The Man Who Cancelled Himself

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9780385421607: The Man Who Cancelled Himself

The author of Kiddo and Boss returns with his latest "Hoagy" mystery as ghostwriter Stewart Hoag deals with his very pregnant ex-wife and his new client--a TV sitcom star arrested in a porno theater.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Great fun from Handler in his sixth Stewart Hoag adventure (The Boy Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald won an Edgar in 1991), despite its overwrought climax and a villain whom psychologically hip readers will spot before the actual unmasking. Former literary boy-wonder Hoagy has sunk to ghosting the showbiz autobio of children's TV star Lyle ("Uncle Chubby") Hudnut, who's attempting a comeback after an arrest for indecent exposure in a Times Square porn theater. Lyle, a 300-pound bundle of crazed energy, ego and cruelty, is sure that someone-or the world-is out to get him and believes the book will generate sympathy. There are personal complications: Lyle's co-star is his ex-wife; the network's executive producer is an ex-girlfriend; his current fiancee is the show's producer, a spot coveted by an assistant producer; and the show's writers are angling for control. A fire on the set, food poisoning and the bizarre murder of the newest cast member wreak havoc. A subplot involves Hoagy's celebrity ex-wife, who's pregnant and won't identify the father, but the best part of the book is Hoagy's gimlet-eyed observations of the fierce, delicious and dizzy infighting in Sitcom Land.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

The Uncle Chubby Show is the TV sitcom sensation of the '90s, boosting its formerly third-place network into the ratings lead and making fortunes for everyone involved with the program. But all is not well in Chubbyland: the series' star, the tyrannical and possibly psychotic Lyle Hudnut, has been arrested for public indecency in a Times Square porn theater. Hudnut hires ghostwriter-to-the-stars Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag to draft a damage-controlling memoir and to serve as "feelings adviser" to his writers. Hoagy's investigation leads to a bombing on the set, a nonlethal poisoning of the show's cast and crew, and murder. Meanwhile, Hoagy has problems of his own: his ex-wife, a prominent actress, is pregnant and won't reveal the name of the baby's father to a breathless nation (or to Hoagy). Handler, an experienced television writer, has produced a thoroughly satisfying mystery that offers a cynical look at the economics, politics, and sociology of a TV sitcom. He also creates some of the best character names in the business, including guru Noble Gesture and fading TV star Chad Roe. Highly recommended. George Needham

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Handler, Stewart
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