A Love Storyby Mark Haskell Smith
“A fast, funny, freaky fusion of two unlikely worlds: literature and reality TV . . . Smith brings the awesomeness together like a literary peanut-butter cup.” —Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much
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Sepp Gregory, a reality TV hunk and one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive,” is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp’s actually read the book; he doesn’t have to, he lived it! And everyone just wants him to take off his shirt.
The book has hit the bestseller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere’s most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel’s reception means the end of civilization is upon us. Determined to pen an exposé on the publishing industry, Harriet hijacks the book tour and uncovers the ghostwriter. Reality and “reality” collide, and a tragic accident sends Sepp and Harriet off on a sex-fueled road trip through the southwest. The brain meets the abs, and both will be changed forever. Raw: A Love Story is Mark Haskell Smith at his raucous best, dangerously sexy and wickedly funny.
“Thoroughly enjoyable. . . . By turns racy and profound, Haskell Smith writes at match speed about what passes for culture in today’s often unreal world.” —Allison Block, Booklist
“Audacious satire.” —Vanity Fair
“Dark, priapic satire.” —The Millions
“This book is a masterpiece.” —Livres Hebdo (France)
“[A] fast-paced, funny send-up of both high and pop culture.” —Penthouse
“Both hilarious and absurd. You’ll laugh (and sometimes blush) the whole way through.” —John Soper, People
“LA writer Smith is back with another frothy satire.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A goofy streak leavens Smith’s fifth novel ” he packs his paragraphs with cleverness, mapping out a soapy, exciting plot. When Sepp goes off course, his unpredictable path gets seamy but leaves a glimmer of hope for a self-obsessed society—at least for one willing to laugh at itself.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers familiar with Mark Haskell Smith’s novels know all about the sharp, oddball sense of humor that permeates Raw. For those who don’t, think somewhere along the lines of Carl Hiaasen—social commentary combined with outrageous laughs. . . . [A] brash and brainy slice of satire that skewers our base and high-minded interests in one fell swoop. . . . Hilarious.” —Shelf Awareness
“Crazy stuff happens, and it’s a joy to be inside the drama. The more Technicolor the plot, the more addictive it becomes. . . . . One helluva good read.” —The Millions
“Smith remains a gifted satirist with a comic touch that can be either howlingly broad or devastatingly precise. . . . Though consistently surprising, fast-paced and nearly always funny, Raw is more than just a lively romp. Smith saves his best satire for a topic he knows all too well: the publishing industry. In Raw . . . Smith skewers it with as much gleeful zeal as he attacks his much easier targets.” —Thomas Flynn, The Daily Beast
“No contemporary pop culture touchstone or literary idol emerges from the book unscathed by Smith’s playful scrutiny.” —Los Angeles Magazine
“Gleefully absurd. . . . [Smith] turns what could have been just an amusing book into an incisive, caustic and hilarious one. . . . He’s able to pull it off because his prose is so hard-boiled and self-assured—he comes across as the slightly more well-adjusted offspring of Hunter S. Thompson and James Ellroy. . . . A hilarious and—occasionally—an unexpectedly sweet illustration of why we write and read in the first place.” —Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times
“The four strangers brought together in Raw are at times so vivid that you want to meet them. . . . [A] fast (and fun) story.” —Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Amusing and intermittently outright funny. . . . [Smith’s] caricatures land squarely on the mark.” —Eugenia Williamson, Boston Globe
“Subversively funny. . . . Think Don DeLillo meets Jersey Shore.” —The Wrap
“More surprising than any book I’ve read since before The Jersey Shore was on-air. . . . Haskell Smith’s deft hand with both high- and low-brow culture makes Sepp a main character rather than a caricature. . . . Raw‘s whole-hearted and non-judgmental embrace of reality . . . really makes it (and Sepp) shine.” —Bustle
“Satire of the highest order. . . . Smith succeeds because he knows better than to make fun of his subjects or turn them into silly caricatures.” —PopMatters
“Only an extremely imaginative satirist can outpace the world’s absurdity, but Mark Haskell Smith manages it with Raw, a super fun, super wild, and sneakily thoughtful take on American literary and entertainment excess.” —Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist
“Hot and ebullient, hilarious and riveting. Smith pulls the pants off reality television and America’s ‘serious’ literary culture, and that’s just the metaphorical nakedness. Who knew a book about the difficulty of sustaining deeply felt emotion could be so much fun? Or that a penis on YouTube might sing Lionel Richie? Hair-raising and essential reading.” —Sara Levine, author of Treasure Island!!!
“Raw, the latest from the endlessly entertaining Mark Haskell Smith, is a fast, funny, freaky fusion of two unlikely worlds: literature and reality TV. I’m not going to pretend I don’t love both, and Smith brings the awesomeness together like a literary Peanut Butter Cup. What could be better?” —Elizabeth Crane, author of We Only Know So Much
A Pop Sugar Best Book of the Year
Longlisted for the 2016 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière