Books

Black Cat
Black Cat
Black Cat

The Royal Nonesuch

by Glasgow Phillips

The Royal Nonesuch is very funny, far too real for comfort, and even, finally, life-affirming. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Phillips, reading this book is like getting kicked in the clams with a clown shoe. You double over, not sure whether you’re laughing or crying, and then you want to kick the clown back, in the clams. That course of action won’t be available to all readers, but I have Mr. Phillips’s address, and I’m on my way now to the clown shoe store.” –Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and You Shall Know Our Velocity

  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date March 13, 2007
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-7028-6
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00
  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date May 01, 2007
  • ISBN-13 978-1-5558-4720-3
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

Glasgow Phillips published his debut novel Tuscaloosa at the tender age of twenty-four. The results were disastrous: encouraging reviews, translations, a paperback sale, a film option, and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford. But over the next two years, as Phillips’s second novel unraveled and freelance journalism assignments ended in humiliation, a horrible, secret thought took hold in him: perhaps, just possibly, whatever talent he had was of the kind that would never be more than promise.

Washed up as a “real” writer before he was thirty, Phillips went to Los Angeles and formed a company with his best childhood friend, Jason McHugh, independent producer of Cannibal! The Musical and Orgazmo. “Precisely what the company would do was somewhat beside the point,” he writes. “We were friends who wanted to do something together. In other times or other circumstances we might have started a magazine, a social club, a religion, or a gang. It was the late 1990s, so we started an Internet company.”

The Royal Nonesuch is the story of Phillips’s roller-coaster ride through the twisted world of underground Hollywood and the fun house of the Internet during the boom. He builds a hilarious and poignant memoir, in the tradition of Augusten Burroughs and Sean Wilsey, from tales of promise and failure, family and madness, friendship and redemption, fame and infamy, and good old-fashioned hustling. This is a remarkable book, a brilliant portrait of a generation in all its foolish glory.

Praise

“Phillips embeds his off-kilter moral journey in an unsparing comic portrait of underground Hollywood, with its schizophrenic hustlers, desperate pitching, deluded financial projections, lascivious Sundance parties, bad indie films and more-alternative-than-thou poseurs who denounce corporate co-optation while angling to be co-opted. He surveys this freak show with a mordant, cutting wit that delivers insight and pathos along with the laughs.” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Funny, insightful, disturbing.” – Booklist

The Royal Nonesuch is very funny, far too real for comfort, and even, finally, life-affirming. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Phillips, reading this book is like getting kicked in the clams with a clown shoe. You double over, not sure whether you’re laughing or crying, and then you want to kick the clown back, in the clams. That course of action won’t be available to all readers, but I have Mr. Phillips’s address, and I’m on my way now to the clown shoe store.” –Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and You Shall Know Our Velocity

“This is the best book I’ve read about being in your twenties and trying to figure out what to do with your life, and that’s not just because I’m in it. Something this funny shouldn’t also be this profound; after laughing, crying, and cheering the cast, all I wanted was a bigger part.” –Matt Stone, co-creator of South Park

“Mr. Phillips has a whimsical, offbeat sense of humor”. You’ll end up rooting for him even though you know his harebrained ideas will come to nothing.” –Toby Young, The Wall Street Journal

The Royal Nonesuch ” captures the giddy, discombobulating gallimaufry at the bottom rungs of show business’. Phillips has a rare talent for drawing the reader into his harebrained schemes, for capturing the frantic joy of sticking his fingers into a million pies, then ruefully admitting the absurdity of it all”. Phillips brilliantly captures the artistic striving of youth, the desire and inability to make some contribution to the culture”” –Nathan Ihara, LA Weekly

“The Royal Nonesuch [is] a darkly comic, self-attacking anti-memoir that in its better moments offers an acid critique of contemporary American culture and its twin obsessions: fame and riches.” –William Grimes, The New York Times

“[Glasgow Phillips is] a very good writer who has written, in The Royal Nonesuch, a very good book. Funny (at times laugh-out-loud funny), smart, self-mocking, very much of the moment” Maybe, if we get lucky, he’ll keep writing on books. The pay is lousy, but they last.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“Glasgow Phillips [is] a Los Angeles writer whose new memoir gives new meaning to the term “failing upward.” … [The Royal Nonesuch] could be the first memoir by what used to call Gen X to make an impact since A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, whose author, Dave Eggers, once ran with Phillips.” –Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Times

