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Show Time by [Harvey, Phil]
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Show Time Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Length: 257 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

  • File Size: 579 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Lost Coast Press; first edition (April 2, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007S0017C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I kept hoping something would happen. I would get kinda excited that the plot had thicken and become exciting, but it just never went anywhere. Very weak story line. In some parts I was finally on the edge of my seat and then I was so disappointed, it was like a fire cracker that turned out to be a dud, there was no bang. The characters, the theme, the plot, everything was just weak.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition
I knew the plot going in, so I can't say I was surprised with it... and that's not what prompted me to leave only 3 stars. What I took exception to is that the book seemed as though it was written almost entirely from old Survivors scripts. There were a few unique twists that veered from the TV hit, but not enough to make it an interesting read.

To me, there wasn't a single "good guy" in the entire cast of characters with whom I developed empathy or any other kind of emotional attachment; they were either self-absorbed, narcissistic, condescending, brutish, or whiney... and sometimes all of the above. It's tough to maintain interest in a story when you truly don't care what happens to any of the characters, including those behind the camera.

I was intrigued by the plot -- despite it's emulation of Survivors -- expecting to find an R-rated version of the show... "Survivors Extreme" you might say. Unfortunately, however, in my opinion the author failed to create any really noteworthy character interactions, or to devise much in the way of any obstacles they faced, either individually or as a group. There really wasn't much in the way of locale description, either, which I believe could have played a more significant part in the story. Overall, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend this book to friends or family.

*** I would like to express my thanks to the publisher and/or author for providing this book to me as an ARC in return for my honest review. ***
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