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The Comedy Writer

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  596 ratings  ·  49 reviews
A Confederacy of Dunces meets The Player in an offbeat, sidesplittingly hilarious novel about making it against all odds in 1990s' Hollywood, by the co-writer/director of Dumb and Dumber.

When Henry Halloran's girlfriend dumped him, his Boston-based life suddenly seemed pointless.  He was thirty-two with a dead-end job, and nothing on the horizon.  There was obviously only
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 20th 1998 by Main Street Books (first published April 13th 1998)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  596 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Peter Farrelly's novel is a picaresque wonder of demented hilarity, inspired lunacy, and a ruthless skewering of the superficiality that engendered the cultural infatuation with celebrity that will be our undoing. The back of the book calls it "A Confederacy of Dunces meets The Player". More appropriately, it's The Catcher in The Rye meets Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles. Part Holden Caulfield with a profane streak, part Hunter Thompson with a redemptive streak, Farrelly's Henry Halloran tells ...more
Jun 25, 2008 rated it liked it
fast, funny book about making it in Hollywood. and not un-dirty, if that's your cup. you perv. ...more
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Before reinventing himself as a serious director with "Green Book", Peter Farrelly was known for the 90s comedies he made with his brother, namely "Dumb and Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary". (They made plenty of stuff between "Mary" and "Green Book" too, but not much worth talking about.) This novel, probably somewhat autobiographical, tells of a wannabe screenwriter's adventures in early 90s Hollywood.

There's a weird sense of pointlessness running through the story -- he meets kooky H
Geoffrey Kleinman
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: My Life Sucks Bio-Fans
I read The Comedy Writer off a recommendation I received from Goodreads. All I can say is I LOVE GOODREADS! The Comedy Writer is a very funny and self deprecating look at one man's attempt to become a writer in Hollywood. Although the book is fiction, I'm guessing a lot of it is based on real stuff (with the names changed to protect the guilty).

I read this book within a 24 hour period, it was funny, captivating, compelling and perfectly paced. If you are a fan of more alternative memoirs (A Mil
Jun 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny
I would be too embarassed to recommend this hilariously raunchy book to most of my friends - I think they should read it, I just don't want them to think I think they should read it. and I think they would think it was funny but in case they don't think it was funny I don't want them to think I thought it was funny...because that's just gross! Now close this review and go read the Secret Garden. ...more
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I hated Colleen. She ruined this book for me. UGH.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I wanted to kill Colleen the whole time I was reading this.
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To be fair, I can't get past a few chapters. Started reading because I love the writing for the Loudermilk series and my man read this years ago and praised it. He admits now, maybe it was because of youth! I agree. If I read this when I was 20, or wanted to be a great writer, or lived in southern California for a stint in the '90's, I might be the one praising it now too. Alas, I just don't care about the main character or see where he's going with this storyline. Read it for nostalgia or if yo ...more
Courtney Johnson
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really didn’t enjoy this book. It wasn’t really funny and was instead kind of a downer. Basically, Henry comes to California with the dream of being a writer and along the way he meets some crazy people. This book was written a long time ago so it’s dated and it definitely shows.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Written in the voice of the brothers who wrote the movie, "There's Something about Mary." Amusing but I found the main character incredibly annoying. As a portrait of LA, it has touches of insight, presented with enjoyable humor. ...more
Nick Zinn
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A book I wanted to hate after the first few pages. Maybe it was a little too in the guy's head of loving big breasts, but I stuck with it. It was a bit ridiculous, but I wouldn't call it funny. I stuck with it to see where it was going, which says something when at times I wanted to chuck the book. It's either so bad it's good or so good it's bad. ...more
Rachel Davies
Jan 10, 2021 rated it did not like it
a book about coming to terms with the fact that fake boobs are in fact just as good as the real thing
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up thanks to a review on its cover promising verisimilitude to Nathanael West's "The Day of the Locust" - my expectations were far exceeded. The story seems like a perfect successor to West's - it entraps the same stiflingly dry, portentous Hollywood air, and unrelenting preoccupation with death, violence, and fame; employs the same type of amoral, thoroughly jaded and disconnected personality as its narrator (one who finds himself in Hollywood to pursue his 'art'); and constr ...more
Jan 18, 2008 rated it liked it
If they had 3 and a half stars possible, I'd probably give it that. I did like this book, but I don't know that I'd come back to read it again and again. It was funny and very truthful. Spoiler alert - Don't know about the ending. Part of me feels that it's a cop out. Part of me feels it's the fantasy of the person who actually did and does live the hollywood dream, just to go back to normal life. ...more
Dec 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: show-biz
This is my second reading of the novel. I think I liked it more the first time I read it, but I was only in high school then. It's interesting, some of the characters are annoying, but that's what makes the conflict.

