Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sellevision” as Want to Read:
Sellevision
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sellevision

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  11,595 ratings  ·  759 reviews
The hilarious first novel by the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Dry, A Wolf at the Table, and You Better Not Cry, Sellevision is Augusten Burrough's darkly funny and vastly entertaining skewering of a very troubled home-shopping channel.

Welcome to the world of Sellevision,America's premier retail broadcasting network. When Max Andrews, the much loved and h
...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Picador (first published September 7th 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sellevision, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sellevision

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kent
Well, after reading several of Burroughs’ works, I can’t say I have an overly high opinion of his contributions. When I first asked a friend who this Burroughs person was and if I’d enjoy reading him, they told me that he was similar to David Sedaris and that if I liked Sedaris, I’d like Burroughs. Well, the truth is that I LOVE Sedaris, and tolerate Burroughs.

They both seem to draw largely on personal experiences to weave humorous stories that people can relate to. How can that go wrong, you mi
...more
Jennie
I was sorry I didn't care for this book since I adore Augusten Burroughs. It wasn't particularly terrible but it was just a cheap, trashy read that I didn't associate with the witty, biting and unflinchingly honest prose of Burroughs' memoirs. As other readers have mentioned this was a typical airplane read - rife with cliques, flat characters and plot lines that manage to be both absurd and predictable. Its zaniness reminded me a bit of a Carl Hiassen paperback. At any rate it appears fiction i ...more
Carmen
Feb 23, 2014 Carmen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cynical people who like to laugh
Shelves: fiction
This book revolves around various people who worked or used to work for Sellevision, Burroughs version of the Home Shopping Network.

Max, who is fired for an accidental penis-exposure on air, is searching for a new job.

Peggy Jean is a perfectly coiffed, God-fearing, church-going, proper wife and mother of three. As an unknown malicious someone starts sending her threatening e-mails and packages, her perfect little world starts to unravel. Suddenly vodka and valium are needed to get her through t
...more
Vincent

I like to watch HSN. I find it soothing. The constant happy banter and steady flow of flattery relaxes me. Even the jewelry showcases; though what I really prefer is the gadgets and only the garish women’s wear. It’s like white noise for the soul. So when my friend Justin recommended Sellevision to me it was a no-brainer to pick up. Unfortunately the book was also a no-brainer.

I thought you couldn’t go wrong with the premise but you can and Borroughs did. I know it’s a comedy but did everything
...more
Chloe
Aug 14, 2009 Chloe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone turned off by Burroughs' memoirs
I am not a fan of Augusten Burroughs. I think I can specifically remember the moment when I decided this. I was standing behind the counter at the Borders I was working for at the time reading Dry, Burroughs' retelling of his time as an Ad Exec and alcoholic, when I read a paragraph that struck me as especially odious and, quite literally, hurled the book onto the floor and stomped away. I don't know who it was that decided that people who have had moderately-fucked up lives were deserving of ha ...more
Benjamin Siess
I liked this book quite a bit, but it had two pretty big problems.



1. There are too many characters for so small a book. It was only towards about page 180 that I figured out that Trish and Leigh were two different people. I had somehow combined them into one super character in my head until that point. I'm sure that this specific problem didn't occur for many, but it is just an example of how confusing it can be to introduce six main characters within a span of 50 pages. The big characters were
...more
Teela
Augusten Burroughs never fails to impress me.

This is the first piece of fiction I've read by Mr. Burroughs but I can see where he blends some of his own existence in with this world he's created in fiction. it's the story of the human condition. The good Christian church-going woman who finds in outlet in Valium and alcohol; her husband who is sleeping with the underage neighbor; the 40 something year old woman that looks to the internet to find true love; the trust fund baby who has never had
...more
Punk
Fiction, This book is exactly as shallow as the people in it. The story revolves around Sellevision, a home shopping network like QVC, and the people who work there, or, in the case of Max, no longer work there. It's a trashy, unengaging read, and the POV is staggeringly inconsistent. The first two lines give you a pretty good idea about how the rest of the novel works: "You exposed your penis on national television, Max. What am I supposed to do?" This book is filled with cliches. Several times ...more
Megan
I respect and thoroughly enjoy Burroughs yet this book screams first novel and it is. The characters are over the top and outrageous, just as I would hope Burroughs would write them yet there is a brilliant comedic heart missing in this fiction. His memoirs are weighty and sincere in their bitter humor. He is genuine and rich in his other work. There is no question that Augusten is a tremendous writer- I simply find that when writing from the heart, he is something more than from the imagination ...more
Kelly
Jun 25, 2012 Kelly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
I barely made it through Running with Scissors years ago, but wanted to give Burroughs another chance to redeem himself. Alas, he failed yet again. I do not understand why everyone loves his books and thinks they are so wonderful--what am I missing? This story was mildly amusing at some parts and even though I know it was supposed to be a farce, a mockery of the industry in which he writes about, it still felt like he was trying too hard. Different title, different book cover, same crappy disast ...more
Alice
I've been "reading" an awful lot of audio books I wouldn't have bothered to pick up, otherwise. It's a good way to spend all the driving time I have through work, for the most part. But sometimes, I have a book that's so puzzling I don't even know what to rate it.

