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Comment: Used book in good condition. This book contains no highlighting or writing. Thank you for looking at this book. Has some wear and tear on the cover. The pages are lightly browned.
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The Comedy Writer Paperback – April 20, 1998

4.0 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Hooray for Hollywood? Maybe not. At least not if Peter Farrelly's searingly funny novel is even remotely accurate. Farrelly is a screenwriter and director himself, so the story of aspiring movie scribe Henry Halloran has a scarily authentic feel. When he gives up his job as a salesman in Boston and heads out west to polish and peddle the script he based on a recent breakup, Henry tumbles into a world of bizarre quasi celebrities, breathtakingly unprincipled producers, surgically enhanced starlets, and plain ordinary lunatics. The result is basically an unrelenting nightmare, guest-starring his uninvited roommate, the sister of a woman whose suicide he failed to prevent.

Farrelly's master stroke in The Comedy Writer is making Henry as unsympathetic as most of the characters he runs into. This is not the story of a wide-eyed innocent thrown to the Hollywood sharks but of a bitter, frequently nasty hypochondriac who bites off more than he can chew and gradually realizes that almost anything is better than Hollywood's version of success. It's the kind of book that makes you want to take a shower, but you'll still be chuckling as you soap up. --Simon Leake

From Publishers Weekly

At 33, Henry Halloran has had enough. His girlfriend has dumped him, and his job as a salesman in Boston is unfulfilling, so he chucks it all and heads to Hollywood to make it as a screenwriter. That's the high concept in this amusing but superficial writer-goes-to-movieland tale set in the early 1990s. Halloran's a regular guy: he drinks beer, shoots hoops, ogles large-breasted women, worries about his virility. But he has a dream; his toughmindedness and honesty open doors and he lands an agent. Farrelly, the screenwriter and director who brought us Kingpin and Dumb and Dumber and the novel Outside Providence introduces his hero to a motley collection of seedy West Coast types: a busty nympho neighbor, a psychotic producer, a dwarf psychiatrist and, most important, a mysterious suicide and her surviving sister, an endearingly hopeless basket case who attaches herself to Halloran, inveigles herself into his bed and makes his life miserable. She's an nightmare Holly Golightly for the '90s. Farrelly's taste for slapstick and scatological humor will either delight or offend, according to the reader's taste. Oddly (considering Halloran's screenwriting talent), this first-person narrative reads like a diary or a theme paper called "What I did in L.A." The snappy one-liners amuse us without interesting us in the guy who makes them up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Main Street Books; 1st edition (April 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385490526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385490528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have to admit, when I decided to start this book, my expectations were not at an all time high. Perhaps my subsequent delight with such wonderful novel clouds my opinion a little, but five stars is five stars and I loved this book.
Farrelly is best known as a successful screenwriter and director of such over-the-top comedies as There's Something About Mary and Kingpin. Now I really enjoyed both of those movies (as well as Dumb and Dumber), but they are hardly the stuff of a brilliant story-teller.
Or are they?
Having recently re-watched all three of Mr. Farrelly's films, one thing stands out beyond all else. The stories themselves are the most important thing. Sure, sure, you can write their stuff off as "gross-out" comedy, but look at the plots. A could-have been's life stops mattering because of one childhood mistake, something it takes a lifetime of humilation to get past. A man embarrasses himself on prom night and spends the next ten years mourning that one day when his whole life could have been turned around. In The Comedy Writer, there is a similar fixation with that one moment in time that has shaped a life. Something bad or sad or mortifying happened and now the person has become set on a path, no way out, this is who he has become. The Comedy Writer deals, much the way There's Something About Mary and Kingpin do, with a loser's effort to make something of himself--no matter what. It's not like he can get any lower--take the risk.
This novel has a depth and emotional resonance that might come as a surprise. It is dark and tragic in spots, light and silly elsewhere, with wonderful Hollywood dialogue and a perfectly timed first person narration. More than anything else, perhaps, if you are an aspiring young writer (or filmmaker) this book will speak truths you may already know, but try hard to supress. Deal with it. This work can even inspire you to continue
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By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
this was such a great book.....you have got to read it....it is 10 times better than his films....which were great too....another book i would highly recommend to you is Youth In Revolt, by CD Payne....it is along the same lines as Comedy writer and maybe even better.
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Format: Paperback
I believe it was the great, beloved, and much missed Dorothy Parker who once said, "Hollywood -- its like paradise with a lobotomy." Its a thesis that has since been explored in several satirical books concerning the American film industry but never with quite the wonderfully deft combination of pathos and vulgarity as in Peter Farrelly's autobiographical novel The Comedy Writer. The book tells the story of Henry Halloran who, much like Farrelly, is an Irish Catholic from Providence, Rhode Island who, recovering from a bad break-up, impulsively moves to Los Angeles to try to recreate himself as a script writer. Within his first few weeks in L.A., Halloran's life is changed when he sees a suicidal woman standing atop a skyscraper and, despite his efforts, fails to keep the woman from jumping. He writes an article about her death that serves as both his first big break but also leads to him living with the dead woman's sister, the psychotic Colleen. Colleen is a truly fascinating character who manages to be strangely endearing, amazingly annoying, and quite frightening at the same time. As Halloran deals with his slutty, silicon-based neighbor (who basically has sex with with anything yet refuses to consider sleeping with him) and strikes up a rather bizarre friendship with a WASP actor who goes by the name Herb Silverman (out of a belief that the only way to make it in Hollywood is to pretend to be Jewish), he also gets a chance in a hilarious scene to pitch several script ideas to Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld (making devastating cameos as themselves) and, in the book's most unexpectedly sincere moments, to find God.
If all of this sounds a bit heavy, it should be remembered that this book is by the same man who co-created There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this on someone's recommendation, and was surprised her reading tastes were so dis-similar to mine. The book was readable, but was the typical Guys to CA to find a new life, and look at what happens. I guess if you have lived in the LA area and in Beverly Hills, it is just old news. If you do not live in the area, I suppose you would find it interesting, and insiders look at what goes on in LA LA LAND.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A great book.. Very insightful about the life of a writer and moving to/dealing with LA and the industry and crazy people. Not written like one of the Farrelly Brothers movies at all.. yet filled with humor and genuine struggle. I couldn't stop reading it which is not my norm with much of any book as I tend to take small bites over weeks. The one thing I didn't like about the book was the digital conversion process. I read most of my books on kindle or pdfs via goodreader.. I assume they just hope that the older books are fine when converted, but this one had so many errors that I kept having to stop and sort out what that particular word was or meant, meaning it was beyond spelling errors, rather unusual combinations of symbols.
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Format: Paperback
I was hoping it would be this good but I didn't really expect it to deliver. Often when people from the movie & entertainment industry try to write a novel it doesn't work. Farrelly had me laughing out loud frequently. Even when I wasn't laughing out loud I was still thoroughly enjoying this silly & absurd book. If I had to fault it I would say that the ending felt rushed, but maybe that's because I didn't want the book to end.
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