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Pretty Ugly: A Novel Hardcover – March 31, 2015
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“A-laugh-so-hard-you-may-get-a-hernia novel, [Pretty Ugly is] the kind of book that reminds us just how fun reading can be...[It] is all kinds of beautiful, and worthy of being on everyone's summer reading list.” ―FREDERICKSBURG.COM
“A hilarious, smart satire.” ―Booklist
“TV comedy writer's debut novel masterfully tells a sustained satirical and blackly comic story.” ―The Jester Journal
“Pairing no-holds-barred character studies with pointed cultural commentary, Butler manages to elicit laughter and winces in equal measure. The situations are styled with a kind of absurdist realism; although extreme, nothing that takes place is impossible, partly because Butler is dexterous in the way he intertwines his characterization and plotting. Repugnant, tasteless and often behaving illegally, Butler's characters are the human embodiment of misguided desire. Butler's excellent observational skills and hilarious prose make this a simultaneously funny and awful satire of thwarted ambition.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“If this book wasn't so brilliantly written it would be a very sad story. But Butler's dialogue and first-person perspective almost drip with satire. I feel like I'm watching a TLC show just because it's on and I want to see the train wreck unfold.” ―The Daily Reporter
“Butler's writing skewers its comedic targets with surgical precision. The satire is merciless and truly cutting as he operates in this Southern world of beauty pageants . . . The humor is at [the characters'] expense and the reader's immense (if guilty) pleasure.” ―LEO Weekly
“This bit of whimsy guarantees two things: you will definitely laugh and most likely something in the book will offend you. That's okay. It is the kind of book that makes us examine who we are.” ―Northern Kentucky Tribune
“The person who wrote this book asked me for a quote, so I gave them one.” ―Ricky Gervais
“Pretty Ugly is everything you'd want in a novel: funny, poignant, exceedingly well-written. I look forward to reading it.” ―Stephen Colbert
“I love this book, and I think Kurt Vonnegut would have loved it, too. In fact, it might have been his favorite book of all time. Hell, I'm just going to go ahead and say it: Kirker's book is hilarious, and it was Kurt Vonnegut's favorite book of all time.” ―Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and Ted
“What I've read of this book I have liked!” ―Amy Sedaris
“To the pantheon of comic American fiction-kings – think Nathanael West, think Terry Southern - let us now add the name of Kirker Butler. In fine-tuned, generous prose that careens from screamingly funny to downright poignant, Pretty Ugly tells the tale of Miranda Ford, a pretty little girl with big-time, beauty pageant dreams. Butler has written a laugh-out-loud joy-ride of a book, the kind you don't want to finish, and find yourself pressing into the hands of loved ones once you do. But don't listen to me, grab it yourself. Kirker Butler is the real thing, and I can't wait to read his next one.” ―Jerry Stahl, author of Happy Mutant Baby Pills
“Miranda Miller and all the people of the South that orbit her are the dunces of the Confederacy you've been waiting to meet. They make one shockingly bad decision after another yet you will still be constantly surprised and delighted by every outcome. Bad things happen to bad people. Good things happen to bad people. Hilarious things happen to everyone. And there's a funeral so nutty that the only person who gets out with his dignity intact is the dearly departed. You may think you know something about children's beauty pageants but Kirker Butler has created a world that makes "Toddlers And Tiaras" look like a nineteenth century book club meeting.” ―Bean, KROQ's Kevin and Bean Show
“A funny, slam-bam-thank you, ma'am, voyeuristic look at the world's most dysfunctional family. I could not put this book down!” ―Jennifer Garner, actress
About the Author
KIRKER BUTLER is an Emmy nominated writer and producer. His TV credits include Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and The Neighbors among others. He is also the writer of the graphic novel, Blue Agave and Worm. Kirker grew up in Kentucky, and now lives in Los Angeles with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kirker Butler's ability to find minutiae while painting with extreme, broad strokes is astonishing. His characters, who in lesser hands would be written off cynically as stupid hillbillies, are fully formed people the reader cares about.
It's obvious that Butler is from the south as he is kind and gentle with his characters. He fights for each one, all the while making the reader laugh with each increasingly absurd and hilarious turn.
It's dark, tragic, funny as hell. At once a snapshot of the current weirdness of America as well as a subtle portrait of family.