I loved the satire in this book. I loved that it poked fun at consumerist culture, shallow Christianity, hypocrisy, and sensationalism. I liked the main character, Max, even though he didn't have much more personality than the other Sel
...more
Alex
I want to make it known that I really do Augusten Burroughs a whole bunch. "Dry" is my favorite book. "Sellevision" is not. Maybe I'm just becoming too much of a literary fiction snob, but this book was so simple that I could never rally behind it. The basic idea is interesting enough, following the action of the hosts of a home shopping network, but the execution of that idea was incredibly muddled. There weren't really even any characters - just these one-dimensional character kernels in a ske ...more
Laura
I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t finish. Which is a rarity for me. I love love love Augusten Burroughs, but 50 pages in to Sellevision, and I still couldn’t get on board. This is Burroughs’ only novel, and I think there’s a reason for that. He’s a fantastic memoir writer, entertaining and self-deprecating, but his talent just didn’t translate well to fiction. Sellevision was supposed to be a witty commentary on our consumerist culture, but for me, it was just too surface-level. The characters w ...more
Janelle
Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs is a behind the scenes look into the lives of the quirky hosts at Sellevision, the premier home shopping network. Readers are introduced to Peggy Jean, the conservative Christian being stalked by a viewer; Max, fired for accidentally exposing himself on air; BeBe, the shining jewel in the network’s crown, Trish, a rising star on the network; and Leigh, a young host sleeping with the boss. If only QVC was more like this book.

Sellevision is a fun book, though near
...more
Maya
Sellevision is a very inappropriate book about a few people who worked for said TV channel. One of them has an affair with her boss; another has a psychopathic son and an obsession with femininity; and a third accidentally reveals his penis on national television, and then becomes a porn star. The forth is the boss who is having an affair.

The main external conflict in this book is that all the previously said things happened. However more important than them simply happening is the fact that the
...more
Kate Schultz
Super funny look at home shopping networks and the people who work for them. I was expecting a series of essay from this book, as I had been used to from Burroughs' other books. I was pleasantly surprised that it was a fiction novel. Burroughs followed five or six characters that all work for Sellevision, the nation's top home shopping network. The book is fun and funny--I read it rather quickly because the characters are so vivid--they border on stereotypical, but then the do something that mak ...more
Shannon
Augusten Burroughs' first novel... I thought it kind of read like a first novel -- a little unsure of itself, sometimes weird transitions, strange ending -- but I did enjoy it.

I'd read "Running with Scissors" so I was interested to see what Burroughs would do with a novel. He created some very vivid characters (I swear I know a few Peggy Jeans), and totally committed to the whole "home shopping network" vibe of the novel/characters/settings.

"Sellevision" was an easy read, fun, naughty in parts
...more
Jeremy Preacher
I would have liked this better had I read it on the plane, which was my intent - it's not quite the sort of thing I dig, but it was funny enough. It's wildly over-the-top, which is kind of its only charm - from the intro, where the only sympathetic character gets fired from his Home Shopping Network-type job for a wardrobe malfunction of the highest order, it doesn't let up on the broad caricatures or ridiculous action.

It's badly dated, of course, but that can't be helped. I wasn't totally a fan
...more
Heather Friedman
Ha. Definitely a LOL book. A quick and entertaining read of the silly lives of the hosts for a shopping network. If you need a pick-me-up, this is a great fix.
Robyn
Eh, what a disappointment. This was predictable, trashy, and played on too many stereotypes. I kept waiting and waiting..and waiting..for it to get better. Things started to turn around at the end ('one year later'), which was written similar to his memoirs - proving there's nothing wrong with sticking to what you know.

Being a huge Burroughs fan, the one redeeming factor here was being able to recognize how people encountered in his life/memoirs so obviously influenced the characters in this boo
...more
Rachel Craig
An OK book about television personalities. I prefer Burroughs' memoir and non fiction work myself.
The characters felt too fake and the message, whatever it was, gets sort of lost because of it. Most of the characters were unsympathetic, too. Some of the situations were pretty funny, but you need good characters to make these situations more of a viable story.
Like I said, it was OK. I would recommend a non fiction piece over this book, such as Running With Scissors and A Wolf at the Table.
Erica
Jul 18, 2007 Erica rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
If you've ever read any books from The Babysitter's Club, you'll know that every other word in each book was "giggle." Now, if it was possible to turn that series into an adult book about TV Shopping Networks and the drama amongst the hosts lives, Sellevision would be it.

