to seduce the nubile teen next door. Miles also does a fine job capturing Bebe's New York twang, mile-a-minute chatter and spontaneous laughter. Although Burroughs's characters often seem as disposable as the RemoteControLotion and Moisture-Whik Panties sold on Sellevision, this audio, like a good soap opera, still manages to hook listeners. A Picador paperback (Reviews, July 31, 2000). (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 10/01/2006
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