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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Slightly bumped corners/edges. Paper cover has light rubbing, dings and dents. Slight shelf-wear, and a barely used appearance. Tight binding. Bright, clean pages. No sign of creasing on outside spine.
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Show Time Paperback – May 15, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Phil Harvey has crafted a psychological thriller that takes reality shows, and in fact much of our popular culture, into a realm of true horror. His skill in delving into the psychology of the characters keeps the reader turning the pages. And Harvey does it not through any heavy-handed interior monologues but through the dialogue and interaction of the individuals. The book would easily lend itself not only to a successful movie script but to an intense stage play. The reader comes to know these individuals, to sympathize with them despite eventually even because of their flaws, and to root for them in their fight against not only nature but also the unnatural culture that has put them in their situation. Show Time is a thinking reader s thriller and a thoroughly entertaining read. --Darrell Delamaide, author of The Grand Mirage, for the Washington Independent Review of Books

Phil Harvey elegantly dissects the plummeting values of 21st-century America, while his plot twists seize the reader by the lapels. A great read! --David Stewart, best-selling author of American Emperor: Aaron Burr s Challenge to Jefferson s America

How far can reality TV go to satisfy the lust for sensation? Show Time delves into our primal instincts. It s an exciting novel, hard to put down, and highly recommended. --The Midwest Book Review

A vision of the future that is laugh-out-loud, until we realize how much it looks like the world we live in now. --Frank S. Joseph, award-winning author of To Love Mercy

Show Time is a biting commentary on society. Mr. Harvey writes with pure genius. You'll be riveted until the final page, and will be left thinking about this tale for a long, long time. Warning: Some may feel as if they cannot continue due to the gritty emotional content. Finish it anyway you won't regret it. I'm going to buy everything I can find by this amazing writer. --Debracadabra, LibraryThing

About the Author

PHIL HARVEY s fiction has appeared in fifteen literary magazines, including Phantasmagoria, which nominated one of his stories for a Pushcart Prize, and Antietam Review, which named another the winner of its annual contest. Most recently his work has appeared in The MacGuffin, Natural Bridge, and the Dos Passos Review.

Harvey nonfiction includes: Let Every Child Be Wanted, which drew praise from former President Jimmy Carter; Government Creep, which, as one reviewer noted, proves that government has invaded virtually every nook and cranny of our lives ; and The Government vs. Erotica, which Publishers Weekly and Booklist praised, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable nominated as the year s best book on intellectual freedom, and Media Coalition called a frightening, enlightening story.

By day, Phil Harvey is president of DKT International, a nonprofit family planning and AIDS prevention organization, and president and majority shareholder of Adam & Eve, a mail-order business that sells sexually oriented books and films. He lives with his wife, Harriet Lesser, in Cabin John, Maryland.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lost Coast Press (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935448110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935448112
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,302,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phil Harvey's fiction has appeared in over a dozen literary magazines including Phantasmagoria, The MacGuffin, Natural Bridge, and the Dos Passos Review. His short story Roberta's River was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Bait and Switch won an award from Antietam Review. The author's latest releases, three collections of short stories, examine the important moments when people touch something at their own core or at the core of their relationships with others. Currently he is working on more stories about the transformative capacities of alcohol and sex.

Show Time, his first novel, was hailed by the Washington Independent Review of Books as "a psychological thriller that takes reality shows, and in fact much of our popular culture, into a realm of true horror...a thinking reader's thriller and a thoroughly entertaining read." Other novels include Just In Time, in which a Wall Street commodities trader is deposited back in the Pleistocene era. Indian Summer follows the transformation of a Peace Corps volunteer during the Eastern India famine in 1967.

Harvey' book Let Every Child Be Wanted: How Social Marketing is Revolutionizing Contraceptive Use Around the World drew praise from former President Jimmy Carter. Government Creep: What the Government is Doing That You Don't Know About, said ACLU President Nadine Strossen, "will give you the creeps about the increasingly invasive role of government in every aspect of our lives-our homes, our workplaces and even our bodies and minds."

The author's efforts to enhance the quality of life for others expand far beyond fiction. He and coauthor Lisa Conyers interviewed 150 welfare recipients for the book The Human Cost of Welfare. The authors believe the system is broken, and proof is found in the anecdotes shared from people with direct experience of its flaws. This detailed review offers solutions based on common sense and a deep understanding of how humans value themselves and their lives.

As the president of Adam & Eve, one of the world's leading suppliers of sex toys, adult films and condoms, Harvey is a warrior for libertarian values. The Government vs. Erotica, the true story of the federal government's attack on his company, drew praise from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. The narrative of his long fight for the freedom to distribute "obscene" materials--meaning condoms--by mail spurred the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable to nominate the work as the year's best book on intellectual freedom. The Media Coalition called it "a frightening, enlightening story."

Harvey is currently writing Welfare for the Rich, an exploration of how the government subsidizes the wealthy at the expense of ordinary taxpayers. Some of the worst offenses are found in the vast sums paid to thriving agribusinesses and wealthy farmers. "Needy" companies like Boeing are given subsidies while oil companies receive tax breaks. Solar panel companies are given government loans and General Motors gets bailed out. Wealthy taxpayers, meanwhile, are allowed to deduct mortgage interest on their palatial second homes.