“The Royal Nonesuch is the description of [a] thousand enthusiastic yeses’ Would Phillips like to perform in a porn film? Yes! Make friends with a young writer-director names Jaime Frey, who eventually gained infamy as James Frey, the author of “A Million Little Pieces’? Yes! Start his own brand-naming business, despite minimal experience in the field? Yes!! Start his own television production company, CRAPtv, despite, again, almost no experience? Yes!!! Turn down $2.5 million offer for a 51 percent stake in CRAPtv in hopes of an even better offer that never materialized and wind up with nothing to show for his efforts? A thousand times, Yes!!!! … [“The Royal Nonesuch”] is funny, profane and, in its back half, tinged with something a bit more human…” –Jeff Salamon, Austin American-Statesman

“Stylish, entertaining, and often hilarious’” –David Goodwillie, New York Post

“Phillips’ tale faithfully details the insanity of the [dot-com] bubble and the humanity of the little stories that, like bubbles in a flute of champagne, fizzle and pop.” –Joshua David Stein, Boldtype

“It would sound like a tragic tale of wasted potential if Phillips wasn’t laughing so hard.” –Rick Polito, Marin Independent Journal

“Memorably hilarious’” –Kate Lowenstein, Time Out New York

“Crazed, crackerjack memoir”.Selling out is the new keeping it real.” –Nathan Lee, Village Voice

“Phillips succeeds in his attempt to create a compelling account of a man who, entering his 30s, devotes himself to yet unrecognized hopes of fame and riches.” –Barry Henderson, Chico News and Review

“Glasgow Phillips is an idea man. Think about all the things you’ve liked over the past decade–movies, weird dot-coms, animated TV shows, pills–he’s been behind them all. This guy has chops.” –Starlee Kine, NPR’s This American Life

The Royal Nonesuch hits so close to home that laughing at Mr. Phillips and laughing at yourself are often one and the same. Occasionally gut-wrenching, often hysterical, and always illuminating, Mr. Phillips’s prose remains remarkably assured throughout. Even when his life choices are, well, not.” –Neel Shah, CollegeHumor.com

“Hollywood drops the soap and Glasgow Phillips scores a bull’s-eye in this hilarious and frighteningly accurate memoir about coming-of-age on the gamy side of Tinseltown.” –Mark Haskell Smith, award winning screenwriter and author of Moist and Delicious

“This is the book you’re looking for. It’s inspiring, intelligent, funny, honest, and a triumph over evil. I usually can’t get past page 10 in a memoir, but The Royal Nonesuch had me from the start and never let me down. Glasgow Phillips is the real deal, a badass who actually knows how to write.” –Arthur Bradford, author of Dogwalkers

“Glasgow Phillips has harnessed vast observational and comedic talents for the purpose of waste, waste, and thrice waste–till now! The Royal Nonesuch is both a self-reckoning and a generational one, and Phillips fills this ridiculous, entertaining, crazy-ass morality tale with proof that he’s a fancy pants literary type after all. Hooray!” –Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All

“Phillips’ pronounced self-awareness helps him cut through the bullshit around him (Los Angeles not lacking for bullshit), and despite being expensively educated he has no interest in acting like it.” –DarrenHoyt.com

“This memoir/dark comedy is a solid read for anyone out there trying to make it as a filmmaker, writer, or if you just don’t know what you want to do with your life. Phillips’ immediate writing entertains.”–PopSyndicate

“A most enjoyable read” –Robert Nott, The Santa Fe New Mexican

“A memoir whose subtitle says it all. Glasgow Phillips has early success with a book, and opportunities abound. Then, a second book never gets started. The Internet buzz buzzes by. An absolutely terrible idea for a movie actually gets made. It’s not ‘when’ he grows up, it’s ‘will’ he. Funny, knuckleheaded, outrageous, and, finally sensitive. A crazy read.” –Dick Garvey, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, WA, Book Sense quote

Awards

A Book Sense Selection

Excerpt

I already didn’t want to go to Burning Man, where I would be expected to dissemble childish wonder and share things with strangers, but finding out that an individual known to Jason only as the Woodsman would be hitching a ride in Jason’s minivan sealed it that I wasn’t going. There was no way in hell I was going to sit in a minivan for six hours with someone named the Woodsman. I suppose I pictured a generically annoying hippie, who might bore me on the ride with lectures about sustainable hemp farming.

But the stories Jason and Ward told on their return were nothing like that at all, and the Woodsman’s terrible actuality outstripped anything I might have imagined. Timmy the Woodsman was his complete nom de guerre, and he had been naked almost from the instant they arrived in the desert.

There was an accident with warning–orange paint that got all over his hands and then in the natural course of events stained his penis, and then his hands and all the rest of him was covered in the dust that was everywhere, so that he became just a filthy imp whose distinguishing feature were a bright orange penis, somewhat outsized for his smallish frame, that bobbed like a carrot before him for the rest of his sojourn in Black Rock City. “I have the biggest penis in the world!” he yelled at other attendees. If they looked at him funny, he would yell, “In proportion! In proportion!”