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Misadventures in the (213) Paperback – June 23, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (June 23, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688171281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688171285
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,326,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Dennis Hensley's Misadventures in the (213) is like the best kind of gossip--something you might hear from a friend who heard it from a friend who knows someone who does Tori Spelling's hair--and it's just bitchy enough to be very, very funny. Aspiring screenwriter Craig Clybourn arrives in Hollywood and is soon sucked into a series of giddy escapades involving a phone book full of B-list celebrities and enough scandal to keep the most rabid "Melrose Place" fan happy (including a shocking case of watermelon abuse!) Craig's adventures were originally published as a monthly serial in Detour magazine, and the episodic structure that this lends to the book only serves to keep the laughs coming thick and fast. From AIDS dance-athons to champagne glasses bearing Heather Locklear's lipstick, Misadventures in the (213), paints a picture of life in L.A. that is both bizarre and true to life, thanks to Hensley's unique insider perspective. It's a fluffy, sugar-dusted, chocolate-dipped dessert of a novel with a cherry on the top, and if you have a sense of humor and an open mind, its charms are irresistible. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published serially in trendy West Coast Detour magazine, Hensley's group portrait of LA wanna-bes in action is a boisterous youth culture soap opera in its audio incarnation. The producers have opted for the always risky "multi-cast" format here, in which various readers (TV starlets all, in this case) dramatize roles to augment the author's central narration. The splicing and cutting required makes for a disjointed flow, but the sum effect is gamely spirited (listeners will get the sense that the readers are genuinely having fun). Hero Craig Clybourn, a struggling screenwriter and self-chastising gay man, witnesses firsthand the glamorous adventures of his old friend Dandy Rio, sitcom star of That's Just Dandy. Action unfolds episodicallyAand outrageouslyAoften taking the form of telephone conversations between characters. The humor is over-the-top and clever in places but too often stretched painfully thin, sounding like an anorexic 1990s version of Armistead Maupin's more robust Tales of the City. Hensley clearly knows his audience, and because he plays to them shamelessly, they will still get a kick out of this tape. Based on the 1998 Morrow/Weisbach hardcover. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I wish he had more books like this for me to read but I can wait, the wait is definitely worth it.
Yertle72
It's been a while since I laughed through a whole book--I actually don't think I'd ever laughed through a whole book.
JCB
Dennis Hensley has a great talent for capturing the heart of a character and weaving in a fun line of sarcasm and wit.
Juliette Miranda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JCB VINE VOICE on April 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down. I bought this book months ago after a friend recommended it to me. But I put it on my bookshelf and almost forgot about, until one night when I found myself looking for a book and came face-to-face with the flamboyant face on the cover staring at me. It seemed to scream: "Read me, dammit!" I flinched, and then I picked it up to read the first couple paragraphs...pages...chapters...(I completely forgot what I was looking for). It's been a while since I laughed through a whole book--I actually don't think I'd ever laughed through a whole book. MISADVENTURES cracked me up so much, I couldn' put the book down, and at one point I felt like a fool trying to hold back my guffaw on the subway--feeling like a bigger fool missing my stop (yet again). Dennis Hensley has a profound knowledge base of American pop culture; in fact, it's rather scary, in a "I-can't-believe-you-knew-that" sort of way, how entrenched this novel is in camp television/film culture. I loved it! You have to love Craig, the narrator of the story; and the supporting characters are all multidimensional...or should I say dysfunctional. The dialogue has got to be the best part of this novel. You can almost hear the characters talking. I'm going to get the audio version of this book just to hear Craig, et. al. This novel is too outrageous to be real, and just for that, it deserves to be read over and over and over again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wickedripeplum on February 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Screening Party was a recommended to me and after I finished that I HAD to read Misadventures. I wan't disappointed. It was so funny I could barely make it through a page without laughing out loud. Craig was completelely lovable and the people that surronded him were trippy and wonderful. It's a great book, especially for people who love movies, television, and the camp culture that's grown up around them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
...because you will get some weird looks from strangers who see you laughing out loud (I drove most of the other passengers into different cars on a NYC subway while reading the "Aladdin" rug section). But while "Misadventures In The (213)" is quite possibly the funniest book I have ever read, that isn't the only reason I keep pulling it off the shelf to reread parts of it. The characters are so well drawn and interact so wonderfully with each other that I found myself longing to be a part of their circle of friends. They all get their share of hilarious one liners (while watching the movie "Babe"- "The proud farmer looks down at Babe and delivers the final line: "That'll do, pig". "Reminds me of the last time I had sex," says Claudia."), but there are a number of touching moments as well (Craig and Dandy's conversation after Craig catches Dandy with his ex-lover). I've read the book in it's entirety 2-3 times, as well as reading specific sections over and over, and each time I put it back in the bookcase wishing I could fly out to LA and join Craig, Dandy, and the rest of the gang in some of their 213 misadventures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Rios on November 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I used to read the column in DETOUR magazine, by the fictional Craig Clybourn, upon which the novel is based. Every month found me at the newstand, waiting for read more of the misadventures faces by Craig and Dandy, and their slew of friends. I was more than surprised to find the hardback, with all the columns finally pulled together to show a great effort in fun story telling. When I lived in Los Angeles, also in the 213, everything seemed possible; it was refreshing to read a novel in which everything (and everyone) became possible. My favorite parts of the novel involved Miles and the watermelon, Claudia and the Lost Hope chest, and Godfrey and the playground. It took me one day to read the book cover to cover; I still find myself opening the book to any random chapter throughout the year, just to laugh once again. Great book, and I do wish that Dennis Hensley would take time to write another novel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald B. Maclean on January 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I had to stuff a pillow in my mouth to keep my guffaws from waking the neighbours. While the book jacket foolishly compares this book to Tales of the City (I enjoy Maupin, but he is chuckle-inducing, not laugh out loud funny) the true comparison is with Joe Keenan's Blue Heaven. Joe is still my fave, but it's a pleasure to discover a writer who approaches his genius. I just pray the Mr. Hensley is more prolific than Mr. Keenan. Keep writing--I can't wait for the sequel. (And for goodness sake put some beefcake on the cover of the eventual paperback release. You have to catch the attention of your readers somehow.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DonMac VINE VOICE on January 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book succeeds where so many other comic novels do not: it is actually funny. Very funny. You will laugh out loud at these characters and their outrageous adventures, one-liners and off-the-cuff remarks. Much better than other silly comedies like Glamourpuss or Hello Darling ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul (podd@pop.dn.net) on August 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book definitely passes as the type of mindless reading that's nice for the beach, but does not have the charm of Armistead Maupin--to whom Hensley has been compared by some. Hensley's characters can certainly deliver the campy one-liners, but these characters are rather flat and grow tiresome quite quickly. Not far into the book, Hensley runs out of ideas of what to do with his characters and as a result he resorts to tedious plot developments that go nowhere. Maupin's gift was being able to create a fluffy serial that somehow transended its fluffiness. The magic of his writing gave his characters depth and warmth. Hensley's serial is just a serial. It will make you laugh occasionally, but don't expect more.
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