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Laughin' Boy Hardcover – July, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press; Ltd Sgd edition (July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596060166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596060166
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,665,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a videotape catches meek college teacher Danny Clayton uncontrollably laughing after a terrorist massacre in Denton's provocative new novel, Danny becomes a reviled celebrity: Laughin' Boy. It seems only natural that he join with the similarly loathed Porno Girl and the Racist Ranger to form the Odd Squad, the superheroes people love to hate. Their fame does, however, mean that the murderous terrorists are ignored, frustrating their desire for notoriety and motivating them to do whatever's necessary to reclaim center stage. Pop psychologists, the FBI and TV producers are also circling like vultures. Meanwhile, Danny tries to discover, more or less unaided, why he's laughing and how he can stop. If he can save himself, maybe he can help his equally unhappy cohorts escape their compulsions. Denton's ear for the cacophony of talk radio, chatrooms and political interviews is flawless. He also has a good eye for the painful absurdities of a world bloated with information but starved for understanding. Like his mentor Mark Twain, Denton (Lunatics) has trouble resolving the characters' dilemmas believably; still, he sets up the problem memorably.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

During an outdoor carnival in Wichita, Kansas, an unidentified group of hooded gunmen unleashes a volley of grenades and gunfire, killing 86 people. Knocked from a dying victim's hands, a video camera inadvertently films a man laughing hysterically at the carnage. Dubbed Laughin' Boy by the press, and vilified by an outraged American public, Danny Clayton is cleared by the FBI of any wrongdoing but quickly becomes the pawn of grandstanding pop psychologists, who diagnose his giggling reactions to tragedy as a bizarre mental affliction arising from bad parenting and too much TV. Taking advantage of his sudden celebrity, the FBI enlists Danny in a scheme to star in a TV show and provoke the Wichita gunmen into exposing themselves. A past winner of the World Fantasy award, Denton is a veteran satirist whose works often straddle the line between fantasy and mainstream fiction. Here, Denton deftly surveys the landscape of contemporary media and its current obsession with terrorism in a finely nuanced and entertaining black comedy. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Graham on March 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bradley Denton mixes genres with the best of them. Had it not been for 9/11, this book about a paramilitary massacre in a midwestern city would have been printed years ago by a major press. As it is, this limited edition is the only one available. Grab it before all copies are gone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Layne on September 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a new trade paperback edition of Laughin' Boy -- same text as the collectible edition to which the earlier reviews refer, but more affordable.

Thought I should clear that up.

Also, I gave it five stars because I love it, but also because I had to assign stars in order to post this note. So, yes, I am the publisher and yes, I've given it five stars, but I didn't do it just to bump the average up or anything. Just wanted to make that clear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kirk on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of books. Or, I used to read a lot of books, and now I read the first twenty pages of too many books. This is one book I've read in the past several years which has stuck with me and now I'm tempted to reread the thing. It can be described as a thriller written by John Sladek. I'd love to find more books like this one.
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By G. S. Malitz on January 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This limited edition release by Bradley Denton might only be for hard-core Denton fans as it is both pricey and in hardcover only. Newbies to the work of Denton might be better served by reading Blackburn or Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede but for old time fans it is a needed addition to the collection. As always with Bradley it might not be politically correct but it is right on target and hilarious to boot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting experiment with the incorporation of multi-media news coverage. The story irself is both Hilarious and somewhat disturbing. It sticks with you. I give Brad Denton credit for his creativity.
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