Arts & Entertainments: A Novel

Paperback | July 1, 2014

byChristopher Beha

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Christopher Beha delivers a cutting send-up of our cultural obsession with celebrity—a deliciously witty, and ultimately tender, novel about the absurdity of fame and the complexity of love sure to appeal to fans of Maria Semple and Jess Walter.

A sharp-edged satire with heart, Arts & Entertainments is the story of Handsome Eddie Hartley who, at thirty-three, has forgone dreams of an acting career for the reality of life as a drama teacher at a boys’ prep school. But when Eddie and his wife, Susan, discover they cannot have children, it is one disappointment too many.

Weighted down with debt, his wife’s mounting unhappiness, and his own deepening sense of failure, Eddie is confronted with an alluring solution when an old friend-turned-web-impresario suggests Eddie sell a sex tape he made with an ex-girlfriend, now a wildly popular television star. Overcoming his initial moral qualms, Eddie figures that in an era when any publicity is good publicity, the tape won’t cause any harm—a decision that will have disastrous consequences and propel him straight into the glaring spotlight he once thought he craved.

A hilariously biting and incisive take-down of our culture’s monstrous obsession with fame, Arts & Entertainments is also a poignant and humane portrait of a young man’s belated coming-of-age, the complications of love, and the surprising ways in which the most meaningful lives often turn out to be the ones we least expected to lead.

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From the Publisher

Christopher Beha delivers a cutting send-up of our cultural obsession with celebrity—a deliciously witty, and ultimately tender, novel about the absurdity of fame and the complexity of love sure to appeal to fans of Maria Semple and Jess Walter.A sharp-edged satire with heart, Arts & Entertainments is the story of Handsome Eddie Hartle...

From the Jacket

Handsome Eddie Hartley was once a golden boy poised for the kind of success promised by good looks and a modicum of talent. Now thirty-three, he has abandoned his dream of an acting career and accepted the reality of life as a drama teacher at the boys' prep school he once attended. But when Eddie and his wife, Susan, discover they can...

Christopher Beha is a deputy editor atHarper'smagazine. His essays and reviews have appeared in theNew York Times Book Review, theLondon Review of Books,The Believer,Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novelWhat Happened to Sophie Wilderand the memoirThe Whole Five Feet. A New York City native, he lives in Brooklyn with h...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inPublished:July 1, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006232246X

ISBN - 13:9780062322463

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“It’s the funny type of social satire that is less LOL, more, “God, our society is so messed up that this could easily be real, and all I can do is laugh about it,” and that’s what makes it such a treat to read.”