I rolled my eyes during the majority of the book and found myself yawning as I read the last 50 pages in 15 minutes while on the stationary bike at the Y.
Don't do it. I want my 4 days back.

Overall Grade: C-/D+
Tim Williams
It takes a lot to get me to give a one-star rating but maybe I should have. Here's the thing. The book has nearly no redeeming features. Plot - nope. Interesting characters that draw you in - not even close. Entertaining - not for me. Funny - I didn't find it funny at all and with none of the other elements I was wishing it was. At least if something is humorous you can ride along and laugh. Not here.

The part that bothers me the most is that apparently the writer (and some number of readers) fin
...more
AJ Griffin
Jul 03, 2007 AJ Griffin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who found the Ted Haggard thing really, really satisfying
I don't think this book is going to change anyone's life. It's pretty entertaining, pretty quick, and probably could be described as "quirky" if I were the type of person who used the word "quirky." It's also kind of over the top sometimes. Personally, I'd prefer that Mr. Burroughs keep his personal life fucked up enough that he can just keep writing weird memoirs.
Alyssa Zumpino
This was my first Adult book and so I was aware that I would experience mature content. I felt that this book had a great story, I enjoyed reading it but it was not suspenseful until the last 100 pages or so (imo). I can say that I was shocked about the outcomes of the various situations, mind blown. Although this is fiction, I think a few of them were unrealistic. I did not like how the characters and their stories were broken up. I know they all couldn't be broken up by chapter but I just felt ...more
Joanne
I would say that this closer to 3.5 stars but I really enjoyed the story and the author's writing style. It would be better with a little more meat on it. Burroughs should really consider writing more fiction.
Jordan
This book will not make you a better person. You may even feel worse about yourself for laughing at the horrible characters in this book, but it's worth the read.

Augusten Burroughs is one of the funniest authors I know, and I read all of his memoirs. This, his only novel, is still made of the stuff you'd expect to find in his memoirs. The characters are awful people, which makes this a book that's hard to put down. Like watching a slow motion train wreck, it's hard to avert your eyes.

If you're e
...more
Sophie
Very quick and easy read. Really enjoyed it.
Courtney Hess
After reading a few of Augusten Burrough's nonfiction works and finding him to be an adequate but uninspiring substitute for David Sedaris, I wasn't expecting Sellevision to knock my socks off. I certainly thought it would be cute or funny or just an enjoyable light read but it was pretty dull. There isn't a single interesting, complex character in the entire book. Most of them are hideous people who deserve whatever misfortunes befall them and the misfortunes are about as predictable and contri ...more
Anthony Willis
I haven't had a favorite author since I was a kid, and I'm always on the hunt for who it may be. That being said, I realized that I've read all but one of Augusten Burroughs's books, so he may very well be one of the favorites. Though I have to admit this may be my least favorite book of his. And sadly so. When the first line of the book tells you that a man exposed himself on national television during a Toys for Tots marathon, you would only expect things to get better from that point. There w ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sellevision: very funny take on consumerism 2 16 Oct 15, 2013 08:43AM  
  • Candy Everybody Wants
  • Chewed
  • The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second
  • The Trouble Boy
  • The Book of Liz - Acting Edition
  • Don't Eat This Book
  • Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules
  • Dogrun
  • Broadway Nights: A Romp of Life, Love, and Musical Theatre
  • Father of Frankenstein
  • Death Vows (Donald Strachey, #9)
  • I Want to Buy a Vowel
  • Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America
  • Mental:
  • Matchstick Men: A Novel About Grifters with Issues
  • Killer Heels (Molly Forrester Mystery, #1)
  • Confessions of a Recovering Slut: And Other Love Stories
  • It's Not Mean If It's True: More Trials from My Queer Life
3058
Augusten Burroughs born Christopher Robison, son of poet and writer Margaret Robison and younger brother of John Elder Robison.

Burroughs has no formal education beyond elementary school. A very successful advertising copywriter for over seventeen years, he was also an alcoholic who nearly drank himself to death in 1999. But spurned by a compulsion he did not understand, Burroughs began to write a
...more
More about Augusten Burroughs...
Running with Scissors Dry Magical Thinking: True Stories Possible Side Effects A Wolf at the Table

Share This Book

“Adam had smiled at him and Max had smiled back. And then they both just stood there in that awkward silence that happens when two people are attracted to each other but don’t know what to do about it because they are strangers.” 3 likes
“I'm a sunflower with a cracked petal.” 1 likes
More quotes…