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The Bones: A Novel

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A hysterically scathing first novel about ambition and its discontents.

Frank Bones is a self-destructive, take-no-prisoners, bad boy comic whose recent stage stunt with a firearm has cost him his audience and his bookings. Back at the bottom rung, Frank has no choice but to take his gigs where he can get them until, by virtue of a Hollywood miracle, he gets a call from his
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 14th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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David Miller
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this one up in a thrift store. What a find! Very entertaining read, and a very unpredictable story. The story hinges on relationships between men, and between men and women. Every character is a real personality - no cardboard heroes or villains, no stereotypical madonnas or bad girls.

The author not only grew up watching television, but has been deeply involved with the television industry, so this book belies my prejudice against recent writers.
Aug 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a first novel? I thought it was very impressive. Insightful and candid about the curious lives of television writers. Funny in places where I didn't expect to laugh. I would read something else by Seth Greenland. In fact, I'll keep an eye out for it.
Wayland Smith
This one had been on my to read list for a while, and I finally got to it. I have to say, I didn't care for it. The author's style wasn't for me, and some of his phrasing and repeated words got to grating on me after a while. He really, really likes the words "masticate," for example. No one thinks things over, they masticate on them. A lot. I didn't like the vast majority of the characters, and the plot got really odd at times.

Frank Bones, the titular character, is a comic stuck in the touring
John Luiz
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have now read all of Seth Greenland's novels, and boy, is he a terrific writer. This one has a bit of meandering plot - the first two thirds are a behind the scenes look at the Hollywood lives of a stand-up comic, itching for a comedy pilot, and a comedy show writer, who's been writing the coattails of a more successful writer but then gets his own shot - a multi-millionaire-dollar, multi-year development deal with a cable network. In the final third, it becomes a crime novel, but Greenland ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Frank Bones, the oddball protagonist of The Bones, carries this clever story about moral misfires and tabloid celebrity in Hollywood. Bones, who addresses himself in the third person, is a comic dud anxious to reach beyond his C-list fame. Greenland weaves a clever, if not over-the-top, story about one man's attempt to regain fame and another's sideways journey to reap its rewards. There are bones to pick with this debut, though one may overlook such trivialities when realizing how difficult it

Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is remarkable. i laugh at least twice on every page. greenfield is bright, witty and deep. he expresses himself intellectually and knows his subjects as if they were his innards...and, surprise, surprise...they ARE! as the l.a. times wrote: "a laugh out-loud satire and page-turner with a big bang ending...a remarkable debut." of course, i haven't reached the "BIG-BANG" ending as yet so to me it's just a "theory"...sorry, i couldn't resist. i shall be back when i complete this wonderful ...more
Emi Bevacqua
Nov 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
"The Bones" refers to Frank Bones, bad boy of comedy; and this satirical story follows him along with Lloyd Melnick, a comedy writer who knows Frank from way back in New York before L.A. While self-aggrandizing stand-up comic Frank is unfaithful to his porny girlfriend, enjoys target practice with his drug dealer at the shooting range, and chases ever elusive fame of epic proportions, poor Lloyd suffers being husband to a dictatorial wife, father to a sociopathic toddler, and fantastically ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently found Seth Greenland's The Angry Buddhist (from a review on Goodreads) and loved it. So I've gone back to also now read this earlier (debut) work.

In parts hysterically funny yet also very insightful on the nouveau riche Hollywood entertainment industry habitues.

Featuring Frank Bones, a "Lenny Bruce" type comedian who longs for ultimate fame and fortune without sacrificing his soul and Lloyd Melnick, who manages to be living the life his wife wants for him as a writer/producer of a
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-covers
I would have enjoyed this a lot more if it wasn't so long. It had a lot of potential but i don't think it really worked at the size it was. I did enjoy it but felt that some parts weren't needed. I also didn't really feel anything for the characters. Maybe he wanted them to be the kind you don't really like but i don't know. I think that can work in a little book but he spent too much time letting us get to know them and not like them. It wasn't all bad though and i enjoyed the story and the ...more
Tod Goldberg at the LAT Festival of books called this the funniest book he's read in the past 10 years. That intrigued me.

It wasn't the funniest book I've read in the past 10 years, but then I again I don't work in TV in Los Angeles. Its humor did grow on me, so that by the final 100 pages I was laughing out loud at times. Ultimately, the absurdity is so extreme (think Carl Hiaison) that it's hard to take it too seriously. But then again, maybe I just don't realize how bad things are there. I'm
An entertaining Hollywood satire that focuses specifically on the comedy world, Greenland manages to hit the usual skewering Hollywood notes - soulless executives, social-climbing wives, fake-breasted bimbos - while actually creating human characters that you really care about. The second half of the novel devolves into a bizzare crime novel, but overall it was a fun read with a surprisingly kind heart.
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. Greenland creates some decent comic setpieces but to what end? The book has a disagreeable title character operating in an environment I find overrated as a subject for stories, the backrooms of Hollywood. Maybe his next novel will get the job done a little better.
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An impressive debut novel. I had a stronger affinity for Lloyd (an ambitious novel writer) rather than the gregarious and often pernicious Bones. But the significance that the latter contributes matures in the final chapters, providing gratifying commentary on a disingenuous Hollywood, self-awareness and human nature.
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This acerbically funny novel is half Hollywood-skewering farce and half road adventure. The violent intersection of the lives of a fading comedian and a rising comedy writer is detailed with some crackling narration and dialogue. This book is wry and biting and I look forward to reading Greenland's new one.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buy this book at the airport, read two thirds of it, then leave it on the plane. You'll enjoy it thoroughly, and have the pleasure of skipping the incredibly ridiculous denouement. Oh, and try not to notice the skipping around of the tenses.
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Brash comedian and self-absorbed screenwriter meet their romanticized fates after a series of perilous events, a bit excessive and contrived.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sur la quatrième de couverture figure un extrait de la critique du magazine Lire qui qualifie Mister Bones de "roman le plus drôle de l'année".
L'année a dû être sinistre.
May 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000s
This is one of the great Los Angeles novels, up there with Chandler and Bruce Wagner.
wacky, funny but uneven book about the world of comedy & tv. like shining city a lot of healthy skewering of LA social culture.
Deborah Bowman
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May 15, 2011
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Mary Bloodworth
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May 06, 2009
Sue Owens
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Feb 17, 2011
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Jul 03, 2012
Mike Skov
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Aug 21, 2016
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Jun 07, 2007
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Alexandra Sterling
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Dec 22, 2010
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May 31, 2013
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