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

A relentless spoof of cable's home-shopping mania shamelessly borrows from gossip tabloids, TV talk shows and the endlessly loopy world of advertising. This first novel dives behind the scenes of Sellevision, "America's premier retail broadcasting network," as the channel confronts its first juicy scandal. Much-loved and handsome host Max Andrews has accidentally exposed his private parts during a "Toys for Tots" segment, and the flood of invective from outraged viewers forces the network to fire him. Though Max struggles to find another job, he bounces back nicely by segueing into an adult-film career. Meanwhile, another beloved host, prim and perky Peggy Jean Smythe, receives insulting e-mail from a mysterious fan named Zoe, whose snide commentary about Peggy's hairy earlobes and clumpy mascara sends Peggy over the edge into Valium addiction and heavy drinking. Peggy Jean's picture-perfect family is on the rocks, too: her husband, John, is happily seducing the nubile and willing 16-year-old next door. While Peggy Jean seeks solace through the guidance of Debby Boone and rehab, someone else must step in to peddle the Princess Diana memorabilia and the Dazzling Diamonelle merchandise. Either of two lead candidates for the job may also be the creepy e-mail stalker: Trish Mission, the innocent, young newcomer, or Leigh Bushmore, executive producer Howard Toast's mistress. This kaleidoscope of gleefully salacious intrigue aims to titillate and amuse in a purposefully over-the-top way. Advertising copywriter Burroughs throws in some witty zingers but, overall, the energy of this satire of commercial madness almost peters out before the last FuturePop Popcorn Popper or Moisture-Whik Control Panties are sold. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved