“Audacious satire.” Vanity Fair
“Hot and ebullient, hilarious and riveting. Smith pulls the pants off reality television and America’s ‘serious’ literary culture, and that’s just the metaphorical nakedness. Who knew a book about the difficulty of sustaining deeply felt emotion could be so much fun? Or that a penis on YouTube might sing Lionel Richie? Hair-raising and essential reading.” —Sara Levine, author ofTreasure Island!!!
“Only an extremely imaginative satirist can outpace the world’s absurdity, but Mark Haskell Smith manages it with Raw, a super-fun, super-wild, and sneakily thoughtful take on American literary and entertainment excess.” —Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist
Sepp Gregory, a reality TV hunk and one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive,” is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp’s actually read the book; he doesn’t have to, he lived it! And everyone just wants him to take off his shirt.
The book has hit the bestseller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere’s most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel’s reception means the end of civilization is upon us. Determined to pen an exposé on the publishing industry, Harriet hijacks the book tour and uncovers the ghostwriter. Reality and “reality” collide, and a tragic accident sends Sepp and Harriet off on a sex-fueled road trip through the southwest. The brain meets the abs, and both will be changed forever. Raw: A Love Story is Mark Haskell Smith at his raucous best, dangerously sexy and wickedly funny.
An Amazon Best Fiction Book of the Month
A Daily Beast Hot Read of the Week: “Consistently surprising, fast-paced, and nearly always funny.”
““Gleefully absurd. . . . [Smith] turns what could have been just an amusing book into an incisive, caustic and hilarious one. . . . He’s able to pull it off because his prose is so hard-boiled and self-assured—he comes across as the slightly more well-adjusted offspring of Hunter S. Thompson and James Ellroy. . . . A hilarious and—occasionally—an unexpectedly sweet illustration of why we write and read in the first place.”—Los Angeles Times”–Los Angeles Times
“Smith remains a gifted satirist with a comic touch that can be either howlingly broad or devastatingly precise. … Though consistently surprising, fast-paced and nearly always funny, Raw is more than just a lively romp. Smith saves his best satire for a topic he knows all too well: the publishing industry. In Raw … Smith skewers it with as much gleeful zeal as he attacks his much easier targets.” —Thomas Flynn, The Daily Beast
“Thoroughly enjoyable. . . . By turns racy and profound, Haskell Smith writes at mach speed about what passes for culture in today’s often unreal world.” —Allison Block, Booklist
“Satire of the highest order. . . . Smith succeeds because he knows better than to make fun of his subjects or turn them into silly caricatures.”—PopMatters
“Readers familiar with Mark Haskell Smith’s novels know all about the sharp, oddball sense of humor that permeates Raw. For those who don’t, think somewhere along the lines of Carl Hiaasen–social commentary combined with outrageous laughs.” Jaclyn Fulwood, Shelf Awareness
“If the plot sounds absurd, that’s because it is, but the book’s over-the-top, swinging-from-the-chandeliers storyline is partially what makes it so entertaining. Crazy stuff happens, and it’s a joy to be inside the drama. The more technicolor the plot, the more addictive it becomes.” Edan Lepucki, The Millions
“LA writer Smith is back with another frothy satire.” Kirkus Reviews