Cover image for Sellevision
Burroughs, Augusten.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2000]

Physical Description:
229 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Ruthless ambition. Sex with minors. And Princess Diana key fobs. Operators are standing by.

Author Notes

Augusten X. Burroughs was born with the name of Christopher Richter Robison in Pittsburgh, PA in 1965. At the age of 18, he chose the name Augusten X. Burroughs and legalized it in a Boston courtroom. He was raised in Western Massachusetts, after his mother had abandoned him to live with her psychiatrist. Burroughs dropped out of school at 13, his mother and her shrink helping him fake a suicide attempt, got his GED at 17 and then flunked out of community college. Burroughs survived a harrowing childhood, but used it and the strength he gained from surviving to springboard his literary career.

He has been a dog trainer, candy store clerk, waiter, sail cutter, store detective and, from the age of 19, an advertising copywriter. Burroughs lived in San Francisco for five years, then moved to New York in the early 1990s.

Burroughs writes memoirs (including the bestseller Running with Scissors which was made into a movie in 2006), as well as a sex column in DETAILS magazine, the occasional commentary for NPR, articles for New York Magazine, and essays for, Borders and Booksense. All of Augusten's subsequent books -Dry, Magical Thinking, Possible Side Effects, A Wolf at the Table, You Better Not Cry, This is How and Lust and Wonder- were instant New York Times bestsellers.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

First-time novelist Burroughs writes fluidly and shows a flair for fun, campy material. He has assembled a menagerie of oddball characters in this lively send-up of TV home-shopping-network culture. Each of the on-air hosts is certifiably loony, and the novel traces their stories separately. One host, Max, is fired on page one when he accidentally exposes himself on the air; after that, it's downhill all the way: awkward interviews with other networks, commercial auditions, even porn. Bebe, another host, thinks she's finally found a man she can bring home to Mother. Only one problem: he may be Bebe's biological brother. Peggy Jean, the sunny, unflappable host with the perfect family, discovers she has a menacing stalker; when the stalker draws closer, Peggy Jean starts to unravel, popping pills and washing them down with the hard stuff. As a bubbly soap opera, Sellevision is good company for the beach or the plane. Its literary value may be low, but the material sparkles, just like the Diamonelle earrings on the shopping channels. --James Klise

Publisher's Weekly Review

This gleeful satire of America's 24-hour, shop-till-you-drop culture lacks the depth and razor-sharp wit of Burrough's more established works (Running with Scissors, Magical Thinking, etc.), but the audio's colorful characters, brought skillfully to life by Miles, ensure that it's an entertaining ride. Initially, the choice of a female narrator surprises-since the story opens with Sellevision host Max Andrews getting booted from his position after accidentally exposing his penis during a Toys for Tots shopping segment. But as the audio meanders through the lives of hosts Peggy Jean Smythe, Trish Mission, Leigh Bushmore and Bebe Friedman, it becomes clear that Miles is well suited to the task. She adopts an appropriately prissy tone for the devout Peggy Jean while at the same time playing up the sleaziness of Peggy's husband, who's on a mission to seduce the nubile teen next door. Miles also does a fine job capturing Bebe's New York twang, mile-a-minute chatter and spontaneous laughter. Although Burroughs's characters often seem as disposable as the RemoteControLotion and Moisture-Whik Panties sold on Sellevision, this audio, like a good soap opera, still manages to hook listeners. A Picador paperback (Reviews, July 31, 2000). (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved