"One of 2012's most enjoyable novels." --Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
"This is a dark, sharp, very funny novel about imprisonment, torture and the dangerous pleasures of stories." --Zoe Heller, Notes on a Scandal
A riotously funny portrait of an out-of-control entertainment mogul and a dazzlingly original look at incarceration, The King of Pain is part George Sanders, part Italo Calvino, part "Entourage," and 100% marvelous.
Rick Salter is a man everybody loves to hate. But that’s fine; in fact, it’s become a way of life for Rick ever since the launch of his outrageous – and outrageously successful – reality TV show about torture, The King of Pain. So when one Saturday morning Rick comes to on his living room floor, he’s not really bothered that cultural critics have put him on top of the list of “people who will hasten the demise of civilization” – no, his real problem is that he appears to be trapped under his gigantic home entertainment system. Which is no longer attached to the wall, but to him. With no phone or BlackBerry within reach, and with his housekeeper Marta off for the weekend, Rick has 48 long hours ahead of him before he can hope for rescue. 48 hours of pain and bad memories. Thank god there’s a book lying around to pass the time. It’s called A History of Prisons and the stories in the book seem to be strangely relevant to Rick’s own predicament.
“Seth Kaufman's novel is a hoot and a boot, a zany, unsettling, satisfying, post post-modern, tragic-comic tour of prisons around the world and pain in the human heart. Start it and you won't stop. If you're a claustrophobe, read it out-of-doors.” --John Darnton, Neanderthal, Almost a Family
"Required reading for any reality TV junkie." --N.Y. Daily News
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
With a title like this, you can't be too sure what you're getting into. (Even with the "very funny" call out quote and comic-book style old TV on the cover). The story of had me from the first page, however. I knew right away I was in the hands of someone who knew what he was doing and the story did not let go til the bitter - or really, rather sweet - end. Rick Slater, an aging, bright and thoroughly compromised producer, has been saved from the Hollywood has-been ash heap by becoming the guiding light of a horrid, torture-based reality TV show. As the show reaches a crescendo of awfulness (and popularity), Slater finds himself one day pinned beneath his collapsed, massive entertainment center. As he endures the varied agonies that come with being pressed like an old Salem witch, he reflects on his shabby, checkered past. When he isn't reminiscing, regretting, reforming, he distracts himself with a book of stories that has fallen off the shelf. The book was given to...
... And i used that as my title because i nearly didn't give it a try due to so many reviewers not getting it. There WERE two or three typos. I HATE those. But it really was only two or three. The writing was clear and tight, i did get to know the character(s), and i really enjoyed the alternating chapters, going from the main character's private musings to short stories supposedly written by all different authors. The main story was interesting, and the short stories were very well written. I was worried about this King of Pain reality show disgusting me, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd imagined, and i was worried about the short stories about prisons being gruesome, but i enjoyed them all very much. I recommend this book. If you are on the fence, give it a try.
I don't write a lot of reviews, but I just finished "The King of Pain" and immediately went looking for more by Kaufman. For me, a mark of a good read is that I'm disappointed when it's over, and this one truly left me wanting more (in a good way). The characters are real and believable, the plot is completely unique, and the short stories interspersed throughout the book are excellent. I rarely read short stories, but I enjoyed these so much. Each one has a completely different flavor than the next. I loved being able to read a story, and immediately get the reaction of the main character to the same story. If you are debating spending a few bucks on this one, just do it. This book can easily hold its own against any bestseller. And please, Mr. Kaufman, write more, more, more!!!!
The authorised South African distributor of this product is under no obligation to honour the manufacture's guarantees/warranties or to provide after-sales service.
Please note that this item is imported from the USA, and is designed to be used in the USA. In addition, if the unit is powered it will come with a US plug and an adapter/transformer may be required. Please click here for more information on power requirements, or check with us if you are unsure or need any assistance!
Please also note that certain items cannot be imported, these include Alcohol, Animals, Batteries, Flammable Materials, Currency, Food, Furs, Chemicals, Explosives, Medications, Plants, Seeds, Supplements, Pressurized Cans, Tactical Equipment, Vitamins, Weaponry and Weaponry Accessories. In these cases, the item and information is displayed for reference purposes only. If you are not sure if we are permitted to bring an item, please send us an e-mail with a link to the item to confirm.
Please also ensure that you are ordering the correct item for your particular application as returns to the USA are costly. Product reviews are also provided for most of our items, which can give you a good idea for possible things to look out for and the quality of the item. By clicking Add to Cart, you are confirming that the item is correct and you accept the conditions listed here.