The King of Pain
“One of 2012’s most enjoyable novels.”—Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times
“This is a dark, sharp, very funny novel about imprisonment, torture and the dangerous pleasures of stories.”—Zoe Heller, Notes on a Scandal
A riotously funny portrait of an out-of-control entertainment mogul and a dazzlingly original look at incarceration, The King of Pain is part George Sanders, part Italo Calvino, part “Entourage,” and 100% marvelous.
Rick Salter is a man everybody loves to hate. But that’s fine; in fact, it’s become a way of life for Rick ever since the launch of his outrageous – and outrageously successful – reality TV show about torture, The King of Pain. So when one Saturday morning Rick comes to on his living room floor, he’s not really bothered that cultural critics have put him on top of the list of “people who will hasten the demise of civilization” – no, his real problem is that he appears to be trapped under his gigantic home entertainment system. Which is no longer attached to the wall, but to him. With no phone or BlackBerry within reach, and with his housekeeper Marta off for the weekend, Rick has 48 long hours ahead of him before he can hope for rescue. 48 hours of pain and bad memories. Thank god there’s a book lying around to pass the time. It’s called A History of Prisons and the stories in the book seem to be strangely relevant to Rick’s own predicament.
“Seth Kaufman’s novel is a hoot and a boot, a zany, unsettling, satisfying, post post-modern, tragic-comic tour of prisons around the world and pain in the human heart. Start it and you won’t stop. If you’re a claustrophobe, read it out-of-doors.”—John Darnton, Neanderthal, Almost a Family
“Required reading”—N.Y. Daily News