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The Tetherballs of Bougainville: A Novel (original 1997; edition 1998)
by Mark Leyner
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067976349X, Paperback)Mark Leyner's hyperactive, relentlessly vivid The Tetherballs of Bougainville stars a fictionalized 13-year-old version of himself. Young Leyner--who sounds just like the author, the conceit is insincere--must watch the state of New Jersey execute his PCP-addled father; lose his virginity in a drunken, drugged revel with the comely warden; and write a screenplay about these things, all within the space of a day. Don't be alarmed, just turn off your left brain and keep reading. The Tetherballs of Bougainville is a soup of observation, weird juxtaposition, parody, and ribaldry that will leave some people stymied, but others positively delighted. The satire--and sense--is where you find it.
Here's Mark, with an aside: "As I browse through this astonishing array of contraband, I can't help but marvel at the ingenuity of the inmates. In the Body Cavity/Rectal section, for instance--I can imagine someone smuggling in a wrapped shank ... But four 5-piece place settings of Bastille stainless-steel flatware? I can see how, during a visit, a girlfriend could convey, through a kiss, a condom partially filled with heroin. But a 959-piece Alsatian Village Puzzle? How? Piece by piece, one kiss per visit per week? Imagine the incarcerated hobbyist's Zen-like equanimity."
Rich stuff, this. But as disorienting as the book may be, it possesses a brutal amount of horsepower--the amount of laughs it will induce excuse myriad indulgences. Half novel, half screenplay, packed to the endpapers with pop culture, The Tetherballs of Bougainville is a full-body experience.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:23 -0400)
A black comedy on a boy who is writing a school play while keeping his father company on Death Row. When three injections later the father refuses to die, the warden releases him and the boy turns the experience into a successful screenplay.
(summary from another edition)
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