The Huffington Post, Forbes and other publications have published his contrarian articles and essays. These shorter pieces detail the issues about which he is most passionate: libertarian causes like civil liberties, ending the war on drugs, and reproductive health. He has appeared on CNN's "Business Unusual" and was the subject of a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation special.

Harvey is the chairman of DKT International, a Washington, D.C.-based charity that implements family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in eighteen countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. As a philanthropist, he provided funds to Oregon State's initiative to legalize marijuana. The DKT Liberty Project, which Harvey founded, works to end the injustices perpetuated by the War on Drugs and to raise awareness of freedom of speech issues. Harvey is also on the board of the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Phil Harvey lives with his wife, Harriet Lesser, in Cabin John, Maryland. He is stepfather and grandfather to several very promising kids. He welcomes emails from readers who have serious and thoughtful questions about any of his stories, novels or books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
‘Show Time’, a debut novel written by Phil Harvey, brings a story that will have appeal to fans of survival reality shows, while its plot similar to the one in ‘The Hunger Games’ offers thrills, twists and turns to the very end.

The story takes reader to the near future, introducing us to the reality TV show where seven participants - three women and four men with different backgrounds - willingly decide to stay on a desolate island in the middle of Lake Superior for seven months with the insufficient food and other supplies for the coming winter. The reason for the suffering of such pain is expected - the survivors will win $400 000 each if they can manage to live until the last day.

The island is full of microphones and cameras, and to make sure that not a single second of interesting content will be missed, the sky is full of flying drones. The general audience will see the cut versions, while those willing to pay more will have full access to whole footage. It’s a show time!

And if at the beginning seemed the participants have outwitted the network and the public that seeks blood and spectacle, it's just the beginning of the show full of surprises…

Phil Harvey wrote a book that would be absolute joy to the fans of ‘The Hunger Games’ with the important difference that here the competitors are adults that provided the author an opportunity to further characterize them and introduce into action some motives that were not appropriate for a teenage audience.

On the other hand, the book leaves room for improvement in terms of the pace and the development of the story that will make the occasional reader impatient in order to find out which surprises producers are hiding for the participants trying to make this show more unpredictable.
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Format: Paperback
Approach this novel through its setting: Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, notable for its cold temperatures. It is the northernmost of the five Great Lakes, and deep, as deep as 1,332 feet (733 below sea level), the second lowest spot in North America. The water 660 feet down remains almost constantly at 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Above ground, on shore, in the winter, the air might be 20 degrees below zero. Bordered by Ontario in Canada, and northern reaches of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin in the United States, Lake Superior is largely in forested wilderness, and "wild" describes the 20-foor waves that crash onto the enormous rocks during storms. You can find videos of Lake Superior fury on YouTube. Have a look before you settle in to read.

Seven people are purposely marooned on uninhabited Peshekee Island one mile wide, seven long, in the middle of Lake Superior (at max 160 miles wide, 350 miles long). They have less food than they will need, by arrangement with the producers of "reality" television. Some have weapons. Hidden among the forested acres are dozens of cameras and microphones, and at regular intervals drone monitors swing over the island. The producers want everyone in the world to watch the conflicts that arise through the winter months. The campers' goal is not just to survive, but to make money, $400,000 each if they don't bail out or cheat. The TV folks need to bolster their ratings; the seven people willing to risk their lives are promised bonuses if the ratings go up. The plot of SHOW TIME revolves around the participants' desire to make the adventure more dramatic than it is on Day 71, when they secretly plan to fake a murder. Meanwhile, the producers must please the Emir of Pan Arabia, a "super subscriber" who can dictate content.
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This book is not for the fainthearted. 7 people are dropped onto an island and must survive there for 7 months. It's reality TV but it is definitely not Mark Burnett's Survivor. There are no rewards and there is no immunity.

No one will be airlifted out in the case of injury or illness or starvation. These 7 strangers will have to do whatever it takes to make it through the long, cold months. With their eyes on the $400,000 prize, how far will they go to win?

Show Time was not written by an amateur. Phil Harvey is very skilled at his craft. Nothing in this book "drags" or slows down including the dialogue. When it comes to his characters, you may love them or you may hate them but you will not forget them.

I did not want this book to end yet I raced to the end.
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Format: Paperback
There's nothing special or particularly memorable about "Show Time". The "Survivors"-on-steroids plot is doomed by the rehashing of the same storyline (sex, insults, hunting, eating, arguments, freezing, etc.) ad nauseum in the book's 240 pages.

"Show Time" deals with seven average, everyday people who agree to attempt to survive a harsh, northern Lake Superior winter as shown over national TV. There's plenty of motivation for these intrepid campers because each survivor receives $400,000. Speaking of those characters, author Phil Harvey barely fleshes them out and all seven are as about unlikeable a group as I can remember from any novel I've read. Instead of banding together as the terrible winter starts to take its toll on them, they continue to nitpick, insult, and chip away at each other. There are no winners here.

As messed up as these losers are, they look like model citizens when compared to to slimy network executives in the background of the program. There's one scene involving these executives and a number of US Senators during a Senate inquiry over the show's ethics and morals that's downright laughable.

The book's only redeemable quality (and the one that kept me plodding along) was a couple of decent plot twists.

When I won the book as part of an early reviewers program, I was excited to read it and offer my thoughts over what sounded like an interesting premise. That excitement vanished about as quickly as the nice Lake Superior fall weather as I limped to the finish with the characters in "Show Time".
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