Tuesday, May 13, 2014

REVIEW: Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss & Do Things with Him

Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss & Do Things with Him
By: Scotch Wichmann

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor/Dark Humor
Publication date: 2.24.2014
Publisher: Freakshow Books
Pages: 433
Amazon link:  Two Performance Artists...

Date read: 5.12.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Hank and Larry are performance artists in San Francisco's underground performance art scene.  But when the mind-numbing grind of their corporate jobs drives them over the edge, they plot the ultimate revenge: to kidnap their company's billionaire CEO and brainwash him into becoming a manic performance artist. 

Fueled by the author's performance art background, Two Performance Artists is a screwball dark comedy about best friends determined to tackle the American Dream with fish guts, duct tape, and a sticky AK-47.

Two Performance Artists is the first performance artist novel by a working performance artists, tackling themes like fame, narcissism, and criticism, which are all timely in our "watch me!" age of reality TV, Instagram and YouTube.

A first-round finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, the book straddles several genres - it's a madcap adventure, a pulpy action novel, a caper comedy, and a "bromance" for sure.  One early reviewer called it "Office Space meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas meets Jackass."

Check out the awesome YouTube Book Trailer here.

When I received a random email one day from a very nice lady asking me if I would want to participate in this blog tour, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into.  Interesting storyline?  Check.  Book cover that catches my attention?  Check.  Inability to tell people no?  Check check CHECK (haha).  I had to give it a try.

Hank and Larry are performance artists that are forced to get "real" jobs, going back into the world of computer programming, only to find out that no one really "programs" anymore, that what companies really want are the young guys that do what they're told and that never admit all the problems that the programs actually have.  They are treated like outcasts, forced to do an insane amount of work in an insane amount of time, and their boss right above them doesn't even try to cover up the bad feelings that he has for them.  And then they have their "brilliant" idea ...

After reading the first couple of chapters, I wasn't so sure I was going to like this book.  My reason: It's a comedy and I only laughed out loud twice.  It's not the book's fault - or even the author's - it's totally me.  While others are laughing at the main-stream comedic movies and television shows, I sit their silent.  They look at me, wondering why I'm not laughing; I look at them, wondering why they are.  It's not that I don't get the jokes, I just don't like things that are stupid and only semi-funny.

Back to the book - I must say that it got better and better with each page.  This book is filled with the unexpected - there's no guessing what will happen next here - and quite a few really funny moments.  By the end of this book, I was upset that there wasn't more.  The antics, the sarcasm, the things these guys went through and did - just.plain.WOW.

My favorite part: When Larry had to deal with "customer service" near the beginning of the book.  Haha.  Read it.  You'll know what I mean.  Oh oh and the way he gets out of the situation after taking that big guy's steak and potato.  Epic.

My favorite line:  Hank and I both lived in the Tenderloin, San Francisco's decrepit maze of rat-infested alleys, litter-strewn streets, low-rent flophouses, strip joints, and massage parlors.  Overrun by passed-out bums, toothless whores, pitpockets, two-bit dealers, and psych-ward escapees, the hilly neighborhood had been named in the 1920s by cops who 'd gotten fat on bribes from the Loins pimps and hustlers; if you were on the take, it was a choice cut of meat.

About Scotch:
Scotch Wichmann is a writer, performance artist, comedian, actor, and filmmaker whose madcap riffs about his trailerpark childhood, neurotic delusions, and Hollywood obsessions spurred the San Francisco Chronicles to describe his work as like "eating and snorting [drugs] ... then freebasing ... then reaching for the turkey baster."  A two-time finalist in Northern California's largest comedy competition, he's a regular feature and host at comedy clubs across the country, keeping audiences rolling before national headliners like Bill Burr, Barry Sobel, Laurie Kilmartin, Eddie Brill, and many more.

Scotch began as a performance artist in the early 1990s.  A protege of seminal LA performance artist John M White, he launched himself into the underground LA performance art scene with his debut pieces, SNORTING MOUSE FUR and HAVING A BALL: ONE TESTICLE'S PUPPET SHOW.  His live work continues to be featured at galleries, art venues, and fringe festivals around the world.  He's also a member of Wet The Hippo, a performance troupe that was nominated for Best Comedy and Best Stunt at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival.

In 2007, Scotch launched Meth Coffee, an underground coffee company in San Francisco as both a branding experiment and an ongoing performance.  Calling himself "The Drinker," he acted as the company's cracked-out spokesman, attracting a swarm of press from CNN, NBC, FOX, NPR, Maxim, The Washington Post, and New York Times while selling super-caffeinated coffee beans in white druggy bags.  The product was eventually banned in several regions, including the state of Illinois by its Attorney General, who found the whole concept objectionable.

Scotch works increasingly in TV and film.  He folded himself into a killer's suitcase for the late-night TV short HACKSAW (2005), played an overgrown baby in OUTER SUNSET (2007), and made his directorial debut with SECRET TO A BETTER LIFE (2011), a short that was featured at the 2011 Nihilist Film Festival and the 2012 Freethought Film Festival.

Scotch and his wife currently reside in Los Angeles, California.  For more about him, please see www.seescotch.com.

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