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Artistic Differences Hardcover – June, 1993

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688121527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688121525
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,519,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Flip humor and pitch-perfect dialogue power TV writer-producer Hauck's breezy first novel, an insider's look at Hollywood that reads like the godawful truth. Narrated by a fictional TV writer-producer named Jimmy Hoy, this jaded tale follows the star-making process from casting to filming. Hoy and his partner, Neil Stein, create a comedy series for the "CBN" network and recruit blond, narcissistic Geneva Holloway to be its star. Geneva proceeds to malign Hoy and Stein, indirectly cause a hairdresser's suicide and throw hissy fits on the set when she fails to get her way. It's slightly disappointing that Hoy and Stein are only peripherally responsible for Geneva's comeuppance, and crueler still that a fate far worse than the loss of a hit series awaits the insufferable prima donna. With its grand finale, the book loses some momentum: by allowing grievous physical harm to come to Geneva, Hauck unkindly startles readers back into the real world that this otherwise glib, hyperbolic novel had until then permitted them to escape. It also serves as a reminder that the key women here are all shrews, airheads or both--though, to be fair, plenty of the men are jerks too. Faults notwithstanding, this Tinseltown tale's ample hilarity makes it a shoo-in for any summer reading list.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Another version of the showbiz story about the Impossible Star who makes life hell for everybody--this time in the context of a TV sitcom. Jimmy Hoy and Neil Stein are a successful TV comedy writing team in Hollywood. Neil is the anxious one (not surprising, given his eight dependents and splashy lifestyle), and narrator Jimmy is the carefree single guy, dating dizzy little actress Kiki while staying cordial with ex-wife Miranda. By the end, Neil's marriage will be history, Kiki will have left town, and Jimmy will be ``wholly reconnected'' with Miranda, but all this is strictly background: the only person center stage is the gorgeous though talentless Geneva Holloway, who's already graced the cover of TV Guide when she's chosen for Jimmy and Neil's latest series (replacing a super-hostile, gun-waving black star). But from the start, she is trouble, insisting on ridiculous script-changes, getting a pedicure while listening to the story presentation, then treacherously dumping her handpicked, HIV-positive hairdresser (who will later commit suicide). Even Jimmy's threat to quit (``this is the most egregious fucking bullshit'') and Neil's suicide attempt do not throw Geneva off stride; what finally gets her dismissed is her direct attack on production company head Avery Schine (``You needle-dicked bug fucker!''). End of story? Not quite, for first- novelist Hauck is well and truly stuck to his tar baby; there follows a ludicrous epilogue in which Geneva, shooting a movie-of- the-week in Africa, falsely accuses a native of theft and has her hand cut off by the authorities. Crude, humorless, in-your-face stuff. Each chapter is preceded by a mildly amusing showbiz anecdote, maybe to compensate for the sour taste of what follows. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Nicholls on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One of only a handful of books I've read more than twice, sitcom vet Charlie Hauck's only novel (so far) mirrors with uncanny precision my experience running comedies with difficult stars in the period in which the book was written, the early 1990s. My director on one show brought galleys of this book to the offices (he'd been invited to blurb it), where the staff writers sat around saying things like "That happened to me!" and "God, he heard about that and put it in the book?" One reviewer here calls this novel "hyperbolic," perhaps thinking mainly of the eventual fate of Geneve Holloway, but on the contrary, I have, over the years, sought out at least a dozen copies and given them to friends who want to know exactly what it's like running a half-hour comedy. It really is this strange, the powerful really are this corrupt and (above all) this blithely stupid.

Hauck's writing is a joy; it's effortlessly witty and eminently quotable. I created, wrote for, or staffed over a hundred sitcoms: this is what my days were like, with only the wit of my fellow writers buffering me from the insanity. Hauck's description of why running a sitcom is like Chapter Thirty-Seven of Moby Dick is alone worth the price of the book and is, I'm sure, applicable to many industries in which the efforts of the idealistic and talented are supervised and circumscribed daily by the cupidity and foolishness of the people they naively hoped they'd seen the last of in high school.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. I read it twice. I'll read it again. It's one of my favorite novels. It's just fun. It's funny and sad in parts, but it's a totally enjoyable book. Highest recommendation. I read that they were thinking of making a movie or TV movie of the book. I think that would be outstanding. Thank you Mr. Hauck.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Artistic Differences, by Charlie Hauck, is not the kind of book that will change your life or give you new insights into the human condition. That is why it only rates 3 out of 5 stars. However, if you liked the movie "The Player" or any other behind the scenes, satirical look at the ridiculous world of Hollywood then Artistic Differences will make you smile. From the beginning to the end, it is an over the top farce that is not meant to be taken too seriously and that is where it gets its charm. The characters are memorable (although stereotypical) and the plot moves along quickly as our narrator - writer/producer James Hoy - gives us a look at how bad decisions, out of control egos and rabid insecurity dictate what we watch on a typical sitcom. If you're in the mood for a light, sometimes biting, read then give this a try.
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