Henry Halloran, a hypochondriac from the north east, moves to California to try and make it as a writer in Hollywood. He meets more than a few crazy characters as he tries to make it in the biz.
Maurey Pierce
Apr 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tortured writers
Another book I bought because I saw something of me in the title. I'm such a narcissist.

I'm not a huge fan of the Farrelly brothers movies (Outside Providence gets a C+), but this book was decent, with good character development and the kind of almost-unbelievable mini-crises that make you relieved you aren't the main character.
Dwayne Ackley
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A Fantastic Book! Recommended by one of my close friends (thanks Erin Behnke!) as "my kind of book" and I've rarely enjoyed a first reading of a book this much. Funny, articulate, sad, a fictionalized account by one of the "There's Something about Mary" writers about his struggle to become a writer in Hollywood. I recommend this to everyone who needs to be touched while they have a good laugh. ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Slow plot, but entertaining. Just a story about a screen writer from Rhode Island moving to Hollywood to try and make it. He meets crazy people and that is the base of the book. From co-writer of dumb and dumber, so I was expecting more. But then I think about that statement, more coming from dumb and dumber, maybe not.
Ketan Shah
Smart and funny,though it fizzles out a bit at the end.Some of the situations seem a bit far out until you remember that Peter Farelly is one of the Farrelly brothers (Something About Mary,Stuck on You) and is probably basing them on his actual experiences as a struggling writer in Hollywood.If you liked this ,read Love Monkey by Kyle Smith or anything by David Sedaris.Similar urban humour.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
My brother Josh gave me this book to read. It was very well written and really funny. You just felt so bad for Henry and rooted for him so badly. You just watned him to make it. It was interesting to read about the innerworkings of Hollywood & most of it wis pretty disturbing and crazy. It was a very, very good book. A fast & easy read.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Truly funny and one of the best books I've read in a while. It's 90s Hollywood. But little is different today. The novel is brilliantly crafted and full of heart, yet still ludicrous and somehow believable. I couldn't put it down. Whether you're a fan of the Farrelly brothers or not, this book is worth the read. ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An amazingly funny book about a writer trying to make it big in Hollywood. A character you might love or hate but one that you definitely feel like you know, honestly, and one who will make you laugh.
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Really fun book!!! It was a supper fast read even though it was not a small book (for me). I enjoyed it very much!! The twists and turn this poor guy goes through is really funny and I laughed out loud quite a few times!
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
An enjoyable but fluffy read about an aspiring comedy writer from Boston who arrives in LA in the early 1990's to try and make a go out of being a Hollywood writer. Definitely some great characters and dialogue, and the tale rings true. ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was over halfway through the book before I realized that what I'd mistaken as some tangental element to the book's overall narrative was actually the main plot. The book wasn't bad, but there's a reason why the author is better known for his screenplays and directing work. ...more
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite all time reads. It's a bit sleazy and the main character is a bit of a self loathing type...still it's so funny and well crafted. I really dig the movies the brothers Farrelly make, one can only hope Peter writes more books!
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was Ok. It wasnt the work of genius my boyfriend said it was. I thought the author's outlook was immature. On the other hand, what would one expect from the creator of Dumb and Dumber? It's a good beach read. ...more
Brandon Walz
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An honest and hilarious story about an aspiring screenwriter living in this crazy town called Los Angeles. Like most Farrelly Brothers movies, it's very crude at times, but there is definitely a huge heart behind all of it. ...more
Mar 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird but fun. Contains one of the grossest things I ever read in a book ever.
Aug 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
apparently L.A. is a craphole - who